MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The encirclement became possible due to the Syrian government forces' rapid offensive supported by Russian aviation.
"Another encirclement was created to the east of Ithriya. It became possible to do that due to the rapid offensive actions of the units of Gen. Hassan Suhel with the support of the Russian Aerospace Forces jets," Rudskoy said.
The operation is part of the current operation to free the besieged city of Deir ez-Zor.
Akerbat is a small town located northwest of the ancient city of Palmyra. It is strategically important due to its location near the highway connecting Palmyra and Salamiyah.