Clashes broke out between militants of the ISIS and Syrian Army forces east of Homs Governorate. The clashes followed an offensive by ISIS militants on a military base for the pro-regime army forces near the T4 Military Airport.
ISIS targeted headquarters of the Syrian Army in the vicinity of the T4 airbase with dozens of mortar shells and rockets, media activist Amro al-Hussein told ARA News in Homs.
The ISIS hardline group has been trying to break into the T4 Military Airport for weeks.
Wednesday's offensive was a renewed attempt by ISIS terrorist to capture the airbase. However, the operation was foiled by the Syrian Army after receiving air support, al-Hussein reported. Pro-regime army forces were eventually able to repel the attack, forcing ISIS militants to retreat towards Palmyra.
On December 12, ISIS fighters assaulted the T4 airbase with mortars and heavy machine guns, and destroyed at least three warplanes in the base.
Located in the Homs' eastern countryside, the T4 Airport is a critical security installation, providing regime forces with close air support. ISIS terrorists were able to storm into the base after seizing security checkpoints in the nearby Mashtal and Qasr al-Hir Districts.
On December 11, the hardline group recaptured the ancient city of Palmyra in Homs Governorate. Activists and military sources confirmed the rout, reporting that the army had been forced to withdraw under fire.
The army withdrew after the clashes reached the city center and it became impossible for them to push ISIS back, local media activist Abas al-Omar told ARA News.
Regime forces were obliged to evacuate their headquarters in Palmyra, heading westward toward Doua District and the T4 Airbase. Russia had supported the Syrian Army in Palmyra, with airstrikes and logistical support but their efforts were apparently insufficient to save the city.
ISIS first took over Palmyra in May 2015, following a protracted battle with regime forces. The Islamic State's occupation was exceptionally brutal, even by the standards of Syria's 5-year-long conflict,
Source: Al Alam