Iraq – Syria – Conflict – USA

ISIS Militants under Pressure as Syrian, Iraqi Troops Advance on Palmyra, Mosul

ISIS Militants under Pressure as Syrian, Iraqi Troops Advance on Palmyra, Mosul
Fri Mar 25, 2016 11:45:43

Syrian troops on Thursday entered the ancient city of Palmyra and Iraqi forces launched an offensive against Mosul as pressure mounted on key strongholds of the Islamic State (ISIS / Daesh) terrorist group.

US Secretary of State John Kerry was meanwhile holding talks in Moscow to push for peace efforts in Syria, as UN envoy Staffan de Mistura said in Geneva that he was aiming to restart talks on April 9.

Backed by Russian warplanes and allied militia on the ground, the Syrian army advanced into Palmyra after launching a desert offensive early this month, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The defense ministry in Moscow said Russian aircraft carried out 146 strikes on “terrorist targets” in the Palmyra area between Wednesday and last Sunday.

A total of 320 “terrorists” were killed, it said, adding that six command posts, five tanks, two ammunition dumps and 15 vehicles were among the targets “eliminated.”

ISIS overran Palmyra — known as the “Pearl of the Desert” — last May and it has since blown up UNESCO-listed temples and looted relics that dated back thousands of years.

“Regime forces have entered the Hayy al-Gharf neighborhood in the southwest of Palmyra. They are advancing very slowly because of mines planted by ISIS,” Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said, adding troops were also advancing from the north.

A Syrian military source said the army had entered Palmyra from the northwest after seizing control of part of the historic Valley of the Tombs.

“The clashes, which are ongoing, are fierce,” he told AFP.

S/SH 11

string(1962) "[{"id":"1801807","sort":"3518290","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/03/24/alalam_635944339484089174_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"VIDEO: After Fierce Clashes Syrian Army Troops Smash ISIS, Enter Palmyra City"} ,{"id":"1801771","sort":"3518291","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/03/24/alalam_635944258943551127_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Syrian Army, Hezbollah Liberate Western Slopes of Mount Tar Near Palmyra"} ,{"id":"1801525","sort":"3518292","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/03/23/alalam_635943507371341513_25f_4x3.mp4","title":"VDO: Syrian Army Continues Palmyra Operation, Repels ISIS Assault in Deir Ezzor"} ,{"id":"1801481","sort":"3518293","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/03/23/alalam_635943408472205308_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Syrian Army Troops Retake Key Area in Homs, Inches Closer to Palmyra"} ,{"id":"1801487","sort":"3518294","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/03/23/alalam_635943411382158507_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"VIDEO: 70 ISIS Militants Killed by Syrian Army in East of Palmyra"} ,{"id":"1801770","sort":"3518295","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/03/24/alalam_635944252996841032_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"VIDEO: Iraqi Army Launches Operation to Retake Second City Mosul from ISIS"} ,{"id":"1800884","sort":"3518296","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/03/21/alalam_635941772484714837_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Iraqi Troops Training by US Military Advisers for Mosul Recapture"} ,{"id":"1800838","sort":"3518297","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/03/21/alalam_635941629145761905_25f_4x3.mp4","title":"VIDEO + PICS: US Airstrike Kills 25 Civilians, Dozens of ISIS Militants in Mosul"} ,{"id":"1799851","sort":"3518298","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/03/17/alalam_635938441260889052_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Iraqi Planes Throw Sheets for Residents in Mosul as Liberation Near"} ,{"id":"1799804","sort":"3518299","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/03/17/alalam_635938353436238213_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Imam of Anwar Mosque Executed by ISIS Militants in Western Mosul"} ]"