During a press briefing, he noted that Russian forces received information that "militants set up a camouflaged base northeast of Palmyra, where combat groups were formed to send and carry out terrorist attacks in various regions of the country, as well as the manufacture of improvised explosive devices was set up."
Karpov added that after the location of these objects had been confirmed, air strikes had been inflicted on them by Russian Aerospace Forces.
"As a result ... two shelters, up to 200 militants, 24 pickup trucks with heavy machine guns, as well as about 500 kilograms of ammunition and components for making improvised explosive devices were destroyed," Karpov said.
According to him, "illegal armed groups have planned terrorist attacks and attacks on government agencies in large cities in order to destabilize the situation in the country ahead of the presidential election," scheduled for 26 May.
The terrorists are trained in the training camps of the militants, which are located "in the territories not controlled by the Syrian authorities, including in the At-Tanf zone, which is controlled by the US armed forces."
The Russian Defense Ministry's Center for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides and Control over the Movement of Refugees in the Syrian Arab Republic was created in February 2016. The center's tasks include the signing of agreements on illegal armed groups and individual settlements joining the regime of cessation of hostilities, as well as coordinating the delivery of humanitarian aid.
Russia's Aerospace Forces has been playing a key role in the military campaign in Syria since its start in 2015, including the defeat of the Islamic State (terrorist group, banned in Russia). At the moment, Russia, Turkey, and Iran are the ceasefire guarantors in war-torn Syria.
Palmyra was the capital of the Palmyrene Empire and one of the richest cities of the Roman Empire. The ancient ruins and monuments of Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage site, lost several important artifacts in the first attack of the Daesh* terrorist group in 2015. The Temple of Bel, Temple of Baalshamin, Arch of Triumph and columns in the Valley of the Tombs were destroyed by terrorists.
The city was eventually taken back by the Syrian government forces, but in December 2016, IS militants recaptured it, further damaging the historic site. The Syrian forces regained control of the city again in March 2017.
*Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist organization outlawed in Russia and many other states