Syrian Warplanes Pound ISIS in and Around Palmyra

Over 50 ISIS Fighters, Four Civilians Reported Killed in Strikes

With the Syrian military still reeling from the loss of Palmyra (Tadmur) and two valuable nearby gas fields to ISIS in the past week, warplanes have begun to pound the area, with state media claiming over 160 airstrikes today against ISIS targets.

State media reports claimed over 50 ISIS fighters killed in the strikes, which covered Palmyra, al-Suknah, and the area around the gas fields. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported four civilians slain.

ISIS, however, doesn’t appear to be slowing its offensive, and has moved further down the highway between Palmyra (Tadmur) and Damascus, seizing a valuable set of phosphate mines in the area.

The losses are likely taking a toll on the Assad government, which has already lost more or less all of the nation’s oil assets, and has now lost gas fields vital to their electricity production, and phosphate mines that represented one of their last real marketable export products.

Syria’s airstrikes in the immediate vicinity of Palmyra appear to have been limited to avoid any hits on the valuable ancient city, which is a UN heritage site.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.