Bus Blast Buries Bashar Backers, Beaten Bad Boys Blamed
At least 28 people were killed and dozens more injured in a bus explosion near Deir ez-Zor in central Syria on Wednesday. According to reports within Syria, most of the passengers were soldiers and militia members belonging to President Bashar Assad’s forces, and the bus was attacked by remnants of ISIS still at large in the war-torn state. Residents of the region and intelligence officials have noted that in recent weeks an uptick has been noticed in ambushes and hit-and-run strikes carried out by isolated ISIS cells in the area. The radical Sunni organization, which for a time controlled large swaths of Iraq and Syria, was largely defeated last year after a joint effort by local Kurdish forces backed by the United States and its allies. Syria is entering its 10th year of turmoil as its civil war, mostly quelled by Assad and his Russian and Iranian patrons, continues to wind down. The crisis has caused half a million deaths and displaced nearly 13 million people.