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Assad Vows to Retake Palmyra After Liberating Aleppo

© AFP 2021 / Maher AL MOUNESThis file photo taken on March 27, 2016 shows a view of the remains of Arch of Triumph, also called the Monumental Arch of Palmyra, that was destroyed by Islamic State (IS) group jihadists in October 2015 in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra
This file photo taken on March 27, 2016 shows a view of the remains of Arch of Triumph, also called the Monumental Arch of Palmyra, that was destroyed by Islamic State (IS) group jihadists in October 2015 in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra - Sputnik International
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The Syrian government forces will continue their offensive against terrorists and will regain control over Palmyra after liberating Aleppo, Syrian President Bashar Assad said Wednesday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Sunday, Daesh recaptured the ancient city of Palmyra in the Homs province. According to various sources, the number of terrorists that took part in the storming of the city reached 5,000 including hundreds of suicide bombers and dozens of armored vehicles. According to the Homs governor, the government forces managed to evacuate some 80 percent of city's civilian population.

"This city [Palmyra] used to be under control of terrorists but we have liberated it with Russia's support. We will do it again…but we have to realize that Aleppo is our priority at the moment," Assad said in an interview with Russia's Rossiya-24 and NTV television channels.

This image posted online on Dec. 10, 2016, by Daesh supporters on an anonymous photo sharing website, purports to show a gun-mounted vehicle operated by Daesh firing at Syrian troops, north of Palmyra - Sputnik International
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According to Assad, the Syrian army and militias are strengthening defenses in Aleppo to prevent the recapture of the embattled city by militants as the push against terrorists continues.

"We will not stop [the offensive]. The ceasefires take place only in areas where terrorists surrender their arms or agree to withdraw," the president stressed.

Assad added that the Syrian authorities would decide in consultations with Russia and Iran which Syrian city would be liberated next.

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