14:02 GMT +319 October 2018
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    In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, mourners attend a mass funeral of people killed a day earlier by a series of suicide bombings launched by the Islamic State's fighters on the eastern and northern countryside of the southern province of al-Sweida during a in al-Sweida, Syria, Thursday, July 26, 2018

    Hezbollah: Terrorists Behind South Syria Attacks Got Arms With US 'Assistance'

    © AP Photo / SANA
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    Daesh terrorist attacks in Sweida province on Wednesday reportedly took the lives of over 210 people, with over 200 others injured.

    Lebanese militant movement Hezbollah has accused the US of being the regional patron of "criminal gangs" that carried out brutal coordinated attacks on numerous targets in the province, including the central market in Sweida city.

    "The appearance of these armed gangs with full armament and equipment from the At-Tanf area, where the US is illegally based, right before their eyes and with their obvious assistance, is dangerous," the group said in a statement.

    "Obviously, regional and international forces continue to use these criminal gangs to implement their evil and hostile goals," the statement added.

    Expressing condolences to the families of those who had been killed, Hezbollah emphasized that the terrorist attacks took place following successful operations by the Syrian Army in southern Syria, including in Daraa province, where the Syrian army and its allies are carrying out an operation to liquidate the last Daesh stronghold in southern Syria.

    On Wednesday, Daesh suicide bombers struck multiple civilian targets in Sweida city, with militants simultaneously launching raids on nearby villages. Syrian authorities said they managed to eliminate at least two of the attackers before they blew themselves up, thereby preventing even greater casualties. A local journalist reported that the terrorists killed many people in the cover of night, going house to house, knocking on doors and killing everyone inside. The terrorists also allegedly took dozens of civilians hostage as they escaped back to areas under their control. Daesh claimed responsibility for the attacks.

    Syria's At-Tanf district in Homs province borders Iraq and Jordan and is under the control of an international coalition led by the United States. It contains a US military base and the Rukban refugee camp. Damascus has repeatedly demanded that the coalition end its "illegal presence" in the area.

    The Syrian military and its allies, including Hezbollah, have been conducting mop-up operations against militants in southwest Syria in recent weeks. On July 15, thanks to negotiations facilitated by the Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria, militants not affiliated with Daesh or the Nusra Front began to surrender, switching sides or evacuating to northern Syria.

    * A terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.

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    terrorist attack, terrorism, statement, Daesh, Hezbollah, al-Tanf, Syria, United States
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