Islamic State seizes Al-Qaryatain town in central Syria in surprise attack, shows monitor

The Islamic State group on Sunday seized a town in central Syria known as a symbol of religious coexistence in a surprise attack against regime forces, a monitor said.

AFP October 01, 2017 15:25:02 IST
Islamic State seizes Al-Qaryatain town in central Syria in surprise attack, shows monitor

Beirut: The Islamic State group on Sunday seized a town in central Syria known as a symbol of religious coexistence in a surprise attack against regime forces, a monitor said.

Islamic State seizes AlQaryatain town in central Syria in surprise attack shows monitor

Representational image. AP

The jihadists took control of Al-Qaryatain in the central province of Homs early on Sunday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said.

Violent clashes broke out after the jihadists sneaked in, the Britain-based Observatory's Rami Abdel Rahman said.

Government troops had surrounded the town, where several Christian families are believed to be living, he said.

Al-Qaryatain was home to some 30,000 people before Syria's war broke out in 2011, 900 of them Christians.

Regime forces recaptured Al-Qaryatain in April 2016 after eight months of jihadist control.

In early August 2015, the Islamic State (IS) abducted 270 Christians from the town, transporting them around 90 kilometres (55 miles) away deep in the Syria desert and locking them up in an underground dungeon. They were freed 25 days later.

The same month, IS destroyed parts of a monastery in the town and reduced a fifth-century mud brick church to rubble using explosives and bulldozers.

Earlier this week the jihadists launched an assault on government positions in Syria's vast Badiya desert, killing at least 128 regime troops.

Syrian troops pushed through the desert, which separates the main cities of the west from the Euphrates Valley this summer, and broke a years-long IS siege on government enclaves in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor last month.

In addition to the Russian-backed government offensive, a US-backed alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters is battling the group, which is also under attack in neighbouring Iraq.

 

Updated Date:

also read

Udaipur killing: Who are the assailants? And why the murder is being treated as a terror case?
India

Udaipur killing: Who are the assailants? And why the murder is being treated as a terror case?

The murder of a tailor in Udaipur, which was recorded on camera by assailants, is being treated as a terror incident. The National Investigation Agency is likely to take over the case, as links of the killers to terror organisations are being probed

Dive into the world of famous British socialite turned sex offender in the eye-opening and shocking crime documentary
Entertainment

Dive into the world of famous British socialite turned sex offender in the eye-opening and shocking crime documentary

Follow the life of this famous socialite Ghislaine Maxwell as you uncover secrets about her past and follow her trials exclusively on Lionsgate Play from 8th July

Islamic State claims responsibility for attack on Sikh gurdwara in Kabul
World

Islamic State claims responsibility for attack on Sikh gurdwara in Kabul

The Islamic State Khorasan Province, an affiliate of the Islamic State militant group, said the attack targeted Hindus and Sikhs and the ‘apostates’ who protected them in ‘an act of support for the Messenger of Allah’