Mil­i­tants head for Palmyra

ISIS ad­vanc­ing on city

7 Days in Dubai - - NEWS -

ISIS mil­i­tants ad­vanced to­ward the Syr­ian city of Palmyra last night, threat­en­ing to be­siege the world­fa­mous an­cient site only sev­eral weeks af­ter the gov­ern­ment re­cap­tured it from the ex­trem­ists.

Me­dia al­lied with the group and other ac­tivists said ISIS fight­ers seized a strate­gi­cally lo­cated but de­serted rock­et­launch­ing site close to an air base less than 60km from Palmyra. For the gov­ern­ment forces, the cap­ture ef­fec­tively sev­ers a high­way link­ing Palmyra to the gov­ern­ment-con­trolled T-4 air base and the pro­vin­cial cap­i­tal Homs, threat­en­ing gov­ern­ment sup­ply routes.

The Bri­tain-based Syr­ian Ob­ser­va­tory for Hu­man Rights and other ac­tivists con­firmed the re­ported ISIS ad­vance. The devel­op­ment comes af­ter in­tense clashes with gov­ern­ment troops near the air base, and a week af­ter the ex­trem­ist group ad­vanced to­ward nat­u­ral gas fields to the north.

Al Bayan ra­dio re­ported that ISIS mil­i­tants took con­trol of the de­serted site, seized two gov­ern­ment check­points guard­ing the air base and downed a mil­i­tary he­li­copter to the north of the base. The Ob­ser­va­tory also re­ported the down­ing of the war­plane but said the fate of its crew re­mains un­clear.

Yes­ter­day’s cap­ture “helps in sev­er­ing the sup­ply routes of the (Syr­ian) army from T-4 base to Palmyra, and tight­en­ing the siege on the city”, the IS-linked ra­dio re­port said.

Syr­ian troops, with the help of Rus­sian airstrikes, re­gained con­trol of the world-fa­mous an­cient city in March, af­ter ISIS had con­trolled it for nearly 10 months.

10 ISIS had con­trol of Palmyra for 10 months be­fore the gov­ern­ment re­cap­tured it

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