A Syrian army soldier fires artillery shells towards Islamic State (IS) group jihadists in northeastern Palmyra on May 17, 2015. AFP PHOTO / STR
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Syrian troops pushed ISIS jihadis back from the ancient city of Palmyra Sunday, easing fears over the World Heritage Site, after fighting that left hundreds dead.The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an activist group monitoring the war, said nearly 300 people have been killed in four days of fighting in and around Palmyra since ISIS launched an assault on the desert oasis city Wednesday.The toll comprised 123 soldiers and loyalist militiamen, and 115 ISIS fighters, as well as 57 civilians, dozens of whom were executed by the jihadis, the Observatory said, quoting sources on the ground.ISIS posted pictures online of what it said was one of two checkpoints fighters seized inside the Al-Hail gas field, triggering more clashes with pro-regime forces.In Deir al-Zor to the east, the Syrian army killed five ISIS leaders in an attack Saturday, state media said.
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