Battle for Syria gas field after militants execute hundreds: NGO

BEIRUT: Syrian regime forces launched an offensive Saturday to retake a gas field in Homs province seized two days ago by jihadists who killed 270 people, most of them executed, a monitoring group said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported that a woman accused of adultery was stoned to death by Islamic State (IS) jihadists in the northern city of Raqa, in the second such case in as many days. Regime forces backed by warplanes pressed a counter-attack Saturday around Shaar, recapturing large areas of the gas field, said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman.
“They are advancing in Shaar and have managed to regain large parts of it, while trying to control surrounding areas that fall under the control of the Islamic State,” he said. “Regime forces are conducting air raid and clashes are taking place on the ground,” he added.
The counter-attack had killed at least 40 IS militants and 11 soldiers while 10 other troops were wounded, said the Observatory which relies for its information on a network of activists and medics on the ground.
It described Thursday’s takeover of the Shaar field as the biggest anti-regime operation by the IS since the jihadist group rose to prominence last year among rebel groups in the Syrian conflict. 

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