Long Night of Clashes at the Ancient City of Palmyra
On Saturday morning, Al-Masdar News was able to catch up with a source from the Syrian Arab Army’s Special Forces unit “Suqour Al-Sahra” (Desert Hawks) in regards to the current battlefield update from the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra (Tadmur) and its surrounding area in the eastern part of the Homs Governorate.
The field source from Suqour Al-Sahra reported that fierce firefights between the Syrian Armed Forces and the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) took place throughout the night; specifically, fighting was reported at the outskirts of the Palmyra National Hospital, the Bakheetan Checkpoint, and the Al-Athriyah Castle at Mount Qaysoun.
After the intense firefights ended around 6:30 A.M. on Saturday morning, the Syrian Armed Forces were in complete control of Palmyra and the Al-‘Amuriyah District’s housing quarter; these night clashes resulted in the death of over 30 enemy combatants from ISIS and the destruction of three armored vehicles mounted with 23mm anti-aircraft machine guns.
With ISIS’ failure to breach the ancient city’s defensive barriers, their militants began firing indiscriminate rockets and mortar shells in the direction of the residential neighborhoods of Palmyra; this prompted the Syrian Arab Air Force (SAAF) to launch a number of airstrikes during wee hours of the night in order to quell ISIS’ shelling.
According to a military source, the Syrian Armed Forces discovered 9 children among the 32 civilians massacred by ISIS at the Al-‘Amuriyah District – they have yet to be identified, but the victims were described as bullet-ridden, as several bullets pierced through their bodies.
The situation at the city of Palmyra is currently calm, as the Syrian Armed Forces have secured all of the city’s defensive barriers; however, ISIS is still located near the ancient ruins in the western outskirts of the city.