The wreckage of a bus, carrying Assad regime troops, attacked by the Islamic State in eastern Syria, December 30, 2020


In its latest assault on Assad regime units, the Islamic State has killed eight soldiers and militiamen in eastern Syria.

Local sources said five troops and three pro-Assad fighters were slain in an attack on a regime position in Deir ez-Zor Province. Eleven men were wounded, some critically.

ISIS was expelled from cities, towns, and villages in eastern Syria between 2017 and 2019 by the US-supported, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces. Pro-Assad offensives, enabled by Russian airpower and special units on the ground, also took territory.

But the Islamic State has maintained cells in central and eastern Syria, stepping up attacks on pro-Assad forces and positions in the past year. At least 44 pro-Assad fighters have been slain this month.

Local sources said ISIS burned a bus carrying Assad troops, 15 of whom are missing, in Hama Province in central Syria on Friday.

The following day, an Islamic State cell shot dead seven regime loyalists in al-Shola in Deir ez-Zor Province.

On December 30, ISIS claimed responsibility for the ambush of an Assad troop bus in Deir ez-Zor. At least 28 people were killed.

See also At Least 28 Assad Regime Troops Killed in Suspected ISIS Attack on Bus