Islamic State group bomb rips through regime-held Syrian city

Islamic State group bomb rips through regime-held Syrian city
Syria was hit by an Islamic State group bombing again on Saturday, as regime-held Homs city became the latest target of the extremist group.
2 min read
12 December, 2015
The blast ripped through the regime held city in central Syria [AFP]

Homs city in central Syria was hit by a massive car bomb on Saturday, which killed at least 16 people and wounded dozens more.

Shortly after the attack, the Islamic State group, which has a presence in Homs province, claimed responsibility for the attack.

An IS statement was released saying that a militant from the group named Abu Ahmed al-Homsi carried out the attack in a pro-regime district of the city.

The group claimed that more than 25 people were killed and 70 wounded in twin explosions.

IS also claimed responsibility for a series of bombings that hit a Kurdish-held town in north-east Syria on Thursday night, leaving at least 26 people dead.

Kweres air base in Aleppo had been besieged by IS - and rebels before them -
for three years until the regime retook the area around the camp in November. 

However, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Syrian state news said only one explosion took place in Homs.

The blast happened close to a hospital in the Zahra district, both reported.

Among the dead was a Syrian army colonel, at least one policeman, and woman.

Homs Governor Talal Barazzi said most of the 16 dead were women and children, adding that 15 of the wounded were treated at hospitals and released.

Syrian state news said a car rigged with some 150 kilograms of TNT exploded in Homs. 

This led to a further explosion in a nearby shop, which was packed with gas canisters and wounded several policemen.

It came just a few days after hundreds of rebels and their families left al-Waer, the last opposition-held district of Homs.

The agreement was part of a local truce that gave the Syrian regime full control of the city. 
On Saturday, trucks carrying aid entered Waer, which had been under siege for three years.

Meanwhile, in northern Syria a series of Russian air raids on the rebel-held town of Atareb killed ten people according to the UK-based observatory.

Regime and Russian bombs have killed hundreds of civilians this month. Analysts and monitoring groups say that the attacks have mostly been aimed at rebel-held territories.

Rebels in Aleppo province are engaged in a two-front war against the Syrian regime and IS militants.

A US-backed joint Free Syrian Army and Kurdish force is also engaged with the group in the northern province.