Advancing near the ancient city of Palmyra, ISIS is said to have captured the al-Hail and Arak gas fields, two very important parts of fueling Syria’s electricity grid.
Fighting over Palmyra itself has gotten a lot of attention because of its status as a UN World Heritage site, and 364 people were killed in the last five days of fighting in the area.
Yet for the Assad government, facing mounting losses from both ISIS and al-Qaeda, the loss of the gas fields could be a much bigger blow, and could threaten their ability to keep electricity flowing to their remaining territory.
The governor of the Homs Province confirmed that most of the valuable antiquities in Palmyra have been removed to safer areas as the fighting rages, but some of the larger pieces are not able to be moved.
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