Islamic state ambush bus in Syria killing at least 28

At least 28 people were killed in a bus attack in Syria’s Deir al-Zour province.

Syrian state media reported civilians were killed in the attack however, monitoring groups claimed soldiers were on board and gave a much higher death toll.

UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) attributed the attack to the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group, saying 37 soldiers died.

SOHR said the attack was a “well-planned ambush by Islamic State members, targeting three buses carrying pro-regime militiamen and soldiers”.

IS fighters and Syrian forces loyal to the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad often clash in the area, near the ancient city of Palmyra.

In 2014, IS imposed its brutal rule on millions of people, at one stage controlling 88,000 sq km of territory stretching from western Syria to eastern Iraq.

After five years of fighting, local forces backed by the US and its allies managed to wrest back all the territory controlled by IS.

IS was declared territorially defeated in Syria and Iraq in March 2019.

But its presence has endured in parts of Syria, which has been racked by a civil war since 2011 and IS cells continue to launch attacks. If confirmed the latest attack would be the deadliest this year carried out by the group, the SOHR said.