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UN: Driver Comes Under Attack in Eastern Syria

The United Nations said Saturday a Syrian driver on a joint humanitarian assessment mission has been wounded by gunfire in an attack in a remote part of eastern Syria where fighting against ISIS militants has displaced thousands.

Fadwa Baroud, a spokeswoman for the UN Office of the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, said the driver is recovering from his injuries.

Baroud said two gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire at the clearly marked convoy Thursday about 50 kilometers from where the US-led coalition and local Syrian fighters are battling the last pocket of ISIS extremists in the country.

The convoy was to assess dire humanitarian conditions in the area due to the escalation in fighting.

Baroud said 6,000 people have been displaced since October and an estimated 7,000-10,000 remain in the ISIS-held Hajin enclave.

US-backed forces said Friday they had captured an ISIS leader in eastern Syria where the Kurdish-led fighters have been battling the extremists.

A statement by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) identified the suspect as Osama Oweid Saleh and described him as “one of the most dangerous terrorists of ISIS.”

But Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor, disputed the claim.

Abdel Rahman said Saleh was merely “a former local security official” in the eastern Deir Ezzor province.

Source: Asharq Al- Awsat

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