Israel targets undisclosed region in Syria

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Earlier this month, Syrian air defenses repelled an Israeli attack on the country's Quneitra province.

He also said Israel must remain wary of a possible IS attack, with the "desperate" jihadist group on the "verge of collapse" in the Golan Heights.

The jihadists launched simultaneous attacks on several villages northeast of Sweida city, where they clashed with government forces, state media and the Observatory said.

IS says in a statement posted on the group's social media channels that its "soldiers" carried out surprise attacks on government and security centers in Sweida on Wednesday.

The death toll from coordinated attacks by Islamic State fighters on a usually peaceful southern city and surrounding countryside has climbed to 216, a local health official said Thursday, in the worst violence to hit the area since the country's conflict began. It said the dead included civilians, pro-government fighters and IS militants.

"The governor was kicked out with people blaming the authorities for failing to act", said one resident Alaa Muqaled contacted by phone.

Although the group has largely been defeated across Syria and Iraq, it still holds pockets of territory.

The militants also swarmed several villages in the province's northeast, and in some cases, shot residents as they slept, according to activist-operated Facebook page Sweida News Network.

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The attack took place as government forces backed by intensive Russian aerial attacks were battling the militants in an enclave to the west near the Golan frontier and the border with Jordan.

On Tuesday, Israeli military forces targeted a Syrian Air Force fighter jet over the Golan Heights as it was flying in Syria's airspace and conducting a series of airstrikes against the positions of foreign-sponsored Takfiri militants in the occupied territories.

The attacks were just one element of the violence to hit the area on Wednesday. In Sweida province, these sit on the eastern and western fringes, and the ISIS has been gaining ground in recent days as rebel forces lay down their weapons under a surrender deal with the government.

It is now closing in on a patch of territory in nearby Deraa province held by the extremist group Jaish Khaled bin Al Walid, which has pledged allegiance to ISIS.

Last month, the Syrian regime had moved some of its forces out of Sweida to reinforce troops fighting elsewhere.

Despite pro-government forces ousting the group from urban centres in eastern Syria a year ago, surprise IS raids in recent months have killed dozens of regime and allied fighters.

Chargè d'Affaires Alex Lamadrid said the Embassy was in touch with two Filipino women in Sweida who are married to Syrian nationals.

'After that, the regime will have complete control of the province of Quneitra and the line dividing it from the Israeli-occupied Golan'.

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