Beirut (AFP) – Russian fighters were among the dozens of pro-government forces that were killed in a deadly wave of Islamic State jihadist attacks in eastern Syria this week, Moscow said Sunday.
After the collapse of Last Year, the so-called "caliphate", IS only keeps tiny parts of Syria, mainly in the vast desert that extends to its eastern border.
The deadliest was on Wednesday, when IS targeted a group of Syrian and Allied Russian fighters near the city of Mayadeen in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor.
35 government troops were killed, including at least nine Russians. Some of these Russians were government troops, but not all, "said observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman.
The remaining 26 were all Syrian troops, he told AFP.
One ste As a belligerent ally of President Bashar al-Assad, Moscow Its army has been able to recapture lands since 2015 by providing air raids and ground forces.
There are also extensive reports of private Russian mercenaries on the ground.
Moscow Defense Department On Sunday, four of their soldiers were killed in clashes in Deir Ezzor.
Two were military advisers who supported Syrian artillery operations and died immediately, and two more died of their wounds in a Russian-operated military hospital in Syria.
Three others were wounded.
– IS claiming attack –
Russia did not state when, where, or if IS was involved, but it seemed the same Incident to be like the IS attack near Mayadeen.
The Jihadist The group claimed it attacked the regime forces in eastern Syria on Wednesday.
The attack was the largest series of IS guerilla attacks on regiments this week.
On Tuesday, 26 government troops were killed. According to the observatory, there was a surprising IS attack in desert areas of the neighboring Homs province.
And a pair of IS attacks between Saturday night and Sunday morning killed at least 11 pro-regime forces in Deir Ezzor.  "The recent attack brings the number of Syrian troops and allied Iranian and Russian troops since the escalation to 76," said Abdel Rahman on Sunday.
He said the upswing would come in a negotiated retreat on the day after the recent IS fighters from the South were expelled from parts of the Syrian capital, Damascus, including the devastated Palestinian Yarmuk.
Many headed for the Badiya, the section of the Syrian desert that stretched from the Homs province through Deir Ezzor to the eastern border with Iraq. The observatory said the evacuees had been actively involved in the recent attacks.
"IS is trying to take the initiative and show that he can threaten the regime and its allies despite the losses it has suffered, other areas," Abdel Rahman said.
Government positions in the Badiya are an easy target: they are few and far away, so reinforcements take a long time to arrive.
– & # 39; Hinder & # 39; Army –
Russian-backed Syrian troops hold the western half of the province of Deir Ezzor, which is diagonally divided by the Euphrates. US-backed fighters hold the eastern shore.
The river is to serve as a de-conflict line to prevent the two sides from clashing while defending themselves against the IS.
A Syrian military source in the East told AFP that Assad's forces had evacuated much of the territory from the ISIS, which was now out of action.
"Daesh wants to interfere with the army's combing operations in the Badiya with these intermittent attacks," said the source with the Arabic acronym for IS.
It confirmed that Russian military advisers were present during the attack on Wednesday and were among those killed.
The Russian government officially confirms that 92 soldiers have been killed in Syria, although some estimate the number even higher.
The biggest casualties occurred in March when a transport plane crashed at Hmeimim Air Force Base, where the Moscow Air Force station is based, and killed all 39 people on board.
On Sunday, a Russian local newspaper appeared in the Siberian city of Chita, reporting the funerals of four soldiers killed in Syria on 23 May.
The International Conflict Resolution Team said up to six Russian soldiers could have been killed in the attack Russian soldier who was in the western Russian city of Smolensk this week.