The Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) began the third day of their offensive at the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra (Tadmur) with an assault on the Al-‘Amuriyah Housing District, where they successfully recaptured the northern sector of this area before they were forced to withdraw north due to the multitude of airstrikes from the Syrian Arab Air Force (SAAF).
During their assault on the Al-‘Amuriyah Housing District, ISIS entered the northern part of the Officer’s Barracks and opened fire on the civilians that were taking cover in their homes; this ruthless attack resulted in the death over 32 civilians, including women, children, and the elderly – they would be discovered by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) after they recaptured the district.
Following their retreat from the Al-‘Amuriyah District, ISIS targeted the Syrian Armed Forces-controlled Palmyra Airbase; however, after two powerful attacks on the airbase, ISIS was unsuccessful in breaching the Syrian Air Defense’s fortifications at the southern perimeter, resulting in their eventual withdrawal from the airbase.
For much of the day, ISIS was unable to breach the Syrian Arab Army’s frontline defenses; however, ISIS shifted their focus to the strategically located Palmyra Castle, where the enemy combatants attempted to take control of this historical landmark, but were unsuccessful in their numerous infiltration attempts on Friday night.
Northeast of Palmyra, the SAA’s 18th Tank Battalion – in coordination with the National Defense Forces (NDF) – continued their counter-offensive outside of Al-Sikhanah, advancing to the town’s outskirts before dusk on Friday.
According to a military source in east Homs, reinforcements from the SAA’s special forces unit “Suqour Al-Sahra” have arrived in Palmyra to repel this large-scale ISIS offensive at this village in the eastern part of the Homs Governorate.