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With Its Days Numbered Daesh Has Only Two Options at Its Disposal

© Photo : Ministry of defence of the Russian Federation / Go to the photo bankRussian frigate Admiral Essen launches Kalibr cruise missiles at ISIS facilities (the Islamic State international terrorist organization banned in Russia) near Palmyra
Russian frigate Admiral Essen launches Kalibr cruise missiles at ISIS facilities (the Islamic State international terrorist organization banned in Russia) near Palmyra - Sputnik International
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The days of Daesh in Syria are numbered, Alexey Muravyev, an expert in Middle Eastern affairs told Radio Sputnik, adding that the terrorists have now only two options at their disposal.

Daesh fighters have now only two choices: either to flee to the Arabian Peninsula or pretend to be a "moderate" opposition and join the rebels, Alexey Muravyev, an expert in Middle Eastern affairs at the National Research University Higher School of Economics told Radio Sputnik, adding that the terrorists' days in Syria are numbered.

"[Terrorists] will either go somewhere in the direction of Arabia or… join other armed groups and impersonate 'moderate opposition'," Muravyev said.

Russian frigate Admiral Essen launches Kalibr cruise missiles at ISIS facilities (the Islamic State international terrorist organization banned in Russia) near Palmyra. - Sputnik International
Why Russia Unleashed Kalibr Cruise Missiles on Daesh in Palmyra
"Now [the southern Syrian province of] Deraa has almost completely come under the control of government forces. Therefore, [terrorists] will be squeezed into Jordan or further into Arabia," he believes.

On Wednesday morning the Russian Navy struck a number of Daesh targets near the Syrian city of Palmyra with Kalibr cruise missiles.

"The Russian Navy's Admiral Essen frigate and Krasnodar submarine performed a launch of four Kalibr cruise missiles from the eastern Mediterranean against the targets of the IS [Daesh] terrorist groups in the area of Palmyra," the Russian Ministry of Defense reported adding that "all targets have been struck."

The statement specified that "the US, Turkish and Israeli commanders were informed in a timely manner of the cruise missile launches through the operational channels of interaction."

Speaking to Radio Sputnik on Wednesday, Russian defense analyst Ivan Konovalov explained that Kalibr airstrikes were aimed at preventing Daesh from creating obstacles in the way of the Syrian Arab Army's (SAA) advance on Deir ez-Zor.

"Daesh understands that they are likely to lose Raqqa, their de facto capital. They are determined to turn Deir ez-Zor into their new stronghold. This is why the areas around Palmyra are one of the most complex operational theaters. Using Kalibr missiles [to hit targets located] in this region was a reasonable move," the defense analyst elaborated.

Syrian soldiers. File photo - Sputnik International
Syrian Troops Take Back Damascus-Palmyra Road for the First Time Since War Began
"It is Palmyra that the SAA is planning to use to send its main force to lift the blockade of Deir ez-Zor and push Daesh out of the city," Konovalov believes.

Meanwhile, a well-informed source in Damascus told RIA Novosti that Syrian government troops have recently regained control over the Damascus-Palmyra road.

According to the source, the SAA is now fighting terrorists near the town of Arak, the Homs Governorate, on the Palmyra-Deir-ez-Zor route. The Russian Aerospace Forces provides air support to the SAA.

Since the beginning of the large-scale military operation in the east of the Homs province, the SAA have liberated from Daesh more than one thousand square kilometers. Earlier it was reported that jihadists had fled the city of Homs which they had been holding since 2011.

"A few days ago, parts of the Syrian government forces reached the [Syrian-Iraqi] border and met with Iraqi border guards. This means that the control over a large portion of the border close to Deir ez-Zor will be restored [by the SAA] in the near future," Muravyev said.

According to the expert, Daesh will soon be defeated in Syria.

"I think that we are witnessing the final act of this story: the Daesh militants are actively fleeing the region on the border of Syria and Iraq to avoid getting into a 'cauldron'," he emphasized, speaking to Radio Sputnik.

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