The Syrian army has launched a major offensive against the ISIL Takfiri terrorists who recently overran the city of Palmyra in central Homs province, a military source says.
"The air force struck more than 160 Daesh (ISIL) targets, killing and wounding terrorists and destroying weapons and vehicles equipped with machine-guns" on the outskirts of Palmyra and elsewhere in the province, the source said on Monday.
Various military operations are also being carried out in the areas around the al-Suknah, the Arak, and al-Hail gas fields and all the roads leading to Palmyra, the source added.
Over 50 Takfiri militants have been killed during the offensive aimed at regaining the ancient city and its three-millennia-old world heritage site from ISIL’s control, the Syrian state television reported.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights announced on Sunday that it had documentation referring to the execution of 67 civilians, including children, and 150 members of army forces since the militants took control of the city last week.
However, according to Syrian media, the terrorists have killed around 400 civilians, mostly women and children, since their arrival in the city.
The people of Syria have been witnessing a deadly crisis since March 2011. The violence fueled by Takfiri groups has so far claimed the lives of over 222,000 people, according to the UK-based observatory.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), over 7.2 million people have been internally displaced, and more than three million others have been forced to flee the country.
The militants currently control large areas of Syria and Iraq, threatening all communities, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians, Izadi Kurds, and others, as they continue atrocities there.