The city of Al-Qaryatayn, which has a population of 40 thousand, was seized by militants with little or no resistance. The terrorists were supported by pre-prepared troops recruited from among local residents. Most of the inhabitants of the Christian population managed to flee to Homs, but about two hundred people were taken as slaves.
The terrorists promised to execute all the Christians if the Syrian army decided to storm the city. It took almost 9 months to release the hostages.
The army decided to attack Al-Qaryatayn simultaneously from different directions. Twenty-five militia fighters of the Social-Nationalistic Party of Syria were sent to town via the main road. About 20 people from the military climbed on to the parapet to monitor the progress of combat.
“Senior officers were monitoring the movement of soldiers. The combat started when the officers noticed a Daesh jeep coming right at the soldiers,” a RIA Novosti correspondent reported.
As the correspondent reported, at the start of the offensive in Al-Qaryatayn and the adjacent areas around fifteen hundred Daesh militants were present. As the army made progress, a number of terrorists dispersed with no more than 100 suicide bombers left during the actual battle for the liberation.
“The commanders of the Syrian army and militias were in touch via the radio. Every ten minutes a report was released with information that the streets and buildings were being liberated. It seemed that the city would be liberated just within a few hours,” the correspondent reported.
The operation to liberate the Christian town of Al-Qaryatayn from Daesh militants began on Saturday morning. Covered by artillery fire, vanguard units of the army and its allies began an assault from the south, southeastern and northwestern directions, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported.
The Christian town was seized by Daesh terrorists in August 2015. Terrorists turned it into their main stronghold in southern Homs. From Al-Qaryatayn, militants moved reinforcements and ammunition to Palmyra to fight against government forces.