IS claims Syria bus ambush that killed 37 soldiers

BEIRUT (AFP) – The Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility on Thursday for an attack that killed nearly 40 soldiers in Syria the day before when extremists ambushed a bus in eastern Syria.

War monitor the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Wednesday IS had attacked regime soldiers as they travelled home for holidays in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, killing 37.

It said eight officers were among those killed while 12 other soldiers were wounded in the attack.

A statement by IS’s propaganda arm Amaq said its fighters had “ambushed a bus transporting apostate Nusayri army elements,”.

The vehicle was targetted “with heavy weapons” and “multiple explosive devices, which led to destroying the bus and killing nearly 40 elements and wounding others”, added the statement, according to SITE Intelligence, which monitors extremists activities worldwide.

“It was one of the deadliest attacks since the fall of the IS (self-proclaimed) caliphate” last year, Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP on Wednesday.