ISIS has seized more than 50 per cent of Syria and is now present in 10 of its 14 provinces in the country, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said yesterday.
The data came after ISIS took full control of the city of Tadmur, including the Palmyra world heritage site in Homs province.
“[ISIS controls] more than 95,000 square kilometres in Syria and exists in the provinces of Homs, Al-Raqqa, Deir Ezzor, Al-Hasakah, Hama, Aleppo, Damascus, Rif Dimashq, Daraa and Al-Suwaydaa,” the UK-based observatory said.
They added that ISIS also controls the majority of gas and oilfields in Syria.
In Washington, the State Department denied the accuracy of the observatory’s claims.
“We certainly don’t deny that ISIL holds significant territory in Syria, but we don’t agree with those calculations,” spokeswoman Marie Harf said using a different acronym for ISIS. She stopped short, however, of outlining Washington’s view of the amount of territory the group controls in Syria.