Syrian Armed Forces Push ISIS Out of the Ancient City of Palmyra May 17, 2015 War Reports 2557 Source: The Arab Source The Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) launched another powerful assault on the defensive barriers of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra (Tadmur), attempting to infiltrate past the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) frontline defenses at the northern, southern, and western flanks on Sunday morning. On Saturday morning, ISIS militants attacked the Syrian Armed Forces defensive barriers at the Palmyra National Hospital, where they attempted to break-through the 18th Tank Battalion’s fortifications after they took control of the strategic Al-‘Amuriyah Housing District to the north of this city in the eastern part of the Homs Governorate. In addition to their attack on the Palmyra National Hospital, ISIS was able to briefly infiltrate into the northern sector of the city, capturing three residential building blocks after fierce clashes with the SAA’s 18th Battalion at the outskirts of Palmyra around 10 A.M. Damascus Time. However, the SAA’s 18th Battalion – in coordination with the National Defense Forces (NDF) and Liwaa Suqour Al-Sahra (Desert Falcons Brigade) – launched a counter-assault on the militants from ISIS at Mount Qassoun located east of the city, resulting in the recapture of the strategic Radio and Television Communication Hill, along with the Palmyra Castle after killing over 40 enemy combatants. Following their recapture of Mount Qassoun, the Syrian Armed Forces attacked the combatants from ISIS at the ancient aqueducts, where they were able to take full control of this area, including the Palmyra Dam to the west, forcing the militants to withdrawal from the western flank. According to a military source from Liwaa Suqour Al-Sahra, the Syrian Armed Forces successfully forced ISIS to pull out of the northern sector of Palmyra; this has allowed for the SAA’s 18th Battalion to secure all defensive barriers around this ancient city. Fierce firefights were also reported at the Al-Hayl and Al-Arak Oil Fields, as the Syrian Armed Forces and ISIS exchange rounds of gunfire and mortar shells for control of this area.