BEIRUT — Islamic State militants launched a surprise attack on Syrian government positions in Syria’s northeast Raqqa province on Monday evening, killing at least 10 soldiers and pro-government fighters.
The attack, the second in a week by the group, wounded six others, some critically, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The UK-based war monitor, which relies on a broad network of sources on the ground, said IS gunmen attacked positions and checkpoints of the government forces and their allies in Maadan al-Atiq in the eastern countryside of Raqqa. Militants also set fire to military vehicles and houses in the area.
Raqqa had served as IS’ de facto capital in Syria when the group captured the province in 2014. In October 2017, the Syrian Democratic Forces, backed by the US-led coalition, expelled the extremist group from its stronghold and took control of the province. Government forces hold small pockets in the south and east of Raqqa.