Russian Warplanes Carry Out 41 Sorties Amid Palmyra Liberation

Russian warplanes carried out 41 sorties to support Syrian army's operation aimed at Palmyra's liberation, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

Russian military jets destroyed 146 terrorist targets over the past two days, the ministry said Friday in a daily bulletin.

"From Tuesday to Thursday, Russian Aerospace Forces' warplanes conducted 41 sorties to support the Syrian army's advance and launched strikes on Daesh militants near Palmyra in the province of Homs. Russian aviation destroyed 146 terrorist targets, including command centers, ammunition depots, artillery systems, tanks and automotive vehicles," Lt. Gen. Sergei Kuralenko said.

Syrian army's positions near Palmyra - Sputnik International
WATCH What's Left of Palmyra: First Footage of Liberated City Shown on TV
On Friday, the Syrian Army alongside the Desert Falcons regained control over the Palmyra Castle, a military source told Sputnik. Government troops and militia units have already taken control over all of the strategic heights in the area.

Daesh militants used the castle for sniper fire and mortar shelling of the heights controlled by the army.

The ancient ruins of Palmyra have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city was seized by Daesh in middle-May 2015. Before leaving the city, the Syrian Army evacuated the majority of its residents and the most precious museum antiquities. After Daesh seized the city a number of ancient ruins and temples faced destruction.

Al-Nusra Front terrorists have kidnapped 12 civilians in the Syrian province of Hama for the participation in the country's reconciliation, Kuralenko said. Meanwhile, a preliminary agreement with one populated area in Hama has been reached over the past 24 hours.

"According to information received from local residents of the Hama province, al-Nusra Front terrorists kidnapped 12 locals for participation in the national reconciliation process."

According to the Russian reconciliation center has registered an increased number of provocations carried out by al-Nusra Front terrorists in Syria, especially in the Aleppo province. "This concerns, in particular, the city of Aleppo, where we have registered eight armed clashes and shellings of residential areas in the past week, including five — in the past 24 hours."

According to the center, three people died and three others were wounded as a result of al-Nusra Front's shelling in the Idlib province. "Al-Nusra Front terrorists shelled the Al Fu'ah settlement in the Idlib province twice. As a result of the shelling, three people died and three more were wounded."

Airstrikes in the vicinity of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra destroyed the headquarters of two terrorist groups - Daesh and al-Nusra Front, state media reported on Sunday. - Sputnik International
Airstrikes Near Palmyra Destroy Headquarters of al-Nusra Front, Daesh
The Russian reconciliation center registered 7 ceasefire violations in the province of Latakia, according to the general. The Russian center has held talks with 11 armed groups on the truce regime in Syria, he said.

Eight armed clashes have been registered in the Aleppo province over the past week.

A total of 43 armed groups from the Syrian opposition have confirmed their participation in the Syrian ceasefire regime, Kuralenko said. Russian warplanes do not carry out airstrikes on Syrian opposition groups, participating in the truce, he emphasized.

The ceasefire regime has been generally holding, Lt. Gen. Sergei Kuralenko said.

The personnel of the Russian reconciliation center at the Hmeymim airbase delivered over 19 metric tons of humanitarian aid to settlements in three Syrian provinces in the past week.

The general stressed that the Russian personnel several times came under fire from militants during the deliveries.

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