Years after their alleged defeat, remnant Islamic State forces represent a continuing threat in Syria. Underscoring just how many remain, a large Islamic State (ISIS) force has raided the town of al-Sukhna, near the city of Homs, killing at least 68, overwhelmingly civilians.
Details are still emerging, but the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that truffle hunters were targeted by jihadists on motorcycles, operating out of the Palmyra area. Valuable desert truffles are common to this area, but searching for them puts locals dangerously close to ISIS hideouts.
Since their defeat, mostly by US and Kurdish SDF forces, the ISIS remnants have tried to reestablish footholds in populated areas. Syria’s military, backed by Russian forces, have prevented them from doing so, but today’s attack underscores the persistence of the threat they represent.
This was the single deadliest attack in Syria since January 2022, when ISIS forces stormed a prison in al-Hasakeh in an attempt to free high-ranking ISIS prisoners. More than 100 were killed in that attack.