Islamic State gains more ground in Syria’s Homs

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Syrian regime forces seen during clashes with ISIS in eastern Homs. File photo

ARA News

Homs – Militant fighters of the Islamic State (ISIS) on Tuesday captured more ground in Syria’s central governorate of Homs.

Subsequent to clashes with Syrian Army troops, ISIS fighters took over a number of strategic hills in the vicinity of the regime-held al-Qaryatain town in eastern Homs.

The militant group captured the Black Hills, known as al-Tilal al-Soud, that overlook the eastern part of Homs city.

“ISIS launched a fierce attack on headquarters of the pro-regime forces in the vicinity of al-Qaryatain town, using mortar shells and Grad rockets. The heavy bombardment forced the army to withdraw from the Black Hills, that are now under ISIS control,” media activist Amro al-Hussein told ARA News in Homs.

The ISIS bombardment reportedly resulted in dozens of casualties in the ranks of the Syrian Army.

Last week, ISIS militants captured parts of the T4 airbase east of Homs, after seizing security checkpoints in the nearby Mashtal and Qasr al-Hir Districts. The group had imposed a siege on the airbase on December 12 and destroyed at least five warplanes. Located in the Homs’ eastern countryside, the T4 Airport used to be a critical security installation, providing regime forces with close air support.

On December 13, ISIS fighters captured the main road between al-Qaryatain town and Homs city, which used to be a key supply route for the Syrian regime’s army forces. The radical group seized control of the supply-line after capturing military checkpoints that were previously held by the Syrian regime’s troops.

Also, on December 11, the Islamic State recaptured the ancient city of Palmyra in Homs Governorate subsequent to heavy clashes with pro-regime army forces.

Reporting by: Haytham Mustafa | Source: ARA News

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