Islamic State is facing multiple military offensives by government forces in both Syria and Iraq, with Palmyra and Mosul the key targets for recapture. Nathan Frandino reports.
In both Syria and Iraq, Islamic State militants appear to be on the defensive against government advances on multiple fronts. New video released by a group affiliated with the militants, shows a fierce battle underway at Deir al Zor... but it's further south, in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, where they're under the greatest pressure. Goverment forces are said to be poised to retake control. State media says the army and an allied militia took more high ground overlooking the city on Friday. The city's recapture would mark the biggest single gain for President Bashar al-Assad since Russia intervened last year and turned the tide of the five-year conflict in his favor. Palmyra is home to ancient temples and tombs, some of which IS militants have destroyed, believing the structures were monuments to pagan gods. In Iraq, U.S.-led coalition air strikes are helping to clear the path for Kurdish peshmerga and Iraqi army troops. These forces are engaged in the second day of an offensive aimed at retaking Mosul. The city is the most populated area controlled by IS. Iraqi officials say they will retake Mosul this year, althought there are lingering doubts that the army may not be ready in time.