Islamic State (IS) militants killed at least 18 people in multiple suicide car bombings in the village of Abu Fas (southern Hasakah province) on Thursday, October 12, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Among those killed were refugees from neighboring Deir al-Zor province and members of the Kurdish Asayish security forces.
The fighting in eastern Syria is now among the conflict's most severe, as IS continues to lose territory to Russian-backed Syrian government forces and US-backed Kurdish and Arab militias.
Diversionary and retaliatory attacks by IS have become increasingly common as IS loses territory in the country. As IS's capabilities to successfully wage insurgent warfare in Iraq and Syria wane, it is likely that the group will continue to employ such asymmetric terror tactics with greater frequency, using small cells that can operate within the group's progressively fragmenting leadership structure.
Syria is enmeshed in a complex civil war that started between the Assad government and opposition forces in March 2011. Today, the conflict in Syria involves many parties, including the Syrian government, Syrian rebel groups, the Russian government, the Iranian government, the Turkish government, a US-led coalition, and numerous other armed groups (including IS) with competing goals.
Due to extremely poor security conditions, Western governments generally advise against all travel to Syria, with some banning travel to the country. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to any travel to Syria.