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7 Apr, 2017 07:13

ISIS used US missile strike to launch new offensive near Palmyra, Homs governor tells RT

ISIS used US missile strike to launch new offensive near Palmyra, Homs governor tells RT

Taking advantage of the US missile strike on a Syrian airbase, Islamic State forces launched a major offensive to gain control of strategic oil areas near Palmyra, but failed, a local governor told RT.

LIVE UPDATES: US missile strike against Syria

“The US aggression was aimed at the Shayrat airbase, which backs the Syrian army’s military operations against terrorists, and IS in particular. The base is in 45 kilometers from eastern Homs,” he said.

The attack on this base is “a direct act of aggression against the Syrian Army with the aim of weakening its capacity to fight IS,” the governor added.

Earlier, unnamed sources reported that Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) had launched a massive offensive in the eastern part of the Homs Governorate and, without essential air support, the situation could worsen any moment, a local military source told Al-Masdar.

On Friday, US warships in the eastern Mediterranean fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian airfield that the Pentagon claimed was used to carry out a chemical weapons attack on a rebel-held town in the Idlib province a few days earlier.

At least five people were killed and seven wounded in the missile strike, and reports suggest that the Syrian airbase has been completely destroyed, with the fire there ongoing.