Hundreds killed in Palmyra in a week after ISIL takeover
May 25, Palmyra: Hundreds of people have been reportedly killed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group after seizing the ancient town of Palmyra last week.
The state TV of Syria reported that about 400 civilians had been killed by the group since Wednesday, while activists in Palmyra said ISIL fighters hunted down President Bashar al-Assad’s troops and loyalists, killing up to 300 of them.
Nasser, of the Palmyra Media Centre – a monitoring group on the ground said that most of those killed were government troops captured by the fighters after taking over the town.
“Shabiha [a term used to describe pro-regime militias and supporters], including men and women, were the ones targeted and killed,” he said.
A Facebook page used by ISIL to publish its statements posted a photo of 20 Syrian soldiers in uniform captured in Palmyra, known as Tadmur in Arabic.
Nasser also said that Palmyra has been besieged by ISIL, which is not allowing civilians to leave or enter it, and that basic services have been cut off in the town. He added, “Water, electricity and phone landlines have been cut off there.”
Talal Barazi, the governor of the central province of Homs, which includes Palmyra, told the Associated Press news agency on Sunday that the military has been fighting ISIL members in a nearby area called Jizl.
Bazazi confirmed that there were plans from the government forces to launch a counter-attack against ISIL fighters in Palmyra. “There are plans, but we don’t know when the zero hour for a military act in Palmyra,” Barazi said without elaborating.
The Oslo Times