Islamic State is now in full control of 50 percent of the Syrian territory.
A day after Islamic State seized the ancient city of Palmyra (Talmor), more alarming news is coming out of Syria.
Reuters reported a while ago that followers of Islamic State had posted an official IS statement on Twitter that the organization was in full charge of Palmyra, including its military bases.
Israeli Channel 10’s Middle East expert, Tzvi Yechezkieli, reported this evening that the fall of Palmyra could spell the end of Assad’s central government. He pointed to the fact that Assad is losing territory to Islamic State every day and is now in control of only a quarter of Syria’s territory.
Yechezkieli reported that Assad has taken into consideration the possibility that he could be ousted by Islamic State and has an escape plan in case Islamic State will seize Damascus. The Channel 10 expert said that when that happens, Assad will withdraw his forces to the Western part of Syria and will try to hold the areas where the Alawite minority lives. Assad is a member of this non-Muslim minority that makes up only ten percent of the population in Syria.
Yechezkieli also pointed to another dramatic development following the takeover of Palmyra. He said that Islamic State launched a massive jailbreak and released thousands of Syrians who had been incarcerated in Palmyra’s state-run prison, most of them for opposing Assad’s regime. Many of the freed prisoners were welcomed into Islamic State’s forces, he said. “This will only add to the power and motivation of Islamic State’s forces,” he added.
Meanwhile, President Obama told Atlantic reporter Jeffrey Goldberg that the U.S. isn’t losing the fight against Islamic State.
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