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Foreign Affairs

ISIL Thwarted again to Prevail over Gov’t Positions in T4 Airbase in Homs Province

The Syrian Army troops repelled another massive ISIL attack on T4 airbase in Eastern Homs province and West of the newly-occupied ancient city of Palmyra (Tadmur), inflicting major losses on the militants.
The ISIL terrorists, after capturing Palmyra, have tried several times to capture T4 airbase which is one of the Syrian army’s most strategic positions in Homs province, but the army soldiers fended off their attack with the back up of the Syrian and Russian fighter jets after several hours of clashes; FNA reported.
Tens of ISIL terrorists lauched heavy attacks from the Northern and Eastern directions to occupy the T4 airbase, but the Syrian army troops backed up by Russian and Syrian aerial support warded off their offensive after killing 40 terrorists.
Hundreds of terrorists launched a large-scale offensive from the Northern, Southern and Eastern directions of the airbase and attacked the Syrian army’s defense lines on Homs-Palmyra and Farqlas-Palmyra roads, but the Syrian army troops and the country’s air force repulsed the attack, killing at least 35 terrorists.
A military source reiterated that the ISIL’s attacks on T4 airbase on Thursday and Friday were the most massive of such offensive on the airbase since the beginning of the new round of attacks by the terrorists.
After fall of Palmyra, the strategic T4 airbase is the main base of the Syrian army troops in Eastern Homs and if the ISIL managed to occupy that, the cities of Quaryatayn, Maheen and even Homs city itself will be at risk of occupation.
ISIL kicked off a large-scale operation on December 8 with thousands of forces in Homs province to take control of Palmyra that was liberated by the Syrian Army in March 2016.
The ISIL took control over some energy fields and strategic heights and approached Palmyra.
The terrorist group finally entered the city of Palmyra on December 10, but the Russian and Syrian forces could repel their attacks, killing hundreds of them. Yet, the terrorists could take the city on late on Sunday.
The Russian Defense Ministry announced that Syrian Army soldiers with aerial support of Russian fighter jets killed over 300 terrorists.
“During the night [December 10], Syrian government forces, actively supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces, repelled all attacks by (ISIL) terrorists on (government positions in) Palmyra. The invading side actively used car bombs, armor and rocket artillery systems,” the ministry’s statement read.
According to Moscow, the Russian warplanes conducted 64 airstrikes on the militants’ positions and reserves, while eleven battle tanks and infantry fighting vehicles, 31 cars with heavy machineguns were destroyed, and over 300 militants were killed.
4,000 fighters of the ISIL carried out again a large-scale offensive against government positions in Palmyra from several flanks and finally managed to capture the city on December 11, while only 800 army soldiers were defending the city and there was no possibility for aerial coverage by the Russian and Syrian warplanes due to bad weather.
The Russia’s center for Syrian reconciliation noted ISIL had moved considerable forces from their stronghold of Raqqa, while more forces and equipment were relocated from Deir Ezzur.
The center cited intelligence data that ISIL had moved up to 5,000 fighters to the cities of Raqqa and Deir Ezzur from the Iraqi stronghold of Mosul.
The Syrian Army, backed by the Syrian and Russian Aerospace Forces, liberated Palmyra in March, 2016, nearly a year after it was captured by ISIL in May 2015.
During the invasion, terrorists had cruelly destroyed a major portion of the historic sites in the city. UNESCO Chief Irina Bokova had warned that ISIL militants in both Iraq and Syria were responsible for “the most brutal and systematic” destruction of the ancient heritage since World War II.

Source: Al Alam


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