Islamic State hits US-backed Syrian rebel base near Iraq border

August 7, 2016 16:52
1 minute read.

BEIRUT - Islamic State suicide bombers on Sunday attacked a military base for US-backed fighters near the Syrian-Iraqi border, leaving several dead before blowing themselves up, rebel sources and the militants said on Sunday.

They said the dawn attack on the heavily defended military camp near the Syrian al Tanf border crossing with Iraq involved at least one explosive-laden vehicle that rammed the gate of the base which was set up by the fledgling, Pentagon-trained New Syria Army.

Another rebel said the militants were not able to storm the heavily fortified camp where large sand barriers have been erected to prevent such incursions and attacks in an area where the militants operate with hit-and-run attacks.

"It's a well defended camp and they tried to storm it but the suicide vehicle was targeted and hit," said Said Seif al Qalamoni, a rebel familiar with operating in the same area. He added that there were at least one dead and several wounded.

Qalamoni said jets from the US-led coalition against Islamic State shortly after struck at several vehicles believed to be driven by the militants in the sparsely populated desert area.

The New Syria Army was formed around 18 months ago using insurgents driven from eastern Syria at the height of Islamic State's rapid expansion in 2014.

Diplomats and rebel sources say US special forces are training hundreds of fighters from the group in camps in Jordan.

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