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Attack kills 10 in Syria, Kurdish forces arrest 52 militants


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BEIRUT — A rebel rocket attack in eastern Syria on Friday targeted a bus carrying oil industry employees, killing at least 10 people, the government said. To the north, Kurdish-led forces in Syria announced they had captured 52 fighters in an operation against the Islamic State group’s dormant cells.

According to the Syrian Ministry of Petroleum, the missile hit the Al-Taym gas field in the eastern province of Deir el-Zour. No party has yet claimed responsibility, but the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitoring group, said IS was behind the attack.

The observatory also reported a higher death toll from the rocket attack, saying 12 workers were killed in the end.

Also on Friday, the Kurdish-led and US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces said their attacks were believed to have thwarted an attack planned on New Year’s Eve. IS fighters are hiding in residential areas and farms, a statement from the forces said.

The years-long US-backed campaign has been successful in breaking militants’ control of territory in Iraq and Syria, but IS fighters maintain underground cells and have staged attacks. killing many Iraqis and Syrians in recent months.

On Thursday, Kurdish-led forces in Syria announced their operation, cites an increase in attacks by IS and said that “Operation Al-Jazeera Thunderbolt” was on target sleeping cells in al-Hol and nearby in the Tal Hamis area.

Since 2011, Syria has been mired in a bloody civil war involving regional and global powers. Syrian President Bashar Assad has almost regained control of the country, but parts of the north remain under rebel control, as well as Turkish and Syrian Kurdish forces.

In addition, some 900 US troops in Syria support the Kurdish-led fight against ISIS and regularly target IS fighters, mainly in the northeastern regions of Syria controlled by the Kurds. .

US Central Command on Thursday reported to have conducted about 313 operations against IS by 2022 in Syria and Iraq, mostly in cooperation with Kurdish-led forces. According to a statement by CENTCOM, 215 fighters of the Islamic State group have been captured and 466 have been killed in Syria.

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