08:27 GMT10 July 2020
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    It seems that Daesh's attack on Palmyra was a bolt from the blue for the Syrian Army, which has been preoccupied with the liberation of Aleppo; the attack came as a result of protracted humanitarian pauses which allowed terrorists to regroup, according to RIA Novosti political analyst Alexander Khrolenko.

    Syrian army soldier places a Syrian national flag during a battle with rebel fighters at the Ramouseh front line, east of Aleppo, Syria
    © AP Photo / Hassan Ammar
    On Sunday, it was reported that Daesh (ISIL/ISIS) had managed to retake the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria, hours after they were driven back by Russia's Aerospace Forces.

    The Russian Center for Syrian Reconciliation reported that more than 4,000 Daesh terrorists had regrouped in a bid to reclaim Palmyra, which had been liberated from the jihadists earlier this year.

    Khrolenko recalled that armed with heavy weaponry, armored vehicles and tanks, Daesh militants arrived in Palmyra from Raqqa, with the terrorist group's reinforcements coming from Deir ez-Zor. They were motivated by the US airstrikes in Raqqa, according to him.

    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
    © AP Photo / Militant Photo
    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

    "The purpose is to take control of the oil and gas fields and Dzhazal Al-Shaer," he said, adding that the terrorists have already captured several heights on the mountain ridge of Al-Tar.

    "For the development of their military success, the terrorists are trying to cut the strategic Palmyra – Homs road. It seems that everything comes full circle," Khrolenko said.

    Earlier, it was planned that Palmyra should become a stronghold for the Syrian Army's offensives against Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor. Right now, we are witnessing the opposite, he added.

    "Notably, Daesh's morale is not broken and its logistical schemes operate flawlessly. As for Damascus, it will have to redeploy some of its army units from Aleppo to Palmyra," Khrolenko said.

    He also drew attention to the fact that ahead of the complete triumph of Syrian troops in Aleppo, the US deliberately stopped a military operation to liberate Raqqa, thereby allowing Daesh terrorists to concentrate on other tasks.

    Khrolenko also recalled that on December 8, US President Barack Obama lifted restrictions on the supply of arms, ammunition and military equipment to Washington's allies in Syria.

    "By doing so, the United States, in fact, openly supports terrorists who can hurt [Syrian President] Assad and its allies," Khrolenko pointed out.

    He urged Moscow to consider using its plan B in Syria so as to wipe out Daesh as soon as possible.

    "Russia should do so regardless of the position on the matter of the new US White House administration. Otherwise, the Russian Aerospace Force group's air campaign in Syria will last for decades," Khrolenko concluded.

    Earlier this week, the Russian President's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the threat of Palmyra's loss is damaging to the entire civilized world, not only Syria and Russia.

    He added that Russia regrets that it is currently impossible to fully neutralize the terrorists, and that events unfolding around Palmyra were yet again evidence of the Daesh threat.

    The Syrian Army, backed by the Russian Aerospace Forces, liberated Palmyra in March 2016, almost a year after it was captured by the internationally-condemned terrorist group Daesh in May 2015.

    After invading the ancient ruins and adjacent city, the militants destroyed a number of priceless antiquities, including a necropolis, the Arch of Triumph, as well as the temples of Baal Shamin and Bel.


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    stronghold, terrorists, purpose, control, threat, Daesh, Palmyra, Syria
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