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Scores killed in failed Islamic State counterattack in east Syria's Baghouz village

Sixteen SDF fighters and 34 IS jihadists were killed in the assault aimed at retaking the village near the Iraqi border.

Published: 25th January 2019 03:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th January 2019 03:44 AM   |  A+A-

Islamic State

Image of Islamic State militants for representational purpose (File | AP)

By AFP

 BEIRUT: The Islamic State group made an aborted attempt to retake a village from US-backed forces in eastern Syria Thursday, a monitor said, leaving 50 fighters dead on both sides.

The failed assault came a day after the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), who are backed by the US-led coalition, took the village of Baghouz from IS.

On Thursday, the jihadist group launched a counterattack including at least three suicide bombers wearing explosive belts against SDF fighters, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Sixteen SDF fighters and 34 IS jihadists were killed in the assault aimed at retaking the village near the Iraqi border, the Britain-based monitor said.

ALSO READ: Six civilians including four children killed in US-led strike on IS in Syria

A further "21 IS fighters were taken prisoner as they tried to open up a gap" in defences and make an escape towards Iraq, Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said.

The SDF have since September been whittling away at a pocket of territory on the eastern banks of the Euphrates River in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor.

The latest advance by the US-backed group has left the last diehard IS fighters holed up in scattered farmhouses near the Euphrates.

ALSO READ:Suicide attack targeting US-led coalition in Syria's Manbij town kills 15 people

Thousands of people, mostly women and children, have fled into SDF-held territory in recent days, according to the Observatory.

IS overran large swathes of Syria and neighbouring Iraq in 2014, declaring a "caliphate", but they have since lost almost all of it to various offensives.

The jihadists have however retained a presence in the vast Badia desert stretching across Syria, and have continued to claim attacks in SDF-held territory and abroad.
 



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