Sunday, December 11

The Palmyra Battle UPDATED 10:25am EST

From this Breaking News report from AMN, ISIS militants capture most of Palmyra city, it seems the following two reports are mostly bullshit. Well, what can one expect from war. 

I'm going to start with the FARS report even though I'm still ticked off at them for reporting a few days ago that E. Aleppo had been completely liberated -- like a fool I bought it at first. It could be they misunderstood the initial intell reports that the Old City had been liberated. Anyhow:  

Over 300 ISIL Terrorists Killed in Russian-Syrian Joint Operation in Ancient Palmyra

December 11, 2016 - 12:57 [local time]

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Russian Defense Ministry announced on Sunday that Syrian Army soldiers with aerial support of Russian fighter jets fended off and ISIL attack near Palmyra last night, killing over 300 terrorists.

"During the (Saturday) night, Syrian government forces, actively supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces, repelled all attacks by (ISIL) terrorists on (government positions in) Palmyra. The invading side actively used car bombs, armor and rocket artillery systems," the ministry's statement read.

According to Moscow, the Russian warplanes conducted 64 airstrikes on the militants' positions and reserves, while eleven battle tanks and infantry fighting vehicles, 31 cars with heavy machineguns were destroyed, and over 300 militants were killed.

Reports said earlier today that the army troops with the back-up of the Russian and Syrian fighter jets managed to drive ISIL out of the neighborhoods they lost to the terrorists on Saturday, and imposed full control over the historical city of Palmyra (Tadmur) in Eastern Homs.

The army soldiers, backed up by the Russian and Syrian warplanes, pushed ISIL terrorists back from neighborhoods near Palmyra's entrance, inflicting major casualties on the militants.

ISIL carried out one more large-scale attack on government positions at the Eastern entrance of Palmyra on Saturday night. They took control of the strategic height of al-Tar in the Northern side of Palmyra and the village of al-Ameriyeh Northwest of the city. They further laid siege on the city.

As the ISIL terrorists were entering the Eastern districts of Palmyra, the army troops started to evacuate civilians from the city and transfer them to the T4 region and airport, but after arrival of reinforcements, the government forces carried out crushing attacks on the terrorists and retook some of the lost neighborhoods with the backing of the Russian and Syrian aircraft.

The army men, fresh forces and the Syrian and Russian fighter jets inflicted major losses on the militants and took back the village of al-Ameriyeh and the Eastern neighborhoods of Palmyra.

The government forces further targeted ISIL's movements and gatherings in the wheat silos and al-Tar height, inflicting major losses on them and pushing them back from most of these two regions.

Massdar news reported that the Russian Special Forces with the back-up of the Russian fighter jets and choppers played a crucial role in recapturing lost region in the Palmyra operation.

A field source said that the Syrian government forces are fortifying their position in the city to prevent any advance of the ISIL.

The sources added that the Takfiri terrorists [are trying] to maintain their position in Palmyra's outskirts, but the Russian and Syrian warplanes are targeting them continuously.

The source also said that an ISIL convoy of vehicles carrying a number of terrorists that had left al-Sukhnah region for Palmyra was destroyed in the air raids.

A military source also told RIA Novosti that the Syrian army managed to repel ISIL attack on Palmyra, regaining full control over the embattled city.

“Let me repeat that Palmyra is under the control of the Syrian army troops," the source said, adding that ISIL terrorists are carrying out intense attacks, but they have been repulsed.


Now I turn to Sputnik:

Daesh Suffering Heavy Losses Trying to Seize Palmyra, Syrian Army Resisting
15:43 - 11.12.2016 (updated 16:08 - 11.12.2016)

Daesh terrorists have made another attempt to capture the city of Palmyra, Russia's center for Syrian reconciliation said on Sunday.

"Over 4,000 Daesh terrorists have regrouped and again tried to capture Palmyra," the center's statement said. The center noted Daesh had moved considerable forces from their stronghold of Raqqa after the US-backed offensive of Arab and Kurdish rebels was stalled. 

More forces and equipment were relocated from the vicinity of Deir ez-Zor. 

The center cited intelligence data that showed Daesh had moved up to 5,000 fighters to the cities of Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor from the Iraqi stronghold of Mosul. 

[Pundita note: See also Daesh Moves Reserves to Palmyra [From Raqqa] Thanks to Pause in US-Controlled Raqqa Offensive and Daesh Moves 5,000 Terrorists to Syrian Raqqa, Deir ez-Zor From Iraqi Mosul - both reports filed today by Sputnik]

"Currently the Syrian troops are maintaining defense in Palmyra," the statement added.

 The Syrian army is being backed by Russian aircraft. 

"Despite huge losses, terrorists are trying to get closer to the city and entrench within the city, as the Russian Aerospace Forces do not target residential buildings in Palmyra," the statement said.

Terrorists launched their previous attack on the city on Saturday. Their offensive was thwarted by the actions of the government forces supported by Russian warplanes. 

Despite the defeat, the terrorists are again trying to attack the city from the northern, eastern and southern sides. Their perceived goal is to capture al-Amiriyah town northeast of Palmyra and a nearby industrial area, Syria's SANA news agency said.

 The Syrian Arab Army, backed by the Russian Aerospace Forces, liberated Palmyra in March, 2016, nearly a year after it was captured by Daesh, which is outlawed in Russia, in May 2015. During the invasion, the militants destroyed a number of ancient [sites], including necropolis, the Arch of Triumph, as well as the temples of Baal Shamin and Bel.



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