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Iran condemns ‘brutal’ IS attack in Syria, blames US for ‘continued insecurity’

Tehran, Feb 20 (IANS) The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani has strongly condemned the “brutal” attack by the Islamic State (IS) group in eastern Syria that killed more than 50, blaming the US for the “continued insecurity” in the Arab country.

In a statement published on the Ministry’s website, Kanaani on Saturday expressed his condolences to the “brotherly and friendly” Syrian government and people over the tragic incident, Xinhua news agency reported.

The IS attacked and killed 45 Syrian civilians and seven soldiers when they were collecting truffles near the city of Al-Sukhnah in the eastern province of Homs on Friday, the Syrian national TV reported.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman highlighted the necessity of providing effective international support for the Syrian government and its fight against the remainder of the IS and other “identified terrorist groups”.

He said the US government, with its “illegal” military presence in part of the Syrian territory, “has a share in the continuation of crimes by the IS as well as continuous insecurity in Syria.”

Kanaani also pointed to what he called the US continued double-standard behaviour in the fight against terrorism, saying it is evident in Washington’s current policies and approaches.

On February 12, the IS killed 11 of the 75 people it kidnapped in eastern Syria.

The IS militants took the desert region in eastern Syria as a safe area after suffering heavy losses in 2018, and frequently attack and abduct civilians and military personnel in the region.