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Monitor: Islamic State launches attack on Syrian forces in Homs

Fighting erupted in central Syria when Islamic state militants launched an attack on government forces in Homs province, a monitoring group said on Thursday.

Fighting erupted in central Syria when Islamic state militants launched an attack on government forces in Homs province, a monitoring group said on Thursday.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said battles are still ongoing between the two sides in the al-Sukhnah area, in the eastern countryside of Homs.

The attack prompted Russian warplanes to intervene and carry out strikes on Islamic State posts in the area, the observatory said, adding that clashes killed 18 members of the government forces and their allies as well as 11 members of the Islamic State extremist group.

Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the observatory, told dpa that Islamic State militants managed to seize control of parts of al-Sukhnah from the troops.

Islamic State are still present in some desert areas in Homs, though the US-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced victory over the extremist group last year after seizing its last stronghold in eastern Syria.

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