More dead in Syria's Qalamoun as rebels launch reaction attacks against government strikes
Two car bombs targeting regime forces near the Lebanese border in Qalamoun Wednesday have killed at least seven soldiers, according to Agence France-Press reports. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Al-Nusra Front, two al-Qaida-affiliated groups, have claimed responsibility for the attacks as a response to government strikes against the rebels in nearby Qara Tuesday.
The car bombs were targeting a regime checkpoint and intelligence building. According to AFP, "The soldiers at the checkpoint stopped a suspicious car and the driver, who was a suicide bomber wearing an explosive belt, tried to escape but was shot dead by soldiers."
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told reporters that at least seven government troops have been killed and five have been severely wounded from the attacks.
Regime forces, supported by Hezbollah, attacked Qalamoun earlier this week in order to control a strategic supply route point between Damascus and Homs.
Fighting in Syria Wednesday was also reported near the rebel-stronghold of Yabrud and the regime-controlled Deir Attiya, where clashes between the two sides exploded for the first time when warplanes conducted airstrikes on rebel positions around Deir Attiya. A mortar attack was also reported in Damascus' Ummayad Square.