"Over the past few days after the return of the bulk of contingent of the Russian Aerospace Forces, the [Russian] group remaining in Syria continued to support ground operations, which are conducted by our army to free, mainly, the city of Palmyra. Our army is on the threshold of the city. This, of course, [occurred] with the support of the Russian Aerospace Forces," Haddad stated at a lecture for the Russian students.
Earlier in the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the ancient city of Palmyra should be returned to the Syrian people.
Daesh terrorist group, outlawed in Russia and several other countries, has destroyed multiple sites of historic architecture in Palmyra, including its ancient temples of Bel and Baalshamin, since they captured the city in May 2015.