01:03 GMT13 August 2020
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    Russian cooperation is necessary to free the strategically important Syrian towns of Palmyra and Deir ez-Zor from Daesh, according to Tarek Ahmad, one of the leaders of the Hmeimim group of internal Syrian opposition.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russian cooperation is necessary to free the strategically important Syrian towns of Palmyra and Deir ez-Zor from the Daesh terrorist group, Tarek Ahmad, one of the leaders of the Hmeimim group of internal Syrian opposition, told Sputnik on Tuesday.

    "We need to liberate Palmyra as soon as possible as it is strategically important and we hope that Russia will help. It is very important to liberate also Deir ez-Zor. We cannot allow Daesh in strategic locations in the desert which serve as bases for terrorists," Ahmad said.

    Ahmad expressed hope that Russia would continue its collaboration with the Syrian army and with those secular parties in the country that support Syrian troops and prefer political dialogue as a means of conflict resolution.

    On Monday, Palmyra was captured once again by Daesh terrorist group which pushed out the Syrian army and forced it to regroup at Tiyas T4 airbase dozens of miles westward from Palmyra.

    Daesh first seized the city in spring 2015 before being forced out by Syrian government troops with air support from Russian jets in March 2016. They have since made multiple attempts to retake Palmyra culminating in a major assault toward the end of last week.

    The civil war has been raging in Syria since 2011, with government forces loyal to President Bashar Assad fighting numerous opposition factions and extremist groups. The Daesh extremist group, outlawed in Russia and many other countries, has been able to capture large territories in Syria.


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