WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Daesh recaptured Palmyra last December and the terror group’s gains in the historic city prompted the Syrian army to launch an offensive to retake it. Russia’s General Staff stated on Saturday that the Syrian army has been advancing toward the city.
The spokesperson also noted that the Defense Department "maintains a channel of communication with the Russian military focused solely on ensuring the safety of aircrews and de-confliction of airspace."
The US-led coalition against Daesh has been carrying out strikes against terrorists’ positions in the city.
On February 10, nine coalition strikes near Palmyra engaged seven Daesh staging areas and destroyed two tactical vehicles, according to the US Central Command. Another strike on February 12 destroyed an anti-air artillery system.
"Coalition strikes conducted in Palmyra and other enemy locations are based upon assessments from various intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms which builds situational awareness and feeds information to commanders, intelligence centers, strikes cells, and pilots," the spokesperson said.
Daesh, outlawed in Russia, first seized Palmyra in the spring of 2015 before being forced out by Syrian government troops with air support from Russian jets in March 2016.
The militants later made multiple attempts to retake Palmyra culminating in a major assault in early December when Syrian forces retreated to Tiyas.