ISIS Rears Head in Syria, Pakistan
At least nine soldiers belonging to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s army were killed Sunday and close to 30 injured in the second attack carried out by ISIS against Syrian troops in one week. Buses carrying Assad forces were ambushed on the central Badia desert’s main highway in an assault blamed on remnants of the radical Sunni group, largely defeated in Syria and Iraq. Russian jets, supporting Assad’s regime, later bombed the area, targeting the suspected offenders. Also on Sunday, ISIS in Pakistan claimed responsibility for the gruesome deaths of 11 coal miners belonging to the minority Shi’ite Hazara religion in the country. Hazaras have been victims of repeated attacks in recent years by Sunni extremists from ISIS and the Taliban. The Islamic State organization, for a short time sprawling across most of Iraq and Syria and imposing its harsh rule on local communities, was beaten back and largely dissolved by a US-led coalition comprising Kurdish, Iraqi and other local forces.