On Monday morning, the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) captured the T-3 Pumping Station and the Al-Hayl Gas Fields after fierce firefights with the Syrian Arab Army’s 18th Tank Battalion and National Defense Forces (NDF) on the Al-Sakhanah-Deir Ezzor Highway in the eastern part of the Homs Governorate.
While ISIS was successful in their endeavor to capture the gas field and pump station, the SAA’s 18th Tank Battalion – in coordination with the NDF and Liwaa Suqour Al-Sahra (Desert Falcons Brigade) – broke-through ISIS’ frontline defenses at Al-‘Amuriyah, killing 38 enemy combatants before they were able assert full control over this area located north of the ancient city of Palmyra.
In addition to their capture of Al-‘Amuriyah, the SAA’s 18th Tank Battalion and their allies secured all of the axes on the perimeter of Palmyra, including the ancient aqueducts and dam at the western axis, the Palmyra Castle (Qa’lat Tadmur) at the northwestern axis, the Palmyra Ruins at the southern axis, and the officer’s barracks at the northern axis.
A convoy of five armored vehicles belonging to ISIS were destroyed by the Syrian Arab Air Force (SAAF) after the latter identified the automobiles heading south towards the city of Palmyra from the Ar-Raqqa Governorate; this had an adverse effect on the ISIS fighters, as they were outnumbered and surrounded at Al-‘Amuriyah.
According to a military source in Homs, the Syrian Armed Forces have lost a total of 81 soldiers since the inception of the militant offensive; meanwhile, ISIS’ casualty count is estimated between 170-200 combatants – this has not been verified due to the ongoing firefights.