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ISIS update 2/24/2017..Iraq carries out airstrikes against ISIS targets in Syria

Friday, February 24, 2017 12:27
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Iraq carries out airstrikes against ISIS targets in Syria

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ISIL Sets Fire to Jazal Gas Fields as Syrian Army Units Approach

The ISIL terrorist group began systematic destruction of another Syrian gas field in Western Palmyra (Tadmur) after coming under march by the army troops in the region, local sources said on Friday.

The ISIL terrorists blew up gas wells in Jazal Mountains in the Eastern parts of Homs.

Jazal Mountains were captured by the ISIL in early December 2016 when the terrorist group launched a wide-scale offensive to seize the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra.

The ISIL occupation of some of Syria’s largest gas fields has created a fuel crisis across the country during the cold days of winter. The army and its allies are fighting to regain control of these gas fields.

Syrian army troops, backed up by the country’s fighter jets, continued to attack ISIL’s defense lines in Eastern Homs on Thursday, taking control over more territories in the Western countryside of the terrorist-held city of Palmyra.

The army soldiers engaged in an intense battle with ISIL West of Palmyra and managed to take control over the villages of Tarfeh al-Qarbi and Tarfeh al-Sharqi near al-Douh region.

Field sources said that the army men also clashed with ISIL from areas near Qasr al-Hayer al-Qarbi up to Khan al-Halabat region South of Palmyra, and could advance against terrorists.

The sources said that simultaneous with the ground forces’ advances, the army aircraft launched heavy airstrikes on ISIL’s movements and concentration centers in Badiyeh (desert) al-Qarbi Southwest of Palmyra, killing a number of militants and destroying their equipment.

Another field source said that ISIL has been pulling back its forces from the surrounding of Palmyra after the Syrian armed forces’ large-scale operation kicked off in Eastern Homs.

A military source said on Wednesday that the army troops were fortifying their positions around Palmyra (Tadmur) to launch a large-scale operation to free the ancient city from ISIL terrorists after arrival of more fresh recruitments.

The source said that the army fortified its positions in Badiyeh (desert) al-Qarbi of Tadmur, in al-Bayarat al-Qarbi region, al-Samamat region, the villages of Tarfeh al-Qarbi and Tarfeh al-Sharqi, the mounts of al-Tar and al-Hayal.

The source went on to say that the army reinvigorated its troops with fresh soldiers, getting ready to kick off a large-scale operation to drive ISIL out of Palmyra.

In the meantime, the army troops significantly advanced against ISIL in al-Maher oilfield and in the slopes of al-Hayal mountain, imposing control over al-Sawaqeh school Northwest of Tadmur. Local sources reported that ISIL suffered a heavy defeat in clashes with the army men in Eastern Homs and pulled the remaining pockets of its forces towards Jazal and Jahar regions after setting fire to Hayan gas field.

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ISIL Starts Withdrawal from Syria’s Al-Bab

The ISIL terrorists began withdrawal from the strategic town of al-Bab in Northern Syria, according to media reports.

The ISIL terrorist group started leaving the besieged town of al-Bab, al-Mayadeen news channel reported, adding that the town is currently under siege by the Turkish-affiliated and Syrian army forces.

The remaining areas of al-Bab which were occupied by the terrorists came under siege as the Syrian army approached the town from the South earlier, cutting off militants’ routes.

A senior Syrian legislator disclosed on Tuesday that Damascus troops were about to launch a massive operation to capture the SIL-held town of al-Bab East of Aleppo province within the next few days after Turkey sustained a major defeat and withdrew forces from the strategic town.

“The army will capture and impose full control over al-Bab in coming days,” Mohanad al-Haj told FNA.

Noting that liberation of al-Bab would defuse Turkish and US plots to create a safe zone in Northern Syria and will be a new winning card for Damascus in peace talks, he said, “The al-Bab battle will certainly cut the link between terrorists and their backers in Syria and will be a second decisive battle before declaring Syria’s full victory in the war.”

Al-Haj stated that Turkey and its affiliated militant troops have failed to push ISIL back in al-Bab after their recent losses and defeats, and said liberation of al-Bab by the army will push Turkey, Europe and the US into a status of confusion because they will be faced with a flood of defeated foreign terrorists seeking to return to their homelands.

Reports said on February 13 that the Turkish troops and their affiliated forces had taken as much as 40 per cent of the Northern Syrian town of al-Bab from ISIL.

But only a few days later, reinvigorated ISIL troops returned to the battle scene and captured almost the entire city. Media sources disclosed on February 19 that the Turkish army and Ankara-backed militant groups have sustained a major defeat in al-Bab and lost almost the entire town.

“In spite of what Turkey has claimed that the Euphrates Shield military operation in al-Bab is nearing its end, the Turkish-back militants have not made any progress in the town and the ISIL is now in control of 90 percent of al-Bab,” the Arabic-language al-Watan daily said quoting the pro-militant Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The report comes as Turkish airstrikes as well as artillery attacks by the Turkish army and the Ankara-backed Euphrates Shield Operation militants are strongly underway, taking the lives of over 100 civilians in the last 10 days.

The Turkish army troops have also sustained heavy losses and casualties in their operation that has been underway without the Damascus government’s permission.

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