The Noose Tightens: Syrian Army, Allies Hammer ISIL All Around Palmyra
The Syrian Army, National Defense Forces and Hezbollah are poised to liberate the legendary city of Palmyra.
Elements of the Syrian Arab Army, National Defense Forces and Hezbollah, aided by Iraqi Harakat al-Nujaba militia fighters, launched an assault against ISIL positions on al-Hayal mountain to the south of Palmyra, Iranian Fars News Agency (FNA) reports.
At the same time, Syrian military continued its advance along the Homs-Deir ez-Zor highway towards the western outskirts of the ancient city. FNA points out that their next target there will likely be a luxurious villa previously owned by the Qatari royal family, which is now being used by ISIL as its forward base of operations and as a training facility for the new recruits.
With these gains, and with Russian military aircraft poised to attack ISIL forces holding the eastern part of the city and the Palmyra Airbase, the Syrian army and its allies now stand ready to execute a three-pronged attack against the Islamist-occupied city.
The Islamic State has already moved a considerable number of troops, weapons and equipment to Palmyra in preparation for the inevitable battle, FNA adds.
The ancient city of Palmyra is a site of major archaeological importance and features in UNESCO's World Heritage list. The Islamic State militants who currently control the city shocked the world when they looted and destroyed a countless number of priceless historic sites in Palmyra, including its ancient temples of Bel and Baalshamin; it fell under the control of the jihadi militants in May.
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