(JNS.org) The Islamic State terrorist group has claimed responsibility for a bloody attack that killed 19 people at a Shi’a mosque in eastern Saudi Arabia on Friday, May 22. On Twitter, a group referring to itself as Islamic State’s “Najd Province,” which refers to the central region of Saudi Arabia, claimed responsibility for the attack. This week, Islamic State terrorists seized control of the historic Syrian city of Palmyra, which is one of the best-preserved ancient Roman cities in the Middle East and a UNESCO world heritage site. After defeating Syrian government forces in Palmyra, Islamic State now controls roughly half of Syria’s territory, although that mostly constitutes Syria’s vast deserts in the east.
Additionally, Islamic State has recently attempted to gain a foothold near Syria’s border with Israel in the Golan Heights, Yedioth Ahronoth reported. The first such attempt by Islamic State occurred two weeks ago near Quneitra, where Syrian rebels were able to push back against an Islamic State-affiliated group called Jaysh al-Jihad. Another recent Islamic State attempt was thwarted by the Free Syrian Army and the al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra terror group.