The last 24 hours have been wild in the east Homs countryside as the Syrian Armed Forces and their allies up the ante by pushing deeper inside the ancient city of Palmyra (Tadmur).
The Syrian Arab Army’s “Tiger Forces – backed by Liwaa Suqour Al-Sahra (Desert Hawks), Hezbollah, and the Syrian Marines – started the day by imposing full control over Jabal Mazar (mountaintop) and Tal SyriaTel (hilltop) after a fierce battle with the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) on Friday morning.
Following their successful military operation at Tal SyriaTel, the Syrian Armed Forces and Hezbollah targeted the Palmyra Castle (Qal’at Tadmur) in Jabal Qassoun, liberating this imperative site after overrunning ISIS’ defenses at the western flank.
With this important mountain liberated, the Syrian Armed Forces turned their attention to the Palmyra Archaeological Zone and the Palmyra Orchards; these sites would be liberated shortly after the government forces attacked ISIS’ crumbling defenses.
The Syrian Armed Forces would then liberate the Badiyah District of Palmyra City, retaking the important government buildings in the southwestern part of the city.
This was followed by the Desert Hawks’ successful entry into the southern districts of Palmyra, which positioned them to strike the Palmyra Military Airport.
Despite reaching the Palmyra Military Airport’s gates, the Syrian Armed Forces were unable to take control of it; instead, positioning themselves at two different flanks (west and south) in order to prepare a final assault.
Al-Masdar erroneously posted news of the Palmyra Military Airport’s liberation; however, after speaking to the battlefield correspondent for the Desert Hawks, Eyad Al-Hussein, and members of the Syrian military intelligence, it was confirmed that ISIS still held the airport and Al-Amariyah District.
In addition to the news that ISIS still controlled the Palmyra Airport, the Tiger Forces’ media wing confirmed that the Palmyra Castle was still in their possession and that ISIS did not recapture it.
Currently, the Syrian Armed Forces and their allies are involved in a fierce night battle inside the city, where they are attempting to break into the northern districts and the Palmyra Airport.
The next few hours will be critical for the Syrian Armed Forces; if they are unable to fracture ISIS’ defenses inside Palmyra, they could fall victim to a counter-attack.