Sunset over part of the remains of Palmyra. (Wikimedia Commons)

The Syrian Armed Forces have been busy these last two days, as they have launched a number of surprise attacks against the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) in the western countryside of the ancient city of Palmyra.

On Wednesday, the Syrian Arab Army’s 67th Brigade of the 18th Tank Division – in coordination with the Tiger Forces and National Defense Forces (NDF) – captured a number of sites in the west Palmyra countryside, including the strategic hill at Tal Al-Qal’at, which sits adjacent to this ancient city located in the deserts of east Homs.

Following their advance at the collection of hills in the western Palmyra countryside, the SAA’s 67th Brigade and the Tiger Forces carried out another powerful assault on Thursday morning, capturing the Al-Qadri Farms after fierce clashes with the terrorist group.

According to a military source from the Tiger Forces, the Syrian Arab Army and the National Defense Forces are approximately 7.5 kilometers away from the ancient city and with recent success at the Jazal Mountains to the north, the Syrian Armed Forces are in prime position to besiege Palmyra from its northern and western flanks.

There is some concern over the Syrian Armed Forces advance, however; this is due to reports of ISIS militants planting explosives at a number of the architectural sites in Palmyra.

While, there is no proof that ISIS militants have planted explosives at these sites, the terrorist group has demonstrated its antipathy for the “idolatrous” statues of the ancient Canaanite god “Ba’al,”

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