More than 100 killed in Syria attacks
More than 100 people were killed in Syria in 24 hours of violence after Islamic State fighters attacked regime troops and a suicide bomber caused carnage at Kurdish new year celebrations, a monitor said Friday.
Beirut: More than 100 people were killed in Syria in 24 hours of violence after Islamic State fighters attacked regime troops and a suicide bomber caused carnage at Kurdish new year celebrations, a monitor said Friday.
More than 70 members of government forces were killed when IS attacked checkpoints and other positions in the central Homs and Hama provinces, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP "most of the dead, around 50, fell in the Hama countryside."
Several jihadists were also killed when clashes broke out, he added without giving a toll.
The regime controls most of Homs and Hama.
"IS has faced setbacks recently in the provinces of Aleppo and Raqa and in Hasakeh in confrontations with Kurds on the one hand and regime forces on the other, and are now trying to score military points, even limited ones, to offset their losses," said Abdel Rahman.
The suicide bomber struck at Syria's Kurdish minority on Friday, killing more than 33 people as they celebrated Kurdish new year in Hasakeh, northeast Syria.
Five children and many women were among the dead, the Observatory said.
"33 people were killed in the suicide attack in Hasakeh today, including five children. Many women were among the dead," Abdel Rahman told AFP.
The victims had gathered for a celebration on the eve of Nowruz, Kurdish new year.
Dozens more were injured in the blast and the death toll may rise, the monitor added.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but Abdel Rahman said the suicide bomber could have been a member of Islamic State.
He said a second bomb exploded at another Nowruz celebration, wounding dozens of people.
Syrian state news agency SANA also reported a "terrorist" attack in the centre of Hasakeh that killed and wounded "many civilians" and damaged homes, shops and cars.
Hasakeh is a strategic province near Syria's borders with Iraq and Turkey.
IS controls several parts of the province while fighters from the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) hold the provincial capital, which is also called Hasakeh.
The YPG are sworn enemies of IS, which they expelled from the border town of Kobane in January after four months of fierce fighting with help from allied air strikes.
The overall commander of the Asayish, or Kurdish security forces, Joan Ibrahim, said "the crime that occurred today in Hasakeh will not pass without retribution", YPG said on one of its Facebook pages.
Nowruz, or Persian New Year, begins on March 21.