IS gunmen execute 11 on Syria desert highway

BEIRUT: IS group gunmen executed 11 people, all but one of them pro-regime fighters, in two attacks on a desert highway in eastern Syria, a war monitor said Monday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the bodies of seven members of a pro-regime militia were found at dawn on the highway linking Deir Ezzor to Damascus.

On Sunday, a Syrian army officer, two other soldiers and a woman were shot dead, also execution-style, on another stretch of the highway, and their vehicle was seized, Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility from the IS group on the Telegram messaging service it uses to issue statements.

Since its territorial defeat in Syria in March 2019, IS attacks have been restricted to the vast deserts stretching from Deir Ezzor to Homs in the centre of the country.

Eleven government soldiers were killed in a May 7 ambush, which the Observatory said was the work of IS jihadists.