Syria: Russia Targets Daesh in Palmyra despite Drawdown

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tags: Russia, Palmyra, ISIS, ISIL, Ancient Artifacts

Thumbnail Image -  Ruins of Palmyra, By Bernard Gagnon - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Despite the Russian announcement of a determination to withdraw the bulk of its air force from Syria, Moscow has underlined that some planes would remain and would continue to fly missions against groups the Russian Federation considers terrorists,including al-Qaeda (Jabhat al-Nusra) and Daesh (ISIL, ISIS). Thus, on Saturday the Russian air force flew 70 missions against Daesh positions in the historic city of Palmyra (called Tadmor in Arabic).

It is not clear how many deaths these air raids produced. The Syrian Arab Army and Hizbullah, the Lebanese party-militia that fights alongside the SAA, have made advances in the past two weeks into the hills above Palmyra.

When Daesh was strong in the Palmyra area (they took the city last May), they used it as a base for expeditions that attempted to cut the road between Damascus and Hama. That threat appears to have impelled the regime of Bashar al-Assad to strive to retake the ancient city. With regime troops and their allies now within striking distance of the city itself, the Russians are softening up the minions of the phony caliphate from the air.

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