BEIRUT - Syrian government forces advanced into Palmyra on several fronts on Saturday, backed by waves of air strikes and artillery barrages, a monitoring group said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the fighting was the heaviest yet in the army's three-week campaign to recapture the desert city from Islamic State fighters.
It said Syrian soldiers and allied militias had taken control of neighborhoods in the western and northern parts of the city. Live television footage showed repeated explosions and smoke rising from many buildings.
Syrian state media earlier said the army had taken full control of Al-Amiriya district on the northern edge of Palmyra.