Syria forces fighting ISIL Takfiris near Palmyra: Report
Syrian government forces, backed by army fighter jets, are reportedly tightening the noose around the Takfiri ISIL militants controlling the historic Syrian city of Palmyra.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights group said Thursday that the army troops have advanced to within several kilometers of Palmyra, located in Homs Province, and are battling the ISIL terrorists outside the famed ancient city.
The troops are engaged in fierce clashes with the ISIL militants some five kilometers (three miles) west of the city, according to the Britain-based group.
Syrian forces “could enter the city at any moment, they are not far away and the area between them and the city is desert,” said the Observatory director, Rami Abdel Rahman.
A senior Syrian security source has also confirmed the army advance.
“Yesterday [Wednesday], the army was able to make significant progress in advancing towards the city,” AFP quoted the unnamed source as saying, adding, “Fighting is continuing between the army and Daesh [ISIL].”
According to Syrian official news agency SANA, government soldiers have already captured several areas west of Palmyra such as Nazl Hayyal, the al-Qadiri farm and Thaniet al-Rajma.
The army units have also taken full control of village of al-Bayarat and the hill Tal al-Maramleh in the same area.
The reports also indicate that Syrian jets have pounded and destroyed several ISIL hideouts across the troubled region. The Syrian forces have killed at least three dozen ISIL terrorists and injured 90 others.
On May 21, ISIL militants overran Palmyra, which is an ancient city on the list of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)’s World Heritage sites and is situated about 215 kilometers (133 miles) northeast of the Syrian capital Damascus.
In recent months, Syrian soldiers have made numerous gains in the battle against the foreign-sponsored militants, inflicting heavy losses on them in several areas.
The violence fueled by foreign-sponsored Takfiri terrorist groups has reportedly left over 230,000 people dead over the past four years across Syria.