At least 53 killed in ISIS attack in Syria: State TV

At least 53 Syrians were killed in an ISIS attack in the country’s central desert, state TV reported on Friday.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

At the same time, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said ISIS “killed 36 people Friday while they were truffle hunting in Sokhna in the Palmyra region.”

Others managed to escape the attack, the Observatory said.

Many people, including women and children, have been targeted in recent years while truffle hunting in central, northeastern and eastern areas of Syria.

Sixteen people, mostly civilians, were killed on Saturday in a similar attack targeting foragers in the same area, the Observatory said.

Dozens of others were kidnapped in the attack, the Observatory said, adding that 25 of them were released but the fate of the others remains unknown.

And in April 2021, the extremist group launched a similar attack, abducting 19 people, mostly civilians, in the eastern countryside of Hama province.

After the extremists lost their last scraps of territory following a military onslaught backed by a US-led coalition in March 2019, ISIS remnants in Syria mostly retreated to hideouts in the desert.

They have since used such hideouts to ambush Kurdish-led forces and Syrian government troops while continuing to mount attacks in neighboring Iraq.

Syrian and Russian helicopters continue to launch air strikes targeting ISIS desert hideouts.

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