DAMASCUS, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- The Islamic State (IS) group said it had taken two Russian soldiers in the countryside of Syria's eastern province of Deir al-Zour, the group's Amaq news agency reported on Thursday.
The IS abducted two Russian soldiers and a Syrian soldier in the town of Sholah in the western desert of Deir al-Zour, Amaq reported.
There has been no response yet from Damascus or Moscow about the kidnapping.
If the abduction was true, it would be the first time Russian soldiers were kidnapped in Syria since the Russian forces intervened to aid the government forces of President Bashar al-Assad in late 2015.
The road from Damascus to Deir al-Zour stretches through the desert region in the remote eastern countryside of Homs province in central Syria all the way to reach Sholah and Kabajeb in the countryside of Deir al-Zour before entering the city.
The Syrian forces and its allies captured Sholah earlier this month when they broke the IS's three-year siege on Deir al-Zour capital city, and cleared the main road to the city.
Several checkpoints are set up across the road, which is surrounded by large swathes of desert, which makes it easy for IS militants to sneak in, particularly when the sun falls.
When Xinhua reporters visited Deir al-Zour last week, Russian military convoys were seen on the road, bringing in supplies and military gears.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Thursday the Syrian army with the help of the Russians are tightening the noose on IS militants in Deir al-Zour, which was regarded as the most important stronghold for IS due to its proximity to IS-held areas in neighboring Iraq and its richness in oil and gas fields.