"Preparations for the liberation of Palmyra were made for a little over than a month. The Syrian Army was re-grouping its soldiers. The army made communications with the Syrian Air Force and especially with the Russian Air Force. Tanks and other military vehicles were brought to Palmyra together with Syrian troops and their allies," the military said.
"Last night, we managed to take control of Palmyra’s ancient fortress. Then we prepared to take over the city. Daesh terrorists blew up a bridge that leads to the fortress. That’s why our infantry had to enter the city from the north side under the cover of artillery fire and tanks to eventually liberate these areas," the officer told RT.
During the Palmyra assault, Russian attack helicopters and reconnaissance assets played a major role.
"Russia’s engagement was very important and played one of the key roles in liberating Palmyra. Russian aviation, particularly attack helicopters, destroyed terrorists’ ambushes at the heights around Palmyra. Using Russian intelligence data, we located terrorists and could track them," General Samir Suleiman told Sputnik.
Palmyra, located 210 kilometers away from Damascus, is considered key for advancing to the Daesh stronghold of Raqqa in eastern Syria. The town of Palmyra and its historic ruins have been under Daesh control since May 2015. The terrorist group has since destroyed part of the historic sites, which are a designated UNESCO World Heritage site.