The Syrian army and its allied forces have recaptured new areas from Takfiri militants in the central - western province of Homs, inflicting heavy losses on the terrorists, military sources say. Army units, in cooperation with the popular defense groups, took control of several areas near the historic city of Palmyra, which is controlled by Daesh terror group, Syria’s official SANA news agency reported on Saturday. The Syrian forces also eliminated the remaining Daesh elements and destroyed their fortifications during their operation. In addition, bomb disposal units dismantled the explosive devices that the terrorists had left behind. Troops also struck the hideouts of militants in the eastern countryside of Homs while the Syrian Air Force inflicted heavy losses on Daesh terrorists by targeting them and their positions in its aerial attacks in the southeast of the province. In another development, Syrian forces thwarted an attempt by the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front terrorists to infiltrate a number of military positions in al-Mughir, Bridj, Tal al-Sakhr, as well as Hamamiyat in Hama Province’s northwestern countryside, according to a military source. Army units managed to kill 19 Takfiri militants and destroy two armed vehicles belonging to them. Furthermore, two ammunition depots in the region were demolished. Syrian forces have recently been making rapid advances against terrorists, who are committing heinous crimes against all groups of people in several parts of the crisis-hit country. The recent advances of the Syrian forces against Daesh and other terrorist groups have been expedited by the air cover provided by Russia, which began on September 30, 2015, at the request of the Damascus government. Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. According to a February report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injuring 1.9 million others, and displacing nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.