Damascus, Dec 4: At least 19 government soldiers were killed overnight in a suicide bombing incident near an airbase in eastern Syria, a monitoring group reported on Thursday.
The bomber, who belonged to the Islamic State (IS) Sunni radical group, detonated his explosives-laden vehicle at the al-Masemekeh building near the Deir al-Zour airbase in Deir al-Zour province, Xinhua reported citing the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
It said the casualties included Syrian government soldiers and members of the National Defence Forces, a pro-government militia.
The blast was followed by intense fighting, during which seven IS militants were killed.
IS militants have captured considerable swathes of Deir al-Zour, an oil-rich province bordering Iraq, in recent months.
The Syrian crisis has been dragging on since 2011 with no sign of abating, despite international efforts to bring it to a close.
The conflict got more complicated when ultra-radical groups, like the IS and the Nusra Front, joined the fight to serve their own interests in the war-torn country, where over 190,000 people have reportedly been killed and millions of others displaced.