Islamic State recaptures parts of Palmyra in Syria
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Palmyra Coordination group say IS militants fought their way into the desert city on Sunday, forcing government forces to retreat to the south.
“Despite the ongoing air raids, IS retook all of Palmyra after the Syrian army withdrew south of the city,” said Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman.
The jihadists made a lightning-fast advance across the city after overrunning a northern neighbourhood and capturing the famed citadel to Palmyra’s west.
The IS-linked Amaq news agency also reported that IS regained “full control” of the city on Sunday after taking the citadel, which overlooks Palmyra from a strategic hilltop.
IS launched an offensive last week near Palmyra, a renowned UNESCO World Heritage site.
It seized oil and gas fields before making a major push into the desert city on Saturday, sparking new worries for Palmyra’s remaining ancient treasures.
But a fierce Russian bombing campaign killed scores of IS fighters and forced others to withdraw at dawn on Sunday.
“Intense Russian raids since last night forced IS out of Palmyra, hours after the jihadists retook control of the city,” said the Observatory’s Rami Abdel Rahman. “The army brought reinforcements into Palmyra last night, and the raids are continuing on jihadist positions around the city.”
Over 4,000 Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorists, reinforced by tanks, have started an offensive to retake the key Syrian city of Palmyra after regrouping themselves, the Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria says.
According to the Russian military, the terrorists have received considerable reinforcement, including heavy military hardware from the regions of Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor.
“IS has dispatched a considerable force to Palmyra from the area of Raqqa, where militants, backed by the US and the international coalition ceased combat action against the terrorists this week,” the statement by the Russian military says.
The Reconciliation Center notes that the Syrian Army is engaged in fighting the jihadists.
“Despite heavy losses in manpower and [military] hardware, the terrorists seek to come as close as possible and gain a foothold in the city, as the Russian Air Force is not conducting airstrikes against residential areas in the city of Palmyra,” the statement reads.
Palmyra was seized by IS in 2015, however in March this year Syrian government forces, backed by Russian air support, managed to liberate the city.
Overnight Saturday, the Syrian Army, backed by Russian air strikes, managed to repel several attacks on Palmyra, killing up to 300 jihadists, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
im not sure how much or what parts have been recaptured but it appears at least some has..as aleppo falls the black flag wavers and mates will have to open a new front and this is most likely it..
i think palmyra is very symbolic and thats why the black flag wavers are so obsessed with having it..they will be gone in a month imo..