At least eight people were killed and 16 people injured after a bomb exploded on a passenger bus in Homs (Homs province) on Tuesday, December 5. The explosion occurred in the Akrama district, near Al-Baath University. The Islamic State (IS) claimed the attack, announcing that the bus was carrying Syrian soldiers; however, government sources claimed the victims were university students.
Recent losses have left IS with very few remaining territorial claims. Remaining IS-held territory is primarily non-strategic desert lands along the Euphrates. As IS's capabilities to successfully wage insurgent warfare in Iraq and Syria wane, it is likely that the group will continue to employ asymmetric terror tactics with greater frequency, using small cells that can operate within the group's progressively fragmenting leadership structure.
Meanwhile, Syria remains 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, the Russian government, the Iranian government, the Turkish government, a US-led coalition, and numerous armed groups on the ground (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.