• Twin IS suicide attacks kill 15 in north Syria


    BEIRUT: Twin Islamic State group suicide attacks killed 15 people in Syria’s northern province of Aleppo, where the jihadists have faced simultaneous assaults in recent weeks, a monitor said on Sunday.

    One attacker detonated a car bomb near the IS-held town of Deir Hafer, killing eight fighters with regime forces late Saturday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said.

    IS claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it “was carried out by fighter Abu Abdullah al-Shami with an explosive-laden vehicle.”

    Deir Hafer lies on a key road linking Aleppo city to the IS-controlled town of Khafsah, which holds the main station to pump water into Aleppo, and further east to the jihadist group’s de facto capital Raqa.

    Residents of Aleppo city have been without mains water for 48 days after the jihadists cut the supply.

    On Sunday, Russian and regime warplanes bombarded IS positions in support of Syrian troops, which had advanced to nine kilometers from Khafsah, the Observatory said.

    They were just six km from the pumping station, Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.

    The United Nations on Sunday said 26,000 people had fled the fighting since late February, while the Observatory said as many as 30,000 had been displaced.

    In a second attack, IS said a fighter “detonated his suicide belt” in the rebel-held town of Azaz, also in Aleppo province.

    The Observatory said the suicide attack in the town “killed seven fighters and wounded several others, some of them in critical condition.”

    In January, a massive tanker truck bomb ripped through a market in Azaz, killing 48 people and wounding dozens, the Observatory said.

    It was suspected that IS was behind that attack.

    Syria’s conflict broke out in March 2011 with protests against President Bashar al-Assad, but has escalated into a complex conflict that has killed more than 310,000 people.

    Air strikes on the northwestern province of Idlib on Sunday killed six people, including five members of the same family, the Observatory said.

    The raids on the town of Kafranbel also wounded 21 people.



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