More than 70 regime forces have been killed in attacks by the Islamic State group in central Syria over the past 24 hours, a monitor said Friday.
The attacks in Homs and Hama provinces targeted checkpoints and positions manned by government loyalists, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP "most of the dead, around 50, fell in the Hama countryside."
Several jihadists were also killed when clashes broke out, he added without giving a toll.
The regime controls most of Homs and Hama, where IS has few positions in the eastern parts of the provinces.
"IS has faced setbacks recently in the provinces of Aleppo and Raqa and in Hasakeh in confrontations with Kurds on the one hand and regime forces on the other, and are now trying to score military points, even limited ones, to offset their losses," said Abdel Rahman.