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ISIS update 3/25/2016..Syrian army, allies enter Palmyra

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Even as Pentagon officials have sought to emphasize their claims of ISIS being “on the run,” ever more US ground troops are being deployed into Iraq to try to cope with ISIS offensives, with the battle of Makhmur leading to the introduction of US Marines in front-line combat roles.

Officials are trying to downplay the operation as “force protection” for Iraqi ground troops, who have been massing in the area in an effort to ultimately launch an attack on the ISIS-held city of Mosul, not far away.

The explanation is unsatisfying for several reasons, but primarily because this “tactical assembly area” already includes thousands of Iraqi troops and Kurdish Peshmerga, and these are the same troops who are supposed to attack Mosul. Yet these troops are apparently unable to even hold Makhmur, let alone advance toward Mosul.

The Makhmur District is also a key to holding oil fields around Kirkuk, and the ISIS offensive is seen by many analysts as part of an effort to ultimately regain control over those lucrative oil fields, and have been “outgunning” the thousands of Iraqi troops in the area.

Whether they’re trying to save Iraqi ground troops who still can’t stand up to ISIS, or save oil fields, however, the latest escalation puts US troops even further in harm’s way, and has put the war even further afield from the “no boots on the ground” affair initially promised by the Obama Administration.

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Battle For Palmyra

The Battle For Palmyra Has Begun And It Doesn’t Look Good For ISIS

By Brandon Turbeville

The battle for Palmyra has begun and it has not gotten off to a great start for Western-backed ISIS/terrorist fighters. What was once one of the most publicized instances of ISIS victory in Syria as well as the brutality and fanatical nature of the Western proxies is now becoming an example of the resilience and determination of the Syrian Army and the unwillingness of the Syrian people to submit to Western imperialism.

This is because SAA incursions into Palmyra from the east, west, and south of the city are spelling the end (and a very near one) for ISIS. Members of the Desert Falcons team, the SAA, and Syrian Specials Operations forces have entered the city and are now in the process of taking out the ISIS fighters stationed there in a combination of tactics ranging from air assaults to tanks and even hand to hand combat. Many terrorists have been reportedly killed by bayonet as well as by SAA bombing.

According to some reports, surgical strikes are being made possible due to civilians working with the SAA and Syrian intelligence forces and providing exact locations of strongholds, headquarters, and fortifications.

Ziad Fadel of Syrian Perspective is predicting the fall and liberation of Palmyra within a day.

Zen Adra of Al Masdar reports

Amid soaring morale to restore the world heritage site, the Syrian Armed Forces have fully recaptured Semiramis Hotel (formerly the Meridian), Mouza Palace and Al-Zera’a roundabout located at the entrance of Palmyra.

The attacking forces also secured Muhtar Mount and the Tombs valley, and are now preparing to liberate Brigade 550.

A few kilometers to the north, the sever sandstorm was no obstacle for the highly-trained government troops to impose full control on at-Tat (Al-Tar) Mountain, from where they pound, with heavy artillery, ISIS barricades near the ancient castle of Palmyra before storming it.

Leith Fadel of Al Masdar continues by writing,

The Syrian Armed Forces and their allies are rolling in the Homs Governorate’s eastern countryside, entering the strategic Palmyra Orchards after liberating the Semiramis Hotel this morning.

Currently, the Syrian Armed Forces are fighting their way through the rugged terrain at the Palmyra Orchards in order to infiltrate the enemy’s defenses and enter this ancient desert city’s southern sector.

Minutes ago in the Homs Governorate’s eastern countryside, the Syrian Arab Army’s “Tiger Forces” – backed by the Desert Hawks, Hezbollah, and Syrian Marines – liberated the village of Tamthil after a violent battle with the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) that began this morning. According to a military source, the village of Tamthil is located in Palmyra’s (Tadmur) northern countryside; it was originally abandoned by the terrorist group until the situation on the ground forced them to return in order to to strengthen their front-lines.

Fierce fighting has been reported at three different flanks around Palmyra; however, ISIS’ defenses are quickly crumbling as the Syrian Armed Forces and their allies advance to the city gates.

While not the most strategically significant location in Syria, if Palmyra falls, it will be a massive public relations victory by the Syrian government since Palmyra was once touted as proof that ISIS was unstoppable.

ISIS is clearly stoppable.

All that is needed is for Western support to dwindle.

Regardless, after the boost of Russian airstrikes, the Syrian people are demonstrating that Syria is no place for Western proxies.

Syria: state TV claims Assad’s troops entered ISIS-held Palmyra

State Dept: Assad or Daesh? Russian forces in Palmyra. 24 Mar 2016

State Spox: Should Palmyra be liberated from ISIL? 24 Mar 2016

Syrian army, allies enter Palmyra

US State Dept fails to say if ISIS must be pushed out of Palmyra or not

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Russian Bombers Turn Areas near Palmyra into Hell for ISIL
Strategic Hill near Palmyra Castle Falls into Hands of Syrian Soldiers
URGENT: Palmyra Castle Captured by Syrian Army, Allies
Syrian Army, Allies Liberate 110 sq/km of Lands in Homs Province in 48 Hours
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URGENT: Syrian Army Advancing toward Palmyra Citadel
Russian Special Forces Officer Killed in Syria
Iraqi Army Makes New Military Gains in Nineveh Province
Syrian Soldiers Enter Palmyra
Syrian Army Increases Pressure on ISIL near Palmyra


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