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Palmyra: First footage Of Liberated City Shown On Russian TV
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Syrian Air Force in action against ISIS in Palmyra
Russian Air Force carried out 41 sorties to support Syrian army’s Palmyra offensive
Russian warplanes carried out 41 sorties and destroyed 146 terrorist targets in the area of the historical Syrian city of Palmyra from Tuesday to Thursday, Russia’s Defense Ministry has reported. “From Tuesday to Thursday (March 22-24) the planes of the Russian Aerospace Forces carried out 41 sorties to support the advancing Syrian army and strike Islamic State (IS, Daesh, formerly ISIS/ISIL) militants in the area of Palmyra (Homs province),” Lieutenant General Sergey Kuralenko, head of the Russian ceasefire monitoring center, said on Friday. “As a result of the actions of the Russian aviation, 146 terrorist facilities, including command centers, ammunition depots, artillery units, tanks and other vehicles, were destroyed,” he added.
Kuralenko stressed that Russian aviation wasn’t targeting opposition groups which have joined the Syrian truce, and that have informed Russian or US ceasefire centers of their decision. The Syrian Air Force wasn’t striking opposition targets as well, he added. The Russian ceasefire center is monitoring the situation in Syria 24/7, he stressed, adding that “the truce in the country is generally respected.”
During the week, the staff of the Russian ceasefire center were in talks with 11 opposition groups in Aleppo and Homs provinces on joining the truce. “Over the past week, the Russian ceasefire center delivered more than 19 tons of humanitarian aid to towns and cities in Damascus, Hama and Homs Provinces, I want to emphasize that the humanitarian aid for the population of Hama province was delivered under fire from insurgents,” Kuralenko said. Earlier on Friday, there were reports that the Syrian Army had taken control of a medieval castle situated on the hill overlooking the city of Palmyra.
The 13th-century Fakhr-al-Din al-Maani Castle, or Palmyra Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was the last strategic height in the city held by Islamic State fighters. On March 14, Russia announced that it was withdrawing the majority of its forces from Syria, as the five-month operation nears its goals. However, Deputy Defense Minister Nikolay Pankov stressed that “ Palmyra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, formerly known for housing some of the best-preserved monuments of antiquity anywhere in the world. After capturing the historical landmark, the jihadists blew up the 2,000-year-old Temple of Bel, and the Arch of Triumph, and used the Roman-era amphitheater for filmed public executions.
Surrounded by Daesh fighters near Palmyra, Russian forward observer called in fire on his own position – Fort Russ
Sputnik Italy March 25, 2016
Translated from Italian by Tom Winter
Officer of Russian special forces died during fighting in Palmyra
The officer was discovered by Daesh fighters while sending the coordinates for a Russian Air Force raid. Realizing he was surrounded by the Islamists, he called in a strike on himself.
An officer of the Russian special forces died in Syria in service while sending Aviation coordinates of the terrorists in the Palmyra area, spokesman for the Russian Hmeymim airbase told journalists.
“While transmitting Daesh terrorist coordinates to the Air Force to carry out a raid near Palmyra, an officer of the Russian special forces met his death. For a week he had performed his military mission by sending the exact coordinates of the terrorists to allow Russian planes to carry out precision strikes,” said the Russian representative.
According to the spokesman, the soldier died heroically, having directed the fire to his own position, since he had been found and surrounded by terrorists.
As reported yesterday on the website of the Ministry of Defense, according to the Bulletin of the Center for reconciliation in Syria, March 2o to March 23, the Russian fighter planes carried out 41 missions near Palmira, hitting 146 terrorist installations. More than 320 Islamists were eliminated, along with six terrorist control points, five tanks, six guns, two ammunition depots, and 15 off-road vehicles.
The Syrian army troops and allied militias are now storming Palmira. Violent confrontations with Islamic fundamentalists are taking place in the southwestern part of the city.
Mehdi Hasan calls out Saudi Arabia’s hypocrisy regarding Syria
Russia Leads Towards Peace in Syria March 25, 2016
General information on the application of measures for the reconciliation of opposing sides
In the course of last 24 hours, preliminary truce agreement with representatives of an inhabited area in the Hama province has been achieved.
The total number of settlements, the leaders of which have signed reconciliation agreements, has remained 51.
Working session with administration of the Damascus province has been held. The sides discussed issues of providing humanitarian aid and establishing peaceful life in towns, which had been damaged during warfare.
Negotiations with field commanders of 2 armed formations active in the Damascus province have been continued. The number of ceasefire application forms signed with leaders of armed groupings has remained 43.
Results of ceasefire monitoring
In general, the ceasefire regime in the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic has been observed. In the course of last 24 hours, 7 ceasefire violations have been registered in the Latakia province.
Militants of Ahrar al-Sham grouping, which had claimed to belong to the opposition one, carried out a mortar shelling against positions of the government troops from Shamruran.
Unidentified armed formations opened fire with mortars and small arms against Hakur Takhtani and Ard al-Wata from Knedda.
Mortar shelling was carried out from Ain al-Alkantara, which had been controlled by Ahrar al-Sham militants, against positions of the government troops.
Russian Aerospace Forces and Syrian Air Forces did not make strikes on armed formations, which had claimed to join the ceasefire regime and informed the Russian or American Centres for reconciliation about their location.
Humanitarian aid to the population of Syria
Within last 24 hours, the Russian Centre for reconciliation has delivered 3.8 tons of humanitarian aid to Yalda (Damascus province).
The Russian humanitarian aid has been delivered to 31 inhabited areas of the Latakia, Damascus, Hama, and Homs provinces since the Russian Centre had started working.
The Russian Centre for reconciliation held a working session with leaders of two political organizations. The sides discussed humanitarian situation in the al-Quneitra province.
Leadership of the Russian Centre for reconciliation (Hmeymim airbase) and the American Coordination Centre (Amman) held another teleconference session. The parties discussed topical issues of ceasefire monitoring and providing humanitarian aid to most damaged areas of the Damascus province.
Militants of Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group carried out two mortar shellings against Fua (Idlib province). Three civilians were killed and three ones were wounded.
According to the information received from the Hama province citizens, 12 civilians from Abu Java, al-Shikha, Surudge, and Tell Halava in the east of the province, have been kidnapped by terrorists of Jabhat al-Nusra for participating in the national reconciliation process.
Click here to read more updates from Russian Ministry of Defense in English
ISIL Terrorists, Families Fleeing Palmyra
Military sources reported on Saturday that a large number of terrorists and their families are fleeing the ISIL stronghold city of Palmyra (Tadmur) as the Syrian army troops alongside popular forces are only inches away from a major conquest and winning the ancient city.
Battlefield sources said the ISIL Takfiri terrorists are in such a rush that they have “left behind their dead and wounded friends and fled their positions in Palmyra”.
The ISIL’s mass escape comes as the Syrian army continues its advances towards Palmyra city center from the Western side of the ancient city where they could penetrate the ISIL’s defense lines on Wednesday and made a headway in bloody clashes with the terrorists.
In a relevant development on Saturday, the Syrian army and popular forces seized control over the terrorists’ vital line of supply to the West and Southwest of Palmyra.
The army units took full control of ISIL’s Quaryatayn-Palmyra supply route in a bid to prevent flow of supplies to the ISIL terrorists in the Western and Southwestern parts of Palmyra.
The ISIL’s logistic and supply routes from the West and Southwestern parts of Palmyra are disconnected now.
The Syrian army also managed to disconnect Quaryatayn and Palmyra from each other by taking full control over the Quaryatayn-Palmyra highway.
The Syrian army’s special troops known as Tiger Forces are engaged in heavy fighting with the ISIL Takfiri terrorists in the streets of the ancient city of Palmyra (Tadmur) in the Eastern part of Homs province.
The ISIL terrorists are trying hard to prevent the Syrian army from making further advances in Palmyra city as the street battle between the two sides is intensifying.
The ISIL militants have sustained heavy casualties and losses in fierce clashes with the Syrian army in recent days.
The Syrian army has made considerable advances in the areas near Palmyra city and taken full control of a strategic ancient castle near the Palmyra city.
On Friday, the Syrian government forces and Desert Falcons fighters gained control over a strategically important height near Palmyra.
The Syrian Army and Desert Falcons on Friday won another battle in Eastern Homs after hours of fierce clashes with the ISIL Takfiri terrorists.
The Syrian soldiers and their allies have pushed back the Takfiri terrorists in the region near the ancient city of Palmyra, and captured the Qalaat Fakhr ad-Din al-Maani Castle, known as the “Palmyra Castle”.
The Syrian army soldiers and their allies have kept on marching on militant-held regions in Eastern Homs province in recent days to capture the strategic city of Palmyra which has been under the control of the ISIL since May 2015.
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