Nearly 250 dead in Daesh attacks on south Syria: New toll

Dozens dead in string of ISIS attacks in Syria

But Wednesday's onslaught shattered the relative calm and showed that IS retains the ability to mount deadly attacks against civilians, despite being ousted from their last remaining urban pockets in recent months.

Sweida health official Hassan Omar told The Associated Press by phone that 90 people were killed in the suicide blasts and subsequent fighting in Sweida, and that 80 people were wounded.

Moscow "thanked the IDF leadership" for effectively destroying Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) targets and "preventing a large-scale provocation" staged by the militants, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Wednesday.

The death toll reached 246 on Thursday, 135 of them civilians, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group.

State news agency Sana reported one suicide attack in Sweida and said security forces chased and killed two other attackers before they could blow themselves up. At least 45 jihadists died carrying it out, the Observatory said.

The United Nations Resident Coordinator in Syria Ali al-Zaatari denounced the terrorist attacks that took place in Sweida province and caused dozens of civilian causalities.

After losing its strongholds in eastern Syria previous year, ISIS launched insurgency operations from pockets of territory in desert areas.

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After Wednesday's attack, some tribal leaders in Sweida said hundreds of young men are ready to take part in defeating IS in the areas they stormed in the countryside of Sweida.

Islamic State militants also attacked three villages northeast of Sweida city, killing and wounding a number of people, state TV said.

Israel shot down a Syrian fighter jet it said had breached its airspace on Tuesday, as Syrian forces reached the Golan Heights frontier for the first time in seven years.

Pro-Assad forces began pushing last week towards the border area close to the demilitarised zone adjoining the Israeli-occupied area after rebels surrendered large parts of Quneitra province.

"This operation comes after the outstanding victories achieved recently by the Syrian Army and its allies in Syria's south", the statement said.

Since their offensive in June, Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces have retaken territories controlled by the rebels along the Golan Heights frontier and are now fighting militants in the country's southern tip.

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