Syria

Intense battles broke out between the Syrian army and the Islamic State (IS) group in the northern province of Raqqa, a war monitor reported on Thursday.

The intense battles raged on Wednesday when the IS militants launched a massive offensive against positions of the Syrian army in the desert region of Raqqa, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The Britain-based watchdog group said eight Syrian soldiers and 11 IS militants were killed in the battles.

The IS offensive is the latest in a string of attacks the IS militants launched against the Syrian forces in the desert region of Raqqa and the eastern province of Deir al-Zour.

The observatory said 533 Syrian soldiers and pro-government fighters as well as 191 IS militants have been killed since March 2019 in battles in the desert region.

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