The jihadist group said in a statement it had attacked the Tishrin
power station 50 km (30 miles) northeast of the capital and a Syrian
military source acknowledged the group had staged assaults, but said
all those who took part had been killed.
Syrian and allied forces backed by Russian air strikes have forced
Islamic State militants out of the town of al-Qaryatain, 100 km (60
miles) west of the ancient city of Palmyra, itself recaptured by the
government last week.
The Syrian military source said Tuesday night's attacks outside
Damascus appeared to be the jihadist group's response to its
reverses around Palmyra.
Islamic State has also been losing ground to U.S.-allied Kurdish
forces in northern Syria, and in recent days to Turkish-backed rebel
groups fighting a separate battle against the group north of Aleppo.
Islamic State attackers, using five bomb-laden cars, also struck
military positions near the airport, southeast of Damascus, killing
12 soldiers, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a
British-based organization that tracks the war, said.
Government forces responded with shelling and air strikes in that
area, and jets also struck the town of Dumeir, 40 km (25 miles)
northeast of Damascus, which is held by a rebel group sympathetic to
Islamic State, the Observatory said.
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It added that the strikes killed at least nine civilians there and
that around 15 Islamic State fighters, as well as the drivers of its
five bomb-laden cars, died in the clashes.
The Syrian military source said 13 of the group's fighters had been
killed in clashes in the area around Dumeir.
(Reporting By Tom Perry and Angus McDowall; Editing by Richard
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