Syrian Army Troops Retake Key Area in Homs, Inches Closer to Palmyra

Syrian Army Troops Retake Key Area in Homs, Inches Closer to Palmyra
Wed Mar 23, 2016 14:44:50

The Syrian army troops have established control over new areas in the central province of Homs, inches closer to retaking the ancient city of Palmyra, inflicting heavy losses on ISIS terror group, new reports say.

The army recaptured the mountainous al-Hail district and surrounding areas on Tuesday and launched a clean-up operation afterwards, Lebanon's al-Ahed news website said.

The liberation of the area, which overlooks Palmyra (Tadmur in Arabic), paves the way for retaking the historic city which fell to Daesh last May.

"The regime forces are now two kilometers (a little more than a mile) away on the south side and five kilometers (three miles) away on the west side," Rami Abdel Rahman, the director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is affiliated to foreign-backed Syria opposition, said.

Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has seen shocking scenes of pillage and looting by ISIS of some of its valuable archaeological areas over the past months.

Syrian sources also said two Daesh ringleaders had been killed in a Russian airstrike in Raqqah. They identified them as Abu-Hammam al-Tunisi and Abu Hamzah al-Ansari.

Russia launched an air campaign against ISIS and other terrorist groups on September 30, 2015 upon a request by the Syrian government.

President Vladimir Putin ordered the bulk of Russian military forces to withdraw from Syria on March 14.

The Arab country has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011.

According to a February report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders, Press TV reported.


string(2545) "[{"id":"1800048","sort":"3517229","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/03/18/alalam_635939119052022898_25f_4x3.mp4","title":"VIDEO: Syrian Army Troops Inches Closer to ISIS Stronghold in Palmyra City"} ,{"id":"1800112","sort":"3517230","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/03/18/alalam_635939238906865835_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Syrian Army Troops Pound More ISIS Strongholds near Palmyra"} ,{"id":"1800116","sort":"3517231","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/03/18/alalam_635939247956825819_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Syrian Army Units Inches Closer to Palmyra in Homs Province"} ,{"id":"1800143","sort":"3517232","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/03/18/alalam_635939309251945047_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Moscow Says No Russian Ground Forces Involved in Operation for Syria’s Palmyra"} ,{"id":"1800146","sort":"3517233","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/03/18/alalam_635939315394929284_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"25 Daily Attacks by Russian Jets ‘Paved Ground for ISIS Defeat in Palmyra’"} ,{"id":"1800150","sort":"3517234","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/03/18/alalam_635939324190498753_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Syrian Army on the ‘Threshold of Palmyra’: Syrian Ambassador to Russia"} ,{"id":"1800160","sort":"3517235","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/03/18/alalam_635939348403560005_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Top Saudi ISIS Commander Killed in Syria’s Palmyra Suburbs"} ,{"id":"1800232","sort":"3517236","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/03/19/alalam_635939716025233049_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Another ISIS Top Commander Killed in Syrian Army Operation near Syria’s Palmyra"} ,{"id":"1800634","sort":"3517237","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/03/20/alalam_635940892859168240_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"VIDEO: Syrian Army Retakes Jubeil Mount in Homs, Palmyra Liberation Closer"} ,{"id":"1800881","sort":"3517238","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/03/21/alalam_635941766698549230_25f_4x3.mp4","title":"VIDEO: Syrian Army Units Push Back ISIS Militants Further toward Palmyra"} ,{"id":"1800972","sort":"3517239","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/03/21/alalam_635941926502507357_25f_4x3.mp4","title":"Syrian Army Troops Only 4 Kilometers Away from ISIS-Held Palmyra + VIDEO"} ,{"id":"1801234","sort":"3517240","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/03/22/alalam_635942592296308825_25f_4x3.mp4","title":"VIDEO: Syrian Army, Popular Forces Liberate Two Strategic Roads in Palmyra"} ,{"id":"1801261","sort":"3517241","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/03/22/alalam_635942651530467754_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Syrian Army Units Cut Off ISIS Palmyra-Quarayatayn Supply Road"} ]"