Published: Mon, October 23, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Islamic State executed 116 in Syrian town as part of revenge campaign

Islamic State executed 116 in Syrian town as part of revenge campaign

ISIS has suffered major setbacks in recent months and was recently driven out of Raqqa, the capital of its self-proclaimed caliphate.

A senior Syrian official says the killing of more than 60 civilians in a town taken back by government troops from Islamic State militants is a "shocking massacre".

Meanwhile, the pro-government al-Watan newspaper said on its online website that the civilians have found the bodies of 50 people killed by IS, adding that most of the bodies were identified, while the search is ongoing for more.

USA -backed Syrian Democratic Forces captured Al-Omar on Sunday, narrowly beating the Russia-backed Syrian troops who were also advancing toward it, according to the spokesman, Col. Ryan Dillon.

Government forces managed to retake al-Qaratayn over the weekend, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) confirmed on Monday.

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At least 153 Syrian army soldiers and fighters from allied militias such as Lebanon's Hezbollah lost their lives over five days of heavy fighting for the Homs province town, the UK-based SOHR previously said. "They are from the town, know the town's residents and who is for or against the regime". The government-run Syrian Central Military Media at the time said the Syrian army and its allies restored security and stability to Qaryatayn after clearing the town of IS fighters.

Barazi said all the civilians who were killed were public employees and pensioners with their families. It said at least 35 were found shot and dumped into a deep shaft.

The bodies were found in Qaryatayn, a strategic town the Islamic State had seized in August 2015 to defend the historic city of Palmyra. The Observatory also said it documented at least 12 killed at the hands of pro-government troops after they regained control of the town.

The Observatory says most of the dead were killed during the militant group's three-week seizure of the town.

With Russian backing, Syrian troops regained control of the town in April 2016.

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