Syrian Front: Palmyra Castle Captured by Syrian Army

Report of the Russian Centre for reconciliation of opposing sides in the Syrian Arab Republic (March 25, 2016)

General information on the application of measures for the reconciliation of opposing sides

In the course of last 24 hours, preliminary truce agreement with representatives of an inhabited area in the Hama province has been achieved.

The total number of settlements, the leaders of which have signed reconciliation agreements, has remained 51.

Working session with administration of the Damascus province has been held. The sides discussed issues of providing humanitarian aid and establishing peaceful life in towns, which had been damaged during warfare.

Negotiations with field commanders of 2 armed formations active in the Damascus province have been continued. The number of ceasefire application forms signed with leaders of armed groupings has remained 43.

Results of ceasefire monitoring

In general, the ceasefire regime in the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic has been observed. In the course of last 24 hours, 7 ceasefire violations have been registered in the Latakia province.

Militants of Ahrar al-Sham grouping, which had claimed to belong to the opposition one, carried out a mortar shelling against positions of the government troops from Shamruran.

Unidentified armed formations opened fire with mortars and small arms against Hakur Takhtani and Ard al-Wata from Knedda.

Mortar shelling was carried out from Ain al-Alkantara, which had been controlled by Ahrar al-Sham militants, against positions of the government troops.

Russian Aerospace Forces and Syrian Air Forces did not make strikes on armed formations, which had claimed to join the ceasefire regime and informed the Russian or American Centres for reconciliation about their location.

Humanitarian aid to the population of Syria

Within last 24 hours, the Russian Centre for reconciliation has delivered 3.8 tons of humanitarian aid to Yalda (Damascus province).

The Russian humanitarian aid has been delivered to 31 inhabited areas of the Latakia, Damascus, Hama, and Homs provinces since the Russian Centre had started working.

The Russian Centre for reconciliation held a working session with leaders of two political organizations. The sides discussed humanitarian situation in the al-Quneitra province.

Additional information

Leadership of the Russian Centre for reconciliation (Hmeymim airbase) and the American Coordination Centre (Amman) held another teleconference session. The parties discussed topical issues of ceasefire monitoring and providing humanitarian aid to most damaged areas of the Damascus province.

Militants of Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group carried out two mortar shellings against Fua (Idlib province). Three civilians were killed and three ones were wounded.

According to the information received from the Hama province citizens, 12 civilians from Abu Java, al-Shikha, Surudge, and Tell Halava in the east of the province, have been kidnapped by terrorists of Jabhat al-Nusra for participating in the national reconciliation process.

Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation

The army establishes control over Palmyra Castle
25 March، 2016
Homs, SANA

Army units, in cooperation with popular defense groups, established control over Palmyra Castle after inflicting heavy losses on ISIS terrorists.

The army has been edging closer to Palmyra as its units continue fighting ISIS terrorists in the vicinity of the ancient city, located in eastern Homs.

A military source has announced earlier that an army unit, in cooperation with the popular defense groups, established control over the Syriatel hill near Palmyra Castle.

Army units combed the hill after destroying the last hideouts of ISIS terrorist organization and dismantled the explosive devices left behind by its members.

A number of ISIS terrorists were killed, while the rest escaped towards the city, leaving their arms behind.

Palmyra Castle Captured by Syrian Army

TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian government forces and Desert Falcons fighters gained control over a strategically important height near the ancient city of Palmyra (Tadmur) East of Homs province on Friday.

The Syrian Army and Desert Falcons on Friday won another battle in Eastern Homs after hours of fierce clashes with the ISIL Takfiri terrorists.

The Syrian soldiers and their allies have pushed back the Takfiri terrorists in the region near the ancient city of Palmyra, and captured the Qalaat Fakhr ad-Din al-Maani Castle, known as the “Palmyra Castle”.

The Syrian army soldiers and their allies have kept on marching on militant-held regions in Eastern Homs province in recent days to capture the strategic city of Palmyra which has been under the control of the ISIL since May 2015.

Government forces in cooperation with the National Defence Forces (NDF), Hezbollah fighters and Syrian and Russian air forces have purged the ISIL Takfiri terrorists from 110 square kilometers of lands near the ancient city of Palmyra (Tadmur) in the Eastern parts of Homs province in the past 48 hours.

Several units of the Syrian army and their allies entered Palmyra through its Western gate on Wednesday and are still battling to free the city. As more army units are advancing towards the city from other directions, several battlefield reports said ISIL terrorists have been escaping the city and retreating to Raqqa, some 50km to the East of Palmyra.

Earlier today, the Syrian army and its allies won control over a key hill near Palmyra.

“The Syrian army and NDF continued pounding ISIL positions near Palmyra, and established full control over Syriatel hill near Palmyra Castle,” an army source said a few hours ago.

Battlefield reports from Homs province said terrorists have sustained heavy casualties in the Syrian army and popular forces’ continued and large-scale operations against ISIL’s concentration centers on Friday.

Meantime, the Russian Defense Ministry said the country’s bombers hit 146 terrorist targets around Palmyra from March 20 to March 23, and killed more than 300 terrorists during the operations.

“From March 20 to March 23 Russian Air and Space Forces conducted 41 sorties around Palmyra, Homs province, hitting 146 military terrorist targets. Six command centers, 320 terrorists, five tanks, six artillery systems, two ammunition depots and 15 vehicles were destroyed,” defence ministry said.

The Syrian army soldiers and their allies have kept on marching on militant-held regions in Eastern Homs province in recent days to capture the strategic city of Palmyra which has been under the control of the ISIL since May 2015.

The pro-government forces imposed full control over the Western slopes of Jabal (Mount) Al-Tar after a violent battle with the ISIL terrorists near Palmyra on Thursday.

According to a military source in Homs province, the Syrian Army forces broke ISIL’s defense lines on the Western slopes of Jabal al-Tar, forcing them to retreat to the Eastern parts of the strategic mountain-top, West of Palmyra. In addition to the liberation of the Western slopes of Jabal Al-Tar, the Syrian Army and Hezbollah also captured a fuel station in the Southwestern suburbs of Palmyra.

Syrian Army, Allies Liberate 110 sq/km of Lands in Homs Province in 48 Hours

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army and popular forces have captured 110 square kilometers of lands in their push in the Eastern part of Homs province in the last two days.

The Syrian army in cooperation with the National Defence Forces (NDF), Hezbollah fighters and Syrian and Russian air forces have purged the ISIL Takfiri terrorists from 110 square kilometers of lands near the ancient city of Palmyra (Tadmur) in the Eastern parts of Homs province in the past 48 hours.

A few hours ago, the Syrian army and its allies won control over a key hill in Eastern Homs province.

“The Syrian army and the National Defense Forces (NDF) continued pounding ISIL positions near Palmyra, and established full control over Syriatel hill near Palmyra Castle,” an army source said.

Battlefield reports from Homs province said terrorists have sustained heavy casualties in the Syrian army and popular forces’ continued and large-scale operations against ISIL’s concentration centers on Friday.

Meantime, the Russian Defense Ministry said the country’s bombers hit 146 terrorist targets around Palmyra from March 20 to March 23, and killed more than 300 terrorists during the operations.

“From March 20 to March 23 Russian Air and Space Forces conducted 41 sorties around Palmyra, Homs province, hitting 146 military terrorist targets. Six command centers, 320 terrorists, five tanks, six artillery systems, two ammunition depots and 15 vehicles were destroyed,” defence ministry said.

The Syrian army soldiers and their allies have kept on marching on militant-held regions in Eastern Homs province in recent days to capture the strategic city of Palmyra which has been under the control of the ISIL since May 2015.

The pro-government forces imposed full control over the Western slopes of Jabal (Mount) Al-Tar after a violent battle with the ISIL terrorists near Palmyra on Thursday.

According to a military source in Homs province, the Syrian Army forces and Hezbollah fighters broke ISIL’s defense lines on the Western slopes of Jabal al-Tar, forcing them to retreat to the Eastern parts of the strategic mountain-top, West of Palmyra. In addition to the liberation of the Western slopes of Jabal Al-Tar, the Syrian Army and Hezbollah also captured a fuel station in the Southwestern suburbs of Palmyra.

Meanwhile, Syrian army troops launched a night raid on the Western outskirts of Palmyra, targeting an ISIL strategic position in the area, a battlefield source said.

“The Syrian Army and Hezbollah started operation to capture Semiramis Hotel in Palmyra Suburb which is now an ISIL base,” a source said.

Similar to the well-known Qatari Royal Villa, the Semiramis Hotel has been turned into a fortified military installation by ISIL, it is also used as the Takfiri terrorist group’s barracks.

If the Syrian Armed Forces and Hezbollah succeed in liberating the Semiramis Hotel from the ISIL terrorists, they will be in a position to enter Palmyra for the first time since their large-scale retreat from this ancient city on May last year.

While the Syrian Armed Forces focus on the Semiramis Hotel, the Russian Air Force is pounding ISIL’s supply route between the city and the nearby town of Al-Sakhanah.

The Russian Air Force carried out more than two dozen airstrikes and the number is likely to skyrocket in the coming hours as the battle to liberate Palmyra intensifies.

The Takfiri terrorists of ISIL have blown up several ancient columns, temples and tower tombs in Palmyra in Syria.

The head of the UN cultural watchdog has branded the destruction by ISIL terrorists of ancient temple in Palmyra ruins as a “war crime”.

“This destruction is a new war crime and an immense loss for the Syrian people and for humanity,” UNESCO Chief Irina Bokova said in a statement, adding that the “perpetrators must be accountable for their actions”.

“The art and architecture of Palmyra, standing at the crossroads of several civilizations, is a symbol of the complexity and wealth of the Syrian identity and history,” she said.

“Daesh (ISIL) is killing people and destroying sites, but cannot silence history and will ultimately fail to erase this great culture from the memory of the world,” she added.

Russian Bombers Turn Areas near Palmyra into Hell for ISIL

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Russian fighter jets carried out tens of combat sorties over ISIL’s defense lines in regions around the ancient city of Palmyra (Tadmur) in Homs province.

The Russian Defense Ministry announced that the country’s warplanes hit 146 terrorist targets around Palmyra in Homs province from March 20 to March 23, stressing that more than 300 terrorists were also killed during the operations.

“From March 20 to March 23 Russian Air and Space Forces conducted 41 sorties around Palmyra, Homs province, hitting 146 military terrorist targets. Six command centers, 320 terrorists, five tanks, six artillery systems, two ammunition depots and 15 vehicles were destroyed,” defence ministry said.

The Syrian soldiers, backed by the National Defence Forces (NDF), Hezbollah fighters and Syrian-Russian Air backup, are marching on ISIL concentration centers in Homs province to take back control over Palmyra, leaving hundreds of Takfiri terrorists dead or injured.

Since September 30, Moscow has been conducting pinpoint airstrikes on Takfiri terrorist targets in Syria at President Bashar al-Assad’s request.

The Russian Aerospace Forces coordinate their actions with the Syrian army which is operating on the ground.

Syria Vows to Restore the Beauty of Palmyra

All historical monuments in Syria that were destroyed by terrorists will be restored with the help of both local and international experts, said Maamun Abdel-Karim, the head of Syria’s Directorate-General for Antiquities and Museums (DGAM).

Sputnik-Middle East

Adbel-Karim welcomed the soon coming liberation of Palmyra from Daesh. On Friday, the Syrian Army alongside the Desert Falcons militia units defeated Daesh militants and took control over the Palmyra Castle. The jihadists used the castle as a place to for their snipers and mortars shelling the Syrian Army.

“I feel fear and joy at the same time… I’m happy that the liberation of the city is approaching… and this nightmare will soon be over, it will be over before the ancient city is completely destroyed,” Abdel-Karim told AFP.

Abdel-Karim said after the city is liberated the first thing he will do is to go into Palmyra and check out the level of destruction in the city. The head of DGAM vowed that with the help of UNESCO and other international organizations, Syria would restore the ruined historical monuments.

“We’re determined to bring Palmyra back to life,” Abdel-Karim said.

The ancient ruins of Palmyra, known as the Pearl of the Desert, have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city was seized by Daesh in May 2015. Before leaving the city, the Syrian Army evacuated the majority of its residents and the most precious museum antiquities. After Daesh seized the city a number of ancient ruins and temples faced destruction.Syria has been mired in civil war since 2011, with the country’s government fighting numerous opposition factions and jihadist groups, including Daesh and al-Nusra Front.

4 killed, 20 injured in terrorist rocket attack on Aleppo city
25 March، 2016
Aleppo, SANA

Local sources told SANA’s correspondent that 4 people were killed and 20 others were injured by rocket shells fired by terrorist organizations on al-Sheikh Maqsoud neighborhood in Aleppo city.

The sources said that the injured were rushed to hospitals to receive treatment, and that the attack also caused material damage to public and private properties.

Hazem Sabbagh