Suicide bomber targets Syrian rebel and regime fighters in Daraa

Suicide bomber targets Syrian rebel and regime fighters in Daraa
A car bomb attack in southern Syria targeting rebel and regime fighters has killed at least eight.
2 min read
10 July, 2018
Syria's regime have re-captured most of Daraa [AFP]
A suspected Islamic State group bombing in southern Syria has killed rebel and regime fighters in Daraa province on Tuesday, according to an observatory.

The bombing hit Zaizun - a village in the western Daraa countryside - which had recently been surrendered by the opposition with regime troops deployed to the area on Tuesday, according to Syrian state media.

At least eight rebel and regime fighters were killed in the attack, has been blamed on Jaish Khalid ibn al-Walid, which is linked to the IS and controls a valley region in Daraa province.

"Eight regime and opposition fighters who recently reconciled were killed in a suicide car bomb attack targeting a military position in Zaizun," said Rami Abdel Rahman, who heads the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

"This is the first suicide attack targeting regime forces since the beginning of their operations in Daraa," he told AFP

He said that Jaish Khalid ibn al-Walid "likely" carried out the attack, which has reportedly agreed to fight the regime during Bashar al-Assad's recent offensive on opposition areas.

Syria's regime - backed by Russia - launched a bloody and brutal assault on Daraa on 19 June, making in-roads in one of the last territories controlled by the opposition outside Idlib province.

Jaish Khalid ibn al-Walid - once named the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade - have fought a number of battles with rebel groups since they established control over the Yarmouk Valley area.

They were part of the mainstream opposition until they were accused of pledging allegiance to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, sparking a war with local rebel groups.

The regime offensive on Daraa has forced 320,000 people from their homes and killed scores of civilians with the regime now in control of around 85 percent of the province.

Jaish Khalid ibn al-Walid's territories are said to be the next target of the regime.

"After finishing off rebel forces in the south, the regime is expected to attack the last pocket held by the IS affiliate there," said Abdel Rahman.

Agencies contributed to this story.