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.
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.
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.