Bombings spark battles in southern Syria, killing 90
by Les Sillars
Posted 7/25/18, 12:30 pm
A series of suicide bombings and attacks that sparked fighting between local armed groups in southern Syria killed close to 90 people and wounded 80 others on Wednesday, according to a local health official and activists. The attacks spread mayhem in a province that has been relatively quiet throughout Syria’s seven-year conflict. Attacks in the city of Sweida coincided with attacks in several villages by a militant group linked to Islamic State (ISIS), prompting deadly battles with pro-government fighters and residents who picked up weapons to defend their hometowns.
State-run TV station Al-Ikhbariya reported that one of the attackers drove through a busy vegetable market in Sweida and detonated his explosive just after 5 a.m., and a second attacker hit in another busy square. Two other attackers blew themselves up as security forces chased them. ISIS claimed responsibility on social media. The rare attacks in Sweida came as government forces battled ISIS-linked groups near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. ISIS, largely defeated in Syria and Iraq, still controls pockets of territory in eastern and southern Syria.
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Les is a WORLD Radio correspondent and commentator. He previously spent two decades as WORLD Magazine's Mailbag editor. Les directs the journalism program at Patrick Henry College and resides in Purcellville, Va., with his family.