Moments ago, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) captured the three key high points of Hill 800, Al-Amdan hill and Al-Thar hill in the Ancient Quarries on the western outskirts of Palmyra. Since last week, government troops have advanced hundreds of meters daily towards the ancient city of Palmyra which remains under ISIS occupation. For now, less than one mile splits Syrian soldiers from entering the first building blocks in the western districts of the city.
However, the Islamic State seems all but willing to concede Palmyra as it lies in the very center of Syria itself. While some consider Palmyra a mere trophy city, it arguably represents the most vital link between the oil rich deserts in the east and the highly populated western coast of Syria. As such, it remains vital for the Islamic State to keep control of this city. If lost, it could cause a domino effect with the eventual defeat of the caliphate itself.
Read more at AlMasdarNews
Map provided by Peto Lucem