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US General Says Daesh May Have Seized Anti-Aircraft Weapons in Palmyra

© REUTERSA still image taken from a video released by Islamic State-affiliated Amaq news agency, said to be in Palmyra, on December 11, 2016
A still image taken from a video released by Islamic State-affiliated Amaq news agency, said to be in Palmyra, on December 11, 2016 - Sputnik International
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US Army General Stephen Townsend said that Daesh terrorists may have seized anti-aircraft weapons in Syria's ancient city of Palmyra.

Operation Inherent Resolve Commanding General Stephen Townsend said that weapons seized by Daesh in Palmyra include armor and "possibly air defense equipment."

"We believe it includes some armored vehicles and various guns and other heavy weapons, possibly some air defense equipment. Basically anything they seize poses a threat to the Coalition," Townsend told reporters.

A still image taken on December 11, 2016 from a video released by Islamic State-affiliated Amaq news agency on December 10, 2016, purports to show Islamic State fighters advancing over the Hayan mountain south of Palmyra - Sputnik International
Daesh Attacking With 'Huge Manpower' in Palmyra Shows Foreign Support - Assad
He also said that the US-led coalition anticipates that Russia and the Syrian government will shortly retake the city of Palmyra from terrorists.

"I expect that the Russians and the [Syrian President Bashar Assad's] regime will address it here in short order," Townsend stated.

The Syrian government forces supported by Russia will unlikely lose more territory to Daesh after terrorists took back the city of Palmyra, Townsend added.

"I think they will devote adequate attention to holding the ground that they are on," Townsend told reporters. "My guess is they probably will not lose much more terrain to ISIL Daesh]."

The commander added that "if the Russians and the regime don’t strike it [Palmyra], we will."

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.

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