Terrorists affiliated with Daesh have ambushed several cars and a bus on Syria’s Damascus-Raqqa highway in the central Syrian desert, killing nine people and injuring nearly two dozen others, according to several sources.
Sources told Reuters that the Sunday attack killed at least nine Syrian army soldiers; however, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) quotes its own sources as saying that seven soldiers, a little girl, and a civilian were killed in the ambush.
The SOHR also says 16 others including four civilians were injured in the attack; however, Reuters claims 22 soldiers have been wounded in the attack. Both sources reported that some of those injured are in critical conditions.
The bus was targeted while on the road near Wadi al-Azeeb in the western part of the Syrian desert known as the Badia, east of the city of Hama.
Russian jets flying from a major air base in the area at high altitudes bombed its vicinity in the surprise attack, according to two military sources in touch with their coordinates on the ground.
This is the second such incident in less than a week by Daesh militants. State media said last Wednesday twenty-eight people were killed in a similar terrorist attack on a bus along a main highway in Dayr al-Zawr province that borders Iraq.
Daesh’s Amaq news agency a day later claimed responsibility for the ambush, saying it had killed 40 Syrian army soldiers and badly wounded six others.
Western intelligence sources say there has been a rise in recent months of ambushes and hit-and-run attacks by remnants of Daesh militants who take shelter in caves in the mainly rugged sparsely Syrian Badia.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups that are wreaking havoc in the country.
Syrian government forces have taken back many areas once controlled by the terrorist groups.