Observatory: ISIS Surrounds Ancient City From Most Directions
One day after ISIS cut the main supply route from the Syrian city of Homs to the ancient oasis city of Palmyra, the ISIS forces are fighting with Syrian troops along the road, with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights warning ISIS is fast approaching.
ISIS capture Palmyra (near the city of Tadmur) last year, but it was recovered by the Syrian military in late March. The victory was touted by Syrian officials as a turning point, but looks to be short-lived, with warnings that ISIS now controls routes out of Palmyra in every direction, except the southwest.
Syrian officials reported fighting with ISIS both along the road leading to Palmyra, and in the area around the Shaer gas fields, which ISIS captured late last week. Despite Russian air support, the Syrian military seems to again be losing ground to ISIS.
Palmyra itself isn’t a heavily populated city, but is both an important archaeological site and a strategically valuable site, with control over the city particularly important for ISIS, as it gives effective control of the area up to the southernmost border crossing into neighboring Iraq.
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