At least 15 people were killed Wednesday by the Islamic State (IS) militants in the country's eastern province of Deir al-Zour, the state-news agency SANA reported.
IS militants have stopped a passenger bus in the town of Shoula in Deir al-Zour, killing 15 passengers mostly women and children, said SANA, adding that the victims were from the al-Shuaitat tribe of Deir al-Zour.
For its part, the oppositional Syrian Observatory for Human Rights contradicted the state media's account, saying the passenger bus was hit by a Syrian air strike, adding that the town of Shoula in southwestern Deir al-Zour is under the IS control.
The IS fighters and the al-Shuaitat tribesmen have been deadlocked in deadly clashes as al-Shuaitat was one of the few tribes that stood against the IS in the oil-rich province of Deir al-Zour.
The IS has emerged as the most powerful among other radical groups in Syria. The group was previously known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, an al-Qaida breakaway group later deemed by the al-Qaida itself as "too extreme."
The IS, led by the shadowy figure Abu Bakr Baghdadi, claimed their goal is to establish an Islamic state in Iraq and Syria instead of shunning aside expanding more into other Arab countries.
The UN Security Council has recently agreed on a resolution aiming to chock off the flow of cash and fighters to the IS militants, which opens the door for military means in case the resolution fails to be implemented.
Top Syrian officials stressed recently that the Syrian government is ready to cooperate with the superpowers on fighting terror as long as such powers respect the sovereignty of Syria and coordinate their actions with the Syrian government. DAMASCUS, Sept. 3 (Xinhua)