The Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) has launched a large scale offensive at the outskirts of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra (Tadmour) that is controlled by the Syrian Arab Army’s 18th Tank Battalion; this assault commenced after the militant group captured the town of As-Sikhaniyah in the eastern part of the Homs Governorate.
Directly after the militants from ISIS captured As-Sikhaniyah, another contingent moved towards the city of Palmyra, where they launched a fierce assault on the Al-‘Amariyah District and the Muktab Al-Dour Checkpoint; this resulted in the militant group taking control of the northern sector of the Al-‘Amariyah District and the Muktab Al-Dour Checkpoint in the eastern part of the city.
ISIS did not stop there, they continued to push their way to the city’s gates, attempting a pincer movement to overwhelm the SAA’s 18th Tank Battalion; however, this was unsuccessful, as the Syrian Armed Forces were able to fight-off the infiltration attempt into the city of Palmyra.
In addition to their attack on the city of Palmyra and As-Sikhaniyah, ISIS attacked the T-4 Airbase in east Homs, where they attempted to infiltrate past the Syrian Air Defense’s fortifications at the eastern sector of the base – the attack was unsuccessful.
Finally, after ISIS was on the offensive for the majority of the day, the SAA’s 18th Tank Battalion countered with an assault of their own, resulting in the recapture of the northern sector of the Al-‘Amariyah District and the Muktab Al-Dour Checkpoint at the outskirts of Palmyra.
Following the capture of city’s outskirts, the SAA’s 18th Tank Brigade – in coordination with the National Defense Forces (NDF) – launched a counter-assault at the town of As-Sikhaniyah, where they successfully infiltrated ISIS’ positions at the southwestern corridor before nightfall on Wednesday.
As of now, ISIS is still in control of the Deir Ezzor-As-Sikhaniyah Road; however, the SAA’s 18th Brigade is attempted to retake this strategic roadway to the provincial capital of Deir Ezzor.