Moments ago, Syrian troops entered the western part of Palmyra city and sneaked into several buildings despite coming under heavy fire from ISIS snipers and machine-gun positions.
Furthermore, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) advanced north of the city and took control of al-Amiryah village along with the strategic Jabal al-Tar, a mountain overlooking Palmyra city.
The SAA also seized several sites southwest of Palmyra earlier today, including the entire mountain known as Jabal Hayyal and the Qatari Palace.
However, Al-Masdar News field correspondent Ibrahim Joudeh stressed that SAA units are yet to storm the ancient city over fears that the darkness of night will expose government troops to ISIS suicide bombers and booby traps.
However, pro-government tribal fighters and paramilitary fighters have officially entered Palmyra.
The final SAA assault is expected to begin on Thursday morning.
Leading the offensive is the newly formed 5th Legion, elements of the SAA’s 18th Tank Division, Military Shield Forces, Al-Badia branch, Shaitat tribesmen, National Defence Forces, and a contingent of Hezbollah (Lebanese paramilitary) fighters.
ISIS recaptured Palmyra in December, 2016 after between 4,000 and 5,000 jihadist militants overran the city and pushed the SAA all the way back to Tiyas Airbase.
Subsequently, Syrian government forces have advanced 50 kilometers eastwards and are now on the verge of retaking the ancient city.