Daesh seizes gas fields northeast of Palmyra: monitor

Published May 18th, 2015 - 04:43 GMT

Daesh (ISIS) has seized two of Syria's gas fields northeast of Palmyra on Monday, a day after the extremists killed five residents with rockets, a monitor said.  

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said al-Hail and Arak gas fields generated vital electricity for the government in areas it still controlled, according to AFP. 

Palmyra, known as "pearl of the desert," has seen heavy clashes between regime forces and Daesh militants since the extremists launched an offensive to capture the 2,000-year-old ancient city. At least 364 people, including 62 civilians, have been killed in the fighting in less than a week, AFP reported.

Daesh seized most of the city Saturday but was pushed out shortly afterward by government troops.

"The military situation is under control in the city, but the clashes are ongoing north and northwest of it," Homs provincial governor Talal Barazi told AFP. 

Syrian antiquities director Mamoun Abdulkarim said two of the rockets on Sunday hit the garden of Palmyra's museum that contains valuable artifacts, though no damage was reported.

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