BEIRUT May 18 Islamic State attacked a village
near the main road between Aleppo and Homs on Thursday, killing
many residents, Syrian state media and a war monitor said.
The jihadist group said in a social media feed it had
captured the village of Aqarib al-Safi, but the government-run
SANA news agency reported that the attack had been repulsed.
SANA said Islamic State fighters had killed 20 people in the
village before the army and allied militia drove them away. The
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that clashes were
still going on there and in the village of al-Saboura.
The Observatory said that at least 31 people, including both
civilians and fighters on both sides, had been killed and that
dozens had been injured. It said that some of those killed had
first been taken prisoner by Islamic State.
The villages are north of al-Salamiya close to the only road
still useable between Aleppo and other parts of Syria held by
The army and its allies hold the road and a small strip of
land on each side, with Islamic State controlling the eastern
area and Syrian rebel groups, including hardline Islamists, the
The Observatory said the attack was the most violent so far
this year by Islamic State on the road.
(Reporting by Angus McDowall; Editing by Louise Ireland)