Syria in Past 24 Hours: Army Expanding Security Belt around Palmyra
The Syrian Army troops fended off a heavy attack of al-Nusra Front on their positions in the Northeastern outskirts of Damascus city, killing or wounding a large number of terrorists.
The al-Nusra terrorists launched their attack on Tishrin district’s police building, media center building and the district’s hospital.
The terrorists started their offensive with RPG rockets, while the group’s snipers were also targeting army soldiers, followed by a raid. But they sustained heavy casualties and pulled back after facing tough resistance and the powerful defense of the Syrian army.
Army reports indicated death of, at least, three al-Nusra snipers in the clashes.
In the meantime, an informed source denied terrorists’ claims about their advances in Barzeh farms, and underlined that the army men foiled terrorists’ plan to penetrate into Barzeh farms via their tunnels, killing four terrorists.
Also on Wednesday, dozens were reported killed and wounded on Wednesday when two explosions rocked Syrian capital Damascus, state media reported while the final toll remains indefinite.
First attack was carried out by a suicide bomber who targeted the Palace of Justice, a court in Central Damascus, and local authorities said the latest toll shows that at least 30 people were killed in the attack and over 45 more injured.
Local reports also said the second explosion took place in Rabweh district.
Also in the past 24 hours, the Syrian army forces continued to attack the positions of al-Nusra Front in Eastern Ghouta, driving the terrorists out of more strategic positions in al-Qaboun district.
The army soldiers engaged in fierce clashes with Al-Nusra Front Northeast of al-Qaboun district and managed to seize back the mosques of al-Na’aman, al-Qasem and al-Hossein and most of residential complexes.
Local sources, meantime, said that a number of militants of Liwa al-Awal are about to join the peace agreement with the Syrian government, adding that during a meeting held amongst the militant group’s commanders, some of the militants showed their intention to join the peace process and leave al-Qaboun with their individual guns, but some others insisted on continuing the clashes.
The Syrian army troops continued their anti-terrorism operation in the Eastern suburbs of Palmyra (Tadmur), stretching their chain of security around the ancient city, well-placed military sources said Wednesday.
The sources said that the army men stormed ISIL’s defense lines in the Eastern countryside of Palmyra and managed to take back Wadi (desert) al-Ahmar 18km far away from the ancient city.
They added that the army’s engineering units started defusing landmines planted by the ISIL in Wadi al-Ahmar (3km to al-Sawameh region).
The army also started to fortify its positions in Wadi al-Ahmar to make it ready for the next round of operation against the terrorists.
The sources underlined that with army’s control over Wadi al-Ahmar, security has been restored to areas 18km away from Palmyra.
Other sources said that the army men also drove ISIL out of several positions in Sabkhat (lagoon) al-Mouh and al-Sukra region South of Palmyra.
Tens of ISIL members have been killed and the remaining pockets of them have fled into the depth of Badiyeh in the army’s attack, they added.
Also in the past 24 hours, the Syrian Army troops continued their advances against ISIL in energy-rich regions Northeast of the newly-freed city of Palmyra (Tadmur) and managed to take back more key positions.
The army soldiers engaged in heavy fighting with ISIL in Badiyeh al-Sharqi of Palmyra after taking back the key region of al-Sawameh.
The army men further attacked ISIL’s defense lines and took full control over Jabal (mount) al-Mostadireh and its nearby areas, killing a number of terrorists.
Also, the army men engaged in fierce clashes with ISIL Northeast of the newly-liberated city of Palmyra and pushed the terrorists back from the strategic region of al-Sawameh along the road to Arak oilfield on Tuesday.
In the meantime, the army soldiers took back al-Qabab region North of Tal (hill) al-Ameriyeh and Palmyra from ISIL.
A military source said, meantime, that the army’s control over the Northeastern and Southern fronts, Sabkhat al-Mouh, power convertor station, al-Kaziyeh and Maktab al-Dowar Southeast of Palmyra, will restore more security to the ancient city.
The source further added that a large number of ISIL terrorists were killed and a number of its vehicles equipped with heavy machineguns were destroyed in the army attacks, including a vehicle with license plate number registered in Saudi Arabia.
The Syrian Air Force carried out repeated strikes against ISIL’s gathering centers and movements in different parts of Deir Ezzur city, destroying several command posts and killing a large number of terrorists.
The army aircraft pounded the defense lines of ISIL in Tal (hill) al-Mat’taweleh, Tal Milad and its Northern part, Southeastern and Eastern Tal Khanzir, hills of Jalili and Aloush, Tisir hill in al-Thardah mountain, al-Ma’amel, al-Makbat and al-Karfanat regions, killing and wounding a large number of terrorists and destroying their command posts.
ISIL’s vehicles and military equipment were destroyed in the air raids in large scale.
Reports said on Wednesday that the army men engaged in fierce clashes with ISIL in areas surrounding Deir Ezzur’s airbase, al-Jafrah village and al-Fouj region and fended off their attacks, killing and wounding a large number of them.
The army tanks meantime targeted ISIL’s positions in al-Maqaber (cemetery) region, killing at least six terrorists.
Also, the army aircraft pounded ISIL’s movements in several round of attacks in al-Omal and al-Sina’ah neighborhoods, Tal (hill) 17, al-Maqaber region and Jonayd division region, killing and wounding a number of militants.
The ISIL terrorist group is trying hard to gather more civilians in Raqqa city in Northeastern Syria to use them as human shields or to force them to join its forces amid rapid advances of the anti-ISIL forces across the province, local sources said on Wednesday.
The sources said that following anti-ISIL forces’ siege of Raqqa city from its Northern, Eastern and Western countryside, the ISIL has been involved in dispatching civilians to the Southern banks of the Euphrates River on ferries and to send them to Raqqa city to use them as human shield in clashes with SDF.
The terrorists have also blocked the civilians’ exit path from Raqqa city, they added.
The ISIL has also forwarded over 230 members and commanders from Eastern Aleppo to Raqqa, the sources said, adding, “The ISIL has gone on alert in Raqqa city and is calling on people across the city to join it.”
Also, local sources in Northeastern Syria said that 75 percent of ISIL members have left Raqqa city for Deir Ezzur province, adding that the terrorist group is digging more trenches around the city to slow down the anti-ISIL front’s rapid advances.
The source said in spite of digging more trenches and building more bunkers in the Eastern, Northern and Western outskirts of Raqqa, the entire commanders and a large part of ISIL terrorists have left the city, adding that the remaining pockets of the terrorists are residents of Raqqa and Aleppo provinces.
They added that the ISIL has pardoned all the people whose documents had been seized by the terrorist group for actions harmful to the ISIL or violating its rules.
The sources went on to say that the ISIL has built a long moat along the al-Qatar street in the Northern part of Raqqa city.
The al-Nusra Front failed again to break through the Syrian pro-government forces’ positions in Dara’a al-Balad district, and pulled back.
The army soldiers fended off the Al-Nusra Front’s attack on their positions in al-Manshiyeh neighborhood, inflicting heavy casualties on the terrorists after hours of clashes.
Over 25 members of the Al-Nusra were killed or wounded and a number of their vehicles were destroyed in the unsuccessful attack.
Tens of terrorists from the ISIL and Al-Nusra Front were killed and tens of others were wounded in a series of heavy attacks by the Syrian Army troops and Air force in Eastern and Northwestern Hama.
The army’s artillery units shelled the Al-Nusra positions in the villages of al-Qahira, al-Howeiz and al-Horiyeh in Northwestern Hama, killing a large number of militants and destroying their equipment, including machinegun-equipped vehicles.
The army aircraft, meantime, pounded ISIL’s strongholds in the villages of Souha and Abudali in Aqayrabat region, leaving a number of terrorists dead or wounded.
Local sources reported that Salim Qosareh nom de guerre Abu Abdul Haman al-Ghaab, a senior commander of Ahrar al-Sham, was killed in a booby-trapped explosion in his car in Northwestern Hama.
The Syrian Army forces warded off ISIL’s offensive South of the Air Force Academy, killing tens of terrorists and wounding many more.
The army units engaged in heavy fighting with ISIL terrorists in several fronts along the road connecting the village of a-Qatibeh Um Arkileh village.
The ISIL suffered tens of casualties and its military hardware sustained major damage in the failed attack.