Day two of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) offensive at the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra (Tadmur) was not as successful as the previous day for the militant group, as the Syrian Arab Army’s 18th Tank Battalion was able to recover much of the territory captured during ISIS’ assault on Wednesday morning.
On Thursday, ISIS began the day with a fierce assault at the northern sector of the Al-‘Amariyah District and the eastern perimeter of the Muktab Al-Dour Checkpoint in Palmyra, where they attempted to break-through the SAA’s frontline defenses in order to enter the city from two strategic points in the north and east.
After a series of clashes at the outskirts of the city, ISIS was unsuccessful in their infiltration attempt to enter Palmyra; this resulted in the SAA’s counter-offensive at Al-‘Amariyah to the north and Al-Basateen to east, leaving the enemy combatants no choice but to retreat from Palmyra’s outskirts.
The SAA’s 18th Tank Division – in coordination with the National Defense Forces (NDF) and Al-Ba’ath Battalions – secured the Muktab Al-Dour checkpoint and advanced to the village of Al-Basateen, where the eastern frontlines remained on Thursday night.
In addition to their counter-offensive at Palmyra’s outskirts, the SAA’s 18th Division and the NDF took full control of the Al-Hayl Gas Field, killing 32 militants from ISIS and destroying a T-52 Tank and an armored vehicle mounted with a 23mm anti-aircraft machine gun nearby the strategic town of Al-Sikhaneh.
The SAA did not stop there, after they secured the Al-Hayl Gas Fields, the Syrian Armed Forces took control of Al-Thathah, Al-Fawl Al-Mujawar Al-Hawa, and Al-Sina’a.
According to a military source, ISIS is still positioned 1 km outside of Al-‘Amariyah in northern Palmyra, they also are in full control of Al-Sikhaneh, but the SAA remains at the outskirts of the village.