World Bulletin / News Desk
“ISIL captured the town of Al-Qaryatayn late yesterday [Sunday night] following a two-day siege,” the sources told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity due to security concerns.
Sources added that regime forces deployed in the town had been thrown into disarray -- and forced to beat a hasty retreat -- after ISIL militants successfully infiltrated their ranks.
Scores of regime forces were killed and injured in the ensuing melee, they said, adding that ISIL had executed a dozen regime soldiers in the town’s main square after the fighting.
Meanwhile, clashes between regime forces and ISIL terrorists reportedly remain ongoing in the nearby Al-Sokhna and Al-Taiba areas and in Palmyra city in Homs’s eastern countryside.
In early April, regime forces captured Al-Qaryatayn following fierce clashes with ISIL that resulted in casualties on both sides.
Syria has been locked in a devastating civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.
Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced, according to UN figures. Syrian regime officials, for their part, put the total death toll much lower.