Ancient Palmyra's columns [(cc) Quim Bahí]
For the second day in a row fighting rages for the ancient Syrian city Palmyra, which was attacked on Saturday by ISIL (Organization banned in Russia) terrorists.
Syrian government forces, with the support of Aerospace forces of Russia, managed to repel the first extremists’ wave of attack. Russian aviation made 64 strikes against the manpower, positions, columns and reserves of the militants.
According to Russian Defense Ministry, 11 tanks and IFVs, 31 machine gun-armed vehicle and 300 militants were eliminated. Terrorists, in turn, used cars with suicide bombers, armored vehicles and multiple rocket launchers.
On Sunday it became clear that militants continue to advance on Palmyra. According to Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria, over 4 thousands ISIL (Organization banned in Russia) militants regrouped and attempted to capture the city once more. Civilians were evacuated from the city.
“After all residents were evacuated last night, Syrian army fully left Palmyra city. Heavy fighting against ISIL (Organization banned in Russia) militants continues on the outskirts of the city,” a source familiar with the development of events informed RIA Novosti.
According to the source, aviation continues intensive strikes against the positions of the terrorists. Russian Center for Reconciliation, in turn, emphasizes that Russian Aerospace forces don’t bomb residential districts of Palmyra, on which ISIL (Organization banned in Russia) militants are advancing.
According to Reuters, Talal al-Barazi, the governor of Homs province, a part of which is Palmyra, added that the army is doing everything possible to prevent terrorists from digging in in Palmyra.
As of now the information on the situation in Palmyra is conflicting. Qatar’s TV channel Al Jazeera reports that militants broke into the city, government forces retreated and terrorists are in full control.
Pro-government forces do not confirm this information. “Palmyra is under control of the army and militia. ISIL (Organization banned in Russia) conducts heavy attacks, but currently they are repelled. Several heights on At-Tar mountains are controlled by terrorists, the attacks continue from several directions simultaneously,” a source in Syria’s people’s militia informed RIA Novosti.
Experts told RIA Novosti that they consider the attack on Palmyra to be a move to draw government forces away from Aleppo and have a propaganda effect on militants, who lately suffer defeats.
It is notably that together with the news about the attack on Palmyra it became known that ISIL (Organization banned in Russia) militants received large reinforcements. On Sunday Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria informed that reconnaissance means revealed redeployment of up to 5 thousand ISIL (Organization banned in Russia) militants to the area of Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor from Mosul.
Source: RIA Novosti