Syrian government forces backed by Russian airstrikes recaptured the ancient city of Palmyra (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) in the heart of the Syrian Desert. The Syrian offensive began on 8 March, striking the surrounding hills and orchards before the direct assault on the ISIS-held bastion. The Syrian Arab Army hasn’t confirmed how many ISIS militants died in the 18-day-long battle; however, a third-party source accompanying the Desert Hawks during the battle told al-Masdar that government forces killed hundreds of jihadis and destroyed many vehicles and heavy weapons. On 21 May 2015, ISIS began a reign of terror began over the strategic city of Palmyra; ISIS terrorists massacred dozens of government troops and loyalist civilians. Upon capturing Palmyra, ISIS wreaked havoc on shrines, temples, and monuments, destroying priceless antiquities that withstood centuries of natural and manmade disasters. Palmyra is strategically important because it sits in a desert that stretches to the Iraqi border to the east and ISIS’ de-facto capital of al-Raqqah to the north. Located in Homs Governorate near the modern city of Tadmur, the ancient city is 210 kilometres (130 miles) from the Syrian capital of Damascus. Most likely, the fall of Palmyra will pave the way for the Syrian Army to advance towards the ISIS stronghold in al-Raqqah as well as Deir ez-Zor (450 kilometres (280 miles) from Damascus) in the east. Currently, the Republican Guard defends the Deir ez-Zor military base and the provincial capital, where tens of thousands of civilians suffer from an ISIS blockade.
27 March 2016
al-Masdar al-’Arabi (The Arab Source)
The Taqba Dam, the largest in Syria, is 40 kilometres (25 miles) from al-Raqqah. Would the ISIS militants blow the dam in case of a government advance? Now, that’s something that the lamestream Western media isn’t covering at all. It tells you much about them, doesn’t it? Bite the coin before accepting it… CNN, Sky News, and Fox, along with the NYT and Economist, are passing base-metal counterfeits, I’d say…