Five Syrian soldiers were killed and 20 injured in a rocket attack by ISIS militants on a military transport bus on Sunday in the east of the country at approximately 7 p.m. local time (1700 GMT), Syrian state media said on Monday.
ISIS, the extremist group that declared a so-called “caliphate” straddling parts of Syria and Iraq in 2014, has lost all territory that was under its control in 2019.
However, the group continues to wage a low-level insurgency in both countries.
The state media report on Monday quoted an unnamed official saying the ISIS militants launched rockets at the bus traveling in the Palmyra desert, then followed it with gunfire from an anti-aircraft gun.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor, said suspected ISIS militants ambushed the military convoy, killing at least nine soldiers and members of government-allied militias. The group said 15 were wounded.
The different reports could not be immediately reconciled.
Sources told Asharq Al-Awsat in remarks published Monday that seven regime troops were killed in an ISIS attack on an oil field in Raqqa’s countryside on Saturday night.
Heavy fighting between the two sides left seven soldiers dead, the sources said.