ISIL suicide attackers have killed dozens of people, including Syrian refugees and Kurdish security personnel, with car bombs in northeastern Syria, according to multiple sources.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said Thursday’s attack took place at Abu Fas, near the border of Deir Az Zor and Hasaka provinces, and the dead included refugees as well as members of the Kurdish Asayish security force.

ISIL, or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group, has lost large expanses of its territory in both Syria and Iraq this year and is falling back on the towns and villages of the Euphrates valley southeast of Deir Az Zor.

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance of Kurdish and Arab paramilitaries is pressing it from the north and a rival offensive by the Syrian army, supported by allies including Iran and Russia, is attacking it from the west.

Talal Sello, an SDF spokesman, confirmed that a car bombing targeting people displaced from Deir Az Zor occurred in Abu Fas in Hasaka’s south.

“Dozens of people were killed and wounded,” he told AFP news agency.

After the blast, “the civilians escaped towards desert areas where mines exploded and the toll rose”.

Much of Hasaka province and Hasaka city are under the control of a Kurdish “autonomous administration”, with smaller parts of both controlled by the central government.

Abu Fas is where Kurdish authorities gather people displaced by conflict before allowing them to enter camps where they can shelter, the SOHR said.

Earlier on Thursday, the SOHR, which relies on a network of sources inside Syria, said government forces had retaken four neighbourhoods in the town of Mayadeen in Deir Az Zor.

The state news agency SANA confirmed that troops had re-entered Mayadeen.

Last week, ISIL, also known as ISIS, succeeded in expelling Syrian forces from Mayadeen two days after they entered the town. Continue reading.