Bus bombing kills 18 Syrian troops, wounds dozens

BEIRUT: A bus bombing on Thursday killed 18 Syrian soldiers on the outskirts of Damascus and wounded at least 27 others, SyriaState media reported citing a military source, as fighting in the north of the country was ongoing.
Similar attacks over the years have killed and wounded dozens of soldiers in government-held parts of the war-torn country. Last March, militants attacked a military bus near Palmyra in central Syria, killing 13 soldiers and wounding 18 others.
The Syrian regime in the past has blamed such attacks Islamic State The group’s fighters have been active in southern and central Syria, despite losing control of territory in the country since 2019.
The Syrian regime has in the past blamed such attacks on Islamic State fighters operating in southern and central Syria, despite having lost control of territory in the country since then. 2019.
In northern Syria, members of a group affiliated with al-Qaida have captured a town held by Turkish-backed opposition fighters since 2018. The work of members of Hayat Tahrir al -Sham, Arabic occupies the town of Afrin. Levant Liberation Committeethe most powerful militant group in the rebel-held northwest, emerging after days of fighting between rival rebel groups in the region.
Based in the UK Syrian Observatory for Human RightsAn opposition war monitor, said HTS had captured about 30 military posts in the area from Turkish-backed groups.
The fighting was triggered last week when a citizen journalist and his wife were shot dead while riding a motorbike in the northern town of al-Bab last week. A Turkish-backed group was blamed for the killing and has since been attacked by several rebel groups, including HTS.
The Syrian Humanitarian Response, an NGO in northern Syria, said the latest round of fighting left four civilians dead and 28 injured while about 1,000 families were displaced.
There was no immediate comment from Turkey, which has conducted three major operations inside Syria since 2016, targeting the Kurdish militia, the People’s Protection Units – or YPG. – which Ankara considers a terrorist organization and an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK. For decades, the PKK has waged an insurgency in Turkey.
However, the YPG has become the mainstay of US-led forces in the fight against Islamic State fighters and has been a leading US ally in Syria.


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