ISIS terrorists launched major new offensive in direction of Palmyra
The terrorist group had already captured and then lost the ancient city in Homs province, central Syria on two occasions to Syrian forces backed by Russian air support in 2016 and 2017.
A Syrian military source in Homs told Al-Masdar News that ISIS had launched a major offensive in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
According to the source, the terrorist group is trying to break out of a large pocket in the Badiya area, i.e. the Syrian steppe, and has attacked Syrian Army positions east of the T-3 Pumping Station, a major crude oil pumping station located near Palmyra. Militants have reportedly attacked Syrian positions in the Hamimah area, formerly Daesh’s stronghold in the Syrian steppe.
ISIS is reported to be continuing its offensive, although no territorial gains or losses by either side have been reported.
The terrorist group first seized Palmyra in May 2015, horrifying the world community by razing dozens of ancient artifacts and establishing an execution ground in the city’s Roman Theater. Syrian forces backed by Russian aviation freed the city in March 2016, but then withdrew to other fronts, inadvertently allowing Daesh to retake it in December 2016. Launching a new offensive, Syrian forces and Russian air power took the city back again in March 2017. Russian sappers were deployed to the UNESCO World Heritage Site later that year, clearing thousands of hectares of mines and improvised explosive devices.