ISIS Terrorists Explode Central Syrian Gas Field near Palmyra: Monitor

ISIS Terrorists Explode Central Syrian Gas Field near Palmyra: Monitor
Tue May 17, 2016 10:20:51

The ISIS (Daesh / ISIL) terrorist group has carried out massive bomb attacks against a key gas field in central Syria, setting off a minor earthquake in the nearby city of Palmyra, a monitoring group says.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a UK-based monitoring group, said there were three huge blasts conducted by ISIS at the Shaer gas field on Monday.

A Syrian man inspects his home upon his return to the city of Palmyra, April 9, 2016. (AFP)

The gas field — one of the biggest in Homs province — has been the scene of heavy clashes between ISIS elements and Syrian government forces. The terrorists captured the gas field on May 5.

Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the SOHR, said ISIS was thought to have blown up several of Shaer's pumping stations. He gave no details about possible casualties.

A Russian army sapper demines the territory in the historical part of Palmyra, Syria, April 7, 2016. (Russia's Defense Ministry via EPA)

The blasts reportedly even shook the ancient city Palmyra, some 50 kilometers (30 miles) southeast of Shaer.

Syrian state news agency SANA said on Monday evening that government forces had recaptured a hilltop just west of the gas field. It did not mention the explosions.

Women react to damage as they visit the city of Palmyra, Syria, April 9, 2016. (Reuters)

ISIS captured the ruins of Palymra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the adjacent modern city in May 2015, destroying ancient monuments there, including the 2,000-year-old Temple of Bel and the iconic Arch of Triumph.

The Syrian army, backed by volunteer forces and Russian air cover, wrested back control of Palmyra on March 27 following four weeks of military operations against ISIS.

A journalist stands at the remains of the Temple of Bel in the historic city of Palmyra, Syria, April 9, 2016. (Reuters)

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict, which has also displaced over half of the Arab country’s pre-war population of about 23 million.

S/SH 11

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