Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for the multiple suicide attacks in Sweida (As-Suwayda province) on Wednesday, July 25, that killed at least 96 people, including 41 civilians, and injured 176 others, according to Syrian officials. Shortly after the attacks, Syrian government forces launched airstrikes on suspected militant positions.
Before the Syrian government offensive in southwestern Syria, which began in June, the region had been relatively calm for the past year because of a "de-escalation" agreement brokered by the US, Jordan, and Russia. 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 the Islamic State) 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.
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