The vehicle was carrying pro-government soldiers and fighters returning to their base in the remote area.
At least 25 people were reportedly killed in an attack on a bus along a main highway in eastern Syria’s Deir Az Zor province, which borders Iraq, Syrian media said on Wednesday, a incident which, according to locals and deserters, was likely an ambush aiming. to pro-Assad forces.
The attack, which injured 13 other people, took place in an area where mainly the Syrian army and Iranian-backed militias are located, near the ancient city of Palmyra.
A high-ranking military defector from the area said the vehicle was carrying soldiers and pro-government fighters who had completed their leave and were on their way back to their base in the desolate and sparsely populated area.
Another source said at least 30 soldiers were killed, mostly from the elite Syrian Army Fourth Brigade, which has had a strong presence in the oil-rich province since ISIS, also known as name of fighters from the ISIS group, was expelled at the end of 2017.
28 Syrian soldiers killed in an ISIS ambush on the Palmyra-DeirEzzor road, the deadliest attack in a long time, the area has seen scattered attacks but nothing of this magnitude. pic.twitter.com/uoeP0MwcQV
– Danny Makki (@Dannymakkisyria) December 30, 2020
Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of a UK-based war observer – the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights – told AFP news agency that the ambush “was one of the most serious attacks. deadliest ”since the fall of ISIS (ISIS), which at its peak in 2015, controlled vast swathes of land in Syria and Iraq.
He said the attackers detonated bombs before opening fire on the bus, which had been ambushed near the village of Shula. Two other buses in the convoy managed to escape, the war monitor said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.
Syria’s state-run Sana news agency said pockets of ISIS (ISIS) fighters were still in the area. They remain a threat by continuing to place mines and improvised explosive devices or IEDs in the province and near the border with Iraq.
Residents of Deir Az Zor and intelligence sources say there has been an increase in recent months of ambushes and escape attacks by remnants of fighters from the ISIS (ISIS) group who hidden in caves in the mostly desert region.
They also claim that in recent months, Arab tribes that inhabit the region have been angered by the executions by Iranian militias operating in the area of dozens of nomads suspected of belonging to armed groups.