BEIRUT (Reuters) – Islamic State controls more than half of Syria's territory after its westwards advance into the central city of Palmyra, a group monitoring the war said on Thursday.
The militant group, which already controlled wide tracts of land in Syria's north & east, captured the ancient city late on Wednesday, the first time it has seized a large population centre directly from Syrian pro-government forces.
The areas it holds are mostly sparsely inhabited. Syria's main cities, including the capital Damascus, are located on its western flank along the border with Lebanon & the coastline & have been the priority for the Syrian military.
(Reporting by Sylvia Westall; editing by John Stonestreet)