Islamic State group re-enters Syrian city of Palmyra
According to reports, 50 Syrian troops have been killed in the battle, while an unconfirmed report says that the rest of them are fleeing.
Raqqa : Terrorists from the Islamic State group have re-entered the Syrian city of Palmyra nine months after having lost it. According to monitoring groups, there was a fierce battle between terrorists and pro-government forces fuelling safety concerns for civilians still residing in the city.
According to media reports, around 50 Syrian troops have been killed in the battle, while an unconfirmed report says that the rest of them are fleeing the city.
An activist told the BBC that Palmyra was now “more or less” in the hands of the Isis.
This comes as a setback for the Syrian government as the Russian-backed forces close in on the remaining area of Aleppo city held by Isis terrorists. The group had held Palmyra and nearby ruins for 10 months before the Syrian government forces regained control of Aleppo in March. However, the group launched an offensive in the city earlier this week.
Russian-backed Syrian government forces had driven out Isis from Palmyra earlier this year following which they focused on fighting them in Aleppo and Damascus. However, reports claimed that the terrorist group never completely left the city but were again coming together to form a group waiting to attack at the right time.
The city of Palmyra is a strategic location for the group because of oil fields located nearby, BBC reported. According to rebel groups, if government forces moved south, Syrian President Bashal al-Assad’s efforts in Aleppo would be hindered.
The Palmyra Co-ordination Collective had said that terrorists had seized Syria’s military warehouse and the districts in the north and the west after taking government positions, oilfields and strategic heights in the surrounding countryside in a three-day campaign, BBC reported.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said that Isis terrorists had reached palmyra’s hospital and its strategically located wheat silos.
The SOHR also said that Turkish-backed forces have entered the town of al-Bab in northern Aleppo province held by Isis while the US has announced that 200 more military personnel would be sent to Raqqa to fight against the group.
Source : International Business Times