Five pro-Assad Palestinian fighters killed in clashes with IS militants in Syrian desert
The fighters, who were from the Liwaa Al-Quds (Jerusalem Brigade) militia that fights alongside Syrian regime forces in eastern Syria, were killed near the town of Sukhna in the eastern Homs province.
A post on a Facebook page belonging to Liwaa al-Quds confirmed the deaths of the five fighters.
Liwaa Al-Quds was formed in 2013 and is one of the most prominent pro-regime militias in Syria. It is based in Aleppo and its membership includes Palestinian refugees living in Syria, as well as Syrians.
Many of its fighters were killed last year in clashes with IS militants. Five more of its fighters were also killed by IS in an ambush near Deir az-Zour last September.
Although IS lost the town of Baghouz, the group's last territorial stronghold in Syria in March 2019, the militants have regrouped in the Syrian desert between Deir az-Zour and Homs.
Syrian regime and Russian forces are engaged in frequent clashes with the extremist group.
A study by the Omran Centre for Strategic Studies has said that IS used the coronavirus pandemic to increase their attacks in Syria in 2020.
The group carried out nearly 600 attacks over the course of the year, killing and injuring hundreds of troops and fighters from the Assad regime’s army and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Most of the attacks have happened in the eastern province of Deir az-Zour.