Clashes between Russia-backed Syrian regime forces and the Islamic State group have killed more than 50 fighters on both sides in two days, a Britain-based war monitor said on Saturday, reports AFP.
Fighting and Russian air strikes in the central desert province of Homs since late Thursday have claimed the lives of 20 pro-government fighters and 31 jihadists, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
“The fighting started in the night of Thursday to Friday with a jihadist assault on regime positions” near the town of Al-Sukhna, Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.
IS jihadists have retained a roving presence in Syria’s vast Badia desert, despite losing their last shred of territory last year. They regularly carry out attacks there.
IS declared a cross-border “caliphate” in large parts of Syria and neighboring Iraq in 2014, but several military campaigns against it chipped away at that proto-state and eventually led to its territorial demise.
Syria’s war has killed more than 380,000 people since it started in 2011 with the repression of anti-government protests, before evolving into a complex conflict involving world powers and jihadists.