In what is shaping up to be among the bloodiest single exchanges of the entire Syrian Civil War, ISIS moved against an important gas field in Homs Province yesterday, seizing it after a 12-hour battle.
The initial reports said about 23 people were dead, but there were hundreds missing at the time, and the news isn’t good. The latest figures from rebel mouthpiece the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights puts the toll at 270 killed, including Syrian troops, paramilitary guards, and workers.
Even this massive toll may not be the end of it, as 90 other guards and workers who were at the site still remain unaccounted for, and were believed captured by ISIS during the attack.
Not only does the takeover of the gas field, near Palmyra, give ISIS another major energy asset, but it is among their deepest westward expansions into Syria, underscoring that the size of their “caliphate” is not set in stone, and is continuing to increase.