Islamic State militants executing Syrian soldiers on the podium of the Roman amphitheater in the Syrian ancient city of Palmyra. The group has taken over the city in May. Since then they've destroyed several monuments and ancient temples. File photo
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HOMS ــ Subsequent to fierce battles with the radical group of Islamic State (ISIS), Syrian army forces were able Wednesday to control al-Hayal mountain range west of Palmyra in Homs province, local sources reported.
“Pro-regime forces were able to control al-Hayal mountain range west of Palmyra, a strategic location that overlooks the ancient city, after fierce clashes with ISIS fighters,” media activist Amir Husein told ARA News in Palmyra.
“Assad forces’ advance came after launching a scorched-earth policy with hundreds of air raids conducted by the Russian aircraft which used cluster and vacuum rockets,” Husein said, pointing out that ISIS was forced to retreat and depend on sending car bombs to the regime’s forces.
“Pro-Assad troops were able to bomb an ISIS-led car before reaching its target in one of the army’s strongholds,” the source added.
At least 22 regime forces were reportedly killed in ISIS-led car bomb attacks near Palmyra on Tuesday midnight.
In the meantime, Russian warplanes carried out dozens of airstrikes on ISIS strongholds in the city of Palmyra, killing nine militants and two civilians.
Russian air force continued bombardment on the international highway connecting Palmyra, Deir ez-Zor and Raqqa in a bid to prevent ISIS from receiving additional reinforcements.
Three weeks ago, Syrian army forces started an extended military campaign with the support of the Russian warplanes and infantry to control the eastern areas of the international highway between Palmyra and Deir ez-Zor city.
Reporting by: Issam Hassan
Source: ARA News