BEIRUT, March 25. /TASS/. Syrian government troops and self-defense forces have freed the Az-Ziraa square on the southern outskirts of Palmyra and are pursuing retreating gangs from the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, SANA news agency reported on Friday.
SANA said that militants were ousted from the Dedeman hotel and from the hill where a telecommunications tower is located. The government forces are intensively shelling the enemy from their positions near the ancient Qalaat Fahkr ad-Din al-Maani castle in the west of the city.
Governor of the Homs province Talal al-Barazi said that advancing army units are currently stationed one kilometer from the central part of the city.
Al Manar TV station also reported that government forces on Thursday freed the territory of 105 square kilometers on the southern and western outskirts of Palmyra. The enemy was ousted from the Wadi-al-Qubur district and El-Tar mountains. Syrian forces also seized the IS stronghold located on one of the hills in the Qasr el-Muzza palace.
"We tell terrorists that our offensive continues, and we will not stop in Palmyra. We will reach Raqqa and destroy them everywhere," a Syrian officer taking part in the operation told Al Manar TV station.