Syria: At least fifteen people killed in a massacre by ISIS

Syria: At least fifteen people killed in a massacre by ISIS
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ISIS attacks have claimed at least fifteen lives in the province of Hama, and the fate of 40 remains unknown, according to a human rights monitoring group.

At least fifteen people were killed by members of the Islamic State (ISIS) group in Syria's Hama province and the fate of 40 others remains unknown, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on Friday.

The massacre was committed in a rural area east of Salamiyah, a town 33 km southeast of the city of Hama, SOHR said.

Seven of the victims were civilians and eight were tribesmen working for Al-Qatarji militia, a group that was sanctioned by the United States for serving as an intermediary between Damascus and ISIS and which was reportedly called on in March 2022 to sign up to be "mercenaries" for Russia in Ukraine.

40 people in the area are currently missing according to local sources. The victims were harvesters of desert truffle, SOHR said.

Nearly 100 people involved in harvesting desert truffle were killed in several ISIS attacks in mid February.

Desert truffle, a precious commodity, is a significant livelihood for the people in the region, and groups regularly head to the desert to harvest it. A kg of truffle is reportedly sold for 75,000 Syrian pounds (approx. $30) to three merchants working for the Syrian military (the 4th division), while the same amount is sold for 180,000 Syrian pounds (approx. $71.60) in the Syrian capital.

The Syrian army has dispatched troops to the area upon reports of the massacre.