Series of deadly IS attacks kill 150 in Syria

Series of deadly IS attacks kill 150 in Syria

The militants went from home to home, killing families as they slept, before launching several suicide bombings on Wednesday, targeting a bustling vegetable market as well as government-held positions in the southern Syrian province of Suwayda.

The attacks came nearly a week into a deadly Russia-backed regime campaign to oust IS fighters from a holdout in the neighbouring province of Daraa.

The DFA reminded Filipinos in Syria to "take the necessary precautions following the coordinated attacks by the Islamic State in the province of Sweida".

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the death toll at 246, including 111 members of local militias who fought IS militants who swarmed their villages.

ISIS killed dozens of people in a string of attacks on government-held parts of the southwest.

GRAPHIC CONTENT: Syrian forces excavate a site, said to be a mass grave by state news agency SANA, west of Raqqa province.

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It is populated mainly by Syria's minority Druze.

The Observatory said government forces battled jihadists who stormed the villages from an IS pocket northeast of the city.

"The IDF will act against any attempt to violate the State of Israel's sovereignty and undermine the security of its citizens", the IDF said in a statement.

The violence also left 30 IS fighters dead, including the suicide attackers.

The suicide bomb blasts inside the provincial capital, also called Sweida, were apparently timed to coincide with attacks on villages in the eastern countryside, creating mayhem across the province.

"The city of Sweida is secure and calm now", he told state-run Ikhbariyah TV.

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"The blast was sudden and unexpected". The second attacker hit in another busy square in the city. Abandoned shoes lay in the middle of the road among fruit that had spilled out of cartons.

An eyewitness said Sweida's national hospital was "packed". "Others were coming to the hospital to ask if loved ones they had lost track of were there".

The assault in Sweida, near the border with Jordan, stunned a city that has escaped the worst effects of Syria's civil war and violence by extremist factions.

The co-ordinated attacks were the deadliest to hit government territory in many months.

There have been many instances of stray fire landing on the Israeli side of the rocky Golan plateau during years of fighting between Syrian rebels and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, but a rocket flying between 7-10 kilometers (4-6 miles) and landing in the lake would be the farthest yet.

The Syrian government is in control of the vast majority of Suwayda province with the exception of a small pocket in the eastern Badia desert region that is now held by the Islamic State.

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At least 41 civilians have been killed in air strikes on the jihadist holdout since July 19, the monitor says.

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