Homs, SANA – A military source announced on Sunday that the army units, in cooperation with the popular defense groups, have established full control over Palmyra city-a UNESCO world heritage site- in the eastern countryside of Homs province.
“Palmyra city is now fully cleared of ISIS terrorists after the army established complete control over all its parts, including the archeological site and the airport,” the source said in a statement to SANA.
The army’s engineering units have immediately embarked on combing the city, finding and dismantling hundreds of bombs and explosive devices planted by ISIS terrorists between the ancient relics, houses and orchards, the source mentioned.
It confirmed that hundreds of terrorists were killed in the course of the battles that started on March 7th, noting that the remaining terrorists fled eastward deep into al-Badiya (desert).
Sources on the ground estimated the number of ISIS terrorists killed in the battles at 450, pointing out that those included foreign mercenaries who had earlier infiltrated Palmyra city from the directions of Raqqa, Deir Ezzor and the Iraqi borders.
The military source went on saying that the army units and the popular defense groups have hunted down ISIS terrorists on the outskirts of Palmyra city and the surrounding orchards, inflicting heavy losses upon them.
The source added that the Syrian and Russian Air Forces carried out sorties targeting the remaining ISIS terrorists on the axes of Palmyra/al-Sukhneh, Palmyra/al-Mahatta al-Thaletha, Palmyra /Tweinan and al-Rasafa/al-Tabaqa.
Tens of vehicles, including armored ones, were destroyed in the airstrikes, which also left dozens of the fleeing terrorists dead or wounded, according to the source.
Later, Army units established control over points 850 and 849 in the direction of al- Hazem al-Thani and Point 876 in the direction of al-Rmeileh Mountain to the north west of al-Qariyatain in the south eastern countryside of Homs, according to a military source.
The source added that engineering units dismantled a number of explosive devices which ISIS terrorists planted earlier in the area.
Another army unit foiled an infiltration attempt by ISIS terrorists in the direction of Tolol Nizami in the area surrounding Shaer Field in the eastern countryside of Homs, killing many terrorists, injuring many others and destroying their weapons and ammunition.