Syrian Front: Syrian Army Drives Da’esh Towards the Northern Part of Palmyra

Syrian Front: Palmyra Castle Captured by Syrian Army
Syrian Front: Russian Airforce Launched 146 Airstrikes on Da’esh Targets Near Palmyra City
Syrian Front: Palmyra Triangle Under Syrian Army Control


Report of the Russian Centre for reconciliation of opposing sides in the Syrian Arab Republic (March 26, 2016)

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

Negotiations with field commanders of two armed formations active in the Damascus province have been continued. The parties discussed joining the ceasefire regime.

The number of ceasefire application forms signed with leaders of armed groupings has remained 43.

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

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, 9 ceasefire violations have been registered (Aleppo – 3, Damascus, Latakia and Homs – 2 for each).

In Aleppo, armed formations of Ahrar al-Sham grouping, which had claimed to belong to the opposition one, carried out three mortar shellings against living houses and positions of Kurdish militia detachments in Sheikh Maqsood from Ashrafiya.

In the Damascus province, militants of unidentified armed formation carried out mortar attacks against Hteitet al-Jarash and Zibdin.

In the Latakia province, armed formations of al-Haq brigade opened fire with mortars against Karajabez and Kermel from Shamruran.

Near Tell al-Shakara (Homs province), unidentified militants performed two mortar shellings against units of the government troops.

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

Humanitarian aid to the population of Syria

Officers of operational group of the Russian Centre for reconciliation held consultations with representatives of the Daraa province administration on providing humanitarian aid to the citizens.

Humanitarian convoy for citizens of the Homs province is being formed.

Additional information

Citizens of the Aleppo province informed the Russian Centre about arrival of an armed formation in Hraitan (8 km to the north-west from Aleppo). The 200-man strong armed formation is armed with 11 off-roaders with large caliber machine guns, and 4 mortars.

Militants of Jabhat al-Nusra fired 23 mines against Sheikh Maqsood (Aleppo). Two civilians were killed and eleven ones were wounded.

Shelling with mortars and large-caliber machine guns against Fua (Idlib province) was continued. One civilian was wounded.

In the course of last 24 hours, near Tadmore (Palmyra, Homs province), the Russian Aerospace Forces have performed 40 sorties engaging 158 objects of terrorists. In total, the Russian aircraft have eliminated more than 100 militants, 4 tanks, 3 artillery guns, 4 ammunition depots, and 5 pieces of automobile hardware.

Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation


Chief of General Staff observes combat operations against ISIS in Palmyra
26 March، 2016
Homs, SANA
AyoubUpon instructions from President Bashar al-Assad, Chief of General Staff of the Army and Armed Forces Gen. Ali Abdullah Ayoub conducted a field visit during which he inspected army units operating around Palmyra in the eastern countryside of Homs province.

Ayoub, accompanied by officers from the General Staff, observed the progress of combat operations conducted by the army and popular defense groups against ISIS, and lauded the high morale, strong will, and achievements made by the fighters.

Field commanders briefed Ayoub on the operations taking place on the ground, and in turn he provided them with instructions and called upon them to continue carrying out their duties until Palmyra is reclaimed completely and terrorism is eliminated in it.

Hazem Sabbagh


The army establishes full control over several neighborhoods in Palmyra city and areas in Hama
26 March، 2016
Homs/Hama, SANA
Palmyra town armyArmy units, in cooperation with the popular defense groups, continued military operations to retake Tadmur (Palmyra city) where fierce clashes are taking place in various areas, with ISIS terrorists suffering heavy losses.

The operations have resulted in establishing full control over the neighborhoods of al-Mutaqa’idin, al-Ameriyeh and al-Jamiyat al-Gharbiyeh in Tadmur city, according to sources on the ground.

Al-Ameriyeh neighborhood, where heavy clashes took place between the army units and ISIS groups since early this morning, is considered the last line of defense for ISIS, whose members had planted dozens of mines and explosive devices inside the neighborhood to hinder the army’s advance.

In the meantime, army units are currently engaged in fierce clashes with ISIS terrorists in al-Gharbi and al-Shamali neighborhoods, making advances in al-Gharbi neighborhood after heavy clashes with ISIS terrorists.

According to the sources, the army units also launched intensive military operations towards the southern orchards, achieving important advances towards the city.

The sources added that violent clashes also are going on in the vicinity of Palmyra airport in the eastern of the city.

During the past two days, the army seized the archaeological Palmyra castle, Wadi al-Qobor, al-Qosor Mountains, the Qatari palace and all hills surrounding the city.

Hama

Army units established control over two positions in the eastern countryside of Hama after inflicting heavy losses in personnel and munitions upon ISIS terrorists.

Army units carried ou a special operation against dens and gatherings of ISIS terrorist organization in Aqareb area 31 kilometers to the east of Hama.

The operation ended by establishing control on two new sites to the west of Aqareb Dam and Tabaret al-Deibeh in addition to killing 10 terrorists from ISIS organization and destroying three vehicles equipped with heavy machine guns.

Engineering units combed the two positions and dismantled the explosive devices which were planted earlier by terrorists to hinder the advance of the army.


 

Russian Airstrikes Destroy 158 Terrorist Targets in Palmyra

Sputnik-Middle East

Russian warplanes have conducted 40 sorties in Syria’s Palmyra over the past 24 hours, destroying 158 terrorist targets and eliminating over 100 militants, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

“Near Tadmor [Palmyra in the Homs province] the Russian Aerospace Forces have carried out 40 sorties over past 24 hours. Airstrikes have been launched on 158 terrorist targets, killing more than 100 militants and destroying four tanks, three artillery systems, four ammunition depots, and five units of motor vehicles,” according to a daily bulletin published on the site of the Russian Defense Ministry.

The Syrian army’s offensive on the city of Palmyra to recapture it from Daesh terrorists began on Thursday. On Friday, the units of the Syrian army and patriotic militia retook the historic Palmyra Castle from Daesh terrorists.

Palmyra is considered key for advancing to Daesh stronghold of Raqqa in eastern Syria.

The city of Palmyra and its historic ruins have been under Daesh control since May 2015. The terrorist group has since destroyed part of the ruins, which are a designated UNESCO World Heritage site.

Al-Nusra Front terrorists fired 23 mortar shells in Aleppo, killing two civilians and injuring 11, the ministry said.

According to the bulletin, residents of the Aleppo province reported about the arrival of 200 militants in Haritan village, who were armed with heavy machine guns and mortars.

In Aleppo, Ahrar ash-Sham militants, which are participating in the truce, shelled residential areas and Kurdish positions three times.

The Russian reconciliation center has registered nine ceasefire violations over the past 24 hours: three in the Aleppo province, two in Damascus, as well as two both in the Latakia and Homs provinces.

“In general, the ceasefire regime in the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic has been observed. During last 24 hours, 9 ceasefire violations have been registered (Aleppo – 3, Damascus, Latakia and Homs – 2 for each).”

The ministry noted that a population area in the Idlib province was shelled, injuring one civilian. Moreover, in the province of Homs, unknown armed groups shelled twice the Syrian Army from mortars.

In the Damascus province, unknown militants shelled residential areas, according to the Russian military.

The Russian Defense Ministry emphasized that no airstrikes have been carried out by Russian and Syrian air forces on Syrian opposition groups participating in the ceasefire agreement.

“Russian Aerospace Forces and Syrian Air Forces did not launch strikes on armed groups which participate in the ceasefire regime and informed the Russian and US centers on reconciliation about their location.”


 

Daesh Defeat: Syrian Army Pushes Militants to North Part of Palmyra

Sputnik-Middle East

After a series of fighting against the Syrian Army, a group of Daesh militants retreated to the northern areas of Palmyra; clashes, however, are still taking place in the eastern and western parts of the ancient Syrian city.

The Syrian Army destroyed a Daesh tank and two trucks with anti-aircraft guns which the terrorists were firing at the citadel of Palmyra, a source from the Syrian Army’s command headquarters told RIA Novosti.

Although clearly losing their ground in the northern areas of the city, Daesh militants continue to resist.

Earlier today Syrian Army fighters tore down a Daesh flag from the top of the medieval castle in Palmyra.

On Saturday, fierce fighting resumed in almost all parts of Palmyra, with the exception of the city’s historical district. Militiamen from the Desert Falcons unit have so far been able to gain a foothold in the residential quarter beneath the citadel.

In another part of the city the government forces were advancing toward a local military airfield.

The Syrian army’s offensive on the city of Palmyra to recapture it from Daesh terrorists began on Thursday. On Friday, the units of the Syrian army and patriotic militia retook the historic Palmyra Castle from Daesh terrorists.

Palmyra is considered key for advancing to Daesh stronghold of Raqqa in eastern Syria.

The city of Palmyra and its historic ruins have been under Daesh control since May 2015. The terrorist group has since destroyed part of the ruins, which is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site.


 

Palmyra Castle partially damaged due to ISIS acts, plans to restore it to its former glory
26 March، 2016
Palmyra, SANA

The archaeological Palmyra Castle was found to have sustained massive damage deliberately inflicted by ISIS terrorists before they have fled deep into Tadmur (Palmyra) city.

While it can only be seen from the outside, the castle seems to have had the stairway leading through its entrance blown up and completely demolished, along with many other parts of the castle’s structure.

It has so far been difficult to reach inside the castle due to the demolition, yet SANA camera was able to take close up shots of the castle from over the hill on which it is located. The damage done to the structure was evident.

SANA reporter however affirmed that a group of army soldiers found a way and managed to enter the castle and made sure its inside has been cleared of explosives.

The castle, which is located in the western part of Palmyra city, came under full control of the army only yesterday afternoon following intensive pinpoint operations to spare the castle any further damage.

The military operation in the area has been in full swing over the past days with the aim to restore security to the city and the archeological site, which ISIS took over last May.

Abdulkarim: Plan to restore Palmyra Castle to its former glory
Palmyra Castle
Directorate-General for Antiquities and Museums (DGAM) Director General Maamoun Abdulkarim stressed that Palmyra Castle has survived the ISIS terrorists’ demolition and vandalism acts, as images surfaced showing the basic structure is still intact.

In a statement to SANA, Abdulkarim added that the whole situation is “reassuring to some extent” and that the damage caused to the internal structure is repairable, which is possible due to the availability of trained and qualified staff capable of restoring the castle to its former glory.

He said that a plan is being set up to carry restoration works, adding that the DGAM intends to send a specialized archaeological team to Palmyra once it is declared safe in order to evaluate the damage caused by ISIS terrorists to its landmarks and rehabilitate them, particularly the temples of Bel and Baalshamin, noting that this will be done and under the supervision of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) since Palmyra is listed on its World Heritage List.

It should be noted that restoration work had been conducted to Palmyra Castle in the past by the late researcher Khaled al-Asaad, who was murdered by ISIS.

Abdelkarim pointed out that the DGAM rehabilitated numerous archaeological sites after the Syrian Arab Army restored security and stability to the areas containing them, such as Krak des Chevaliers, not to mention restoration work implemented in Ma’aloula and the Old City in Homs.

Palmyra Castle, or Fakhr-al-Din al-Ma’ani Castle, along with many other archaeological sites in Palmyra, have been vandalized by ISIS terrorists who have also stolen hundreds of archaeological artifacts from the National Museum in the city and destroyed a number of historical landmarks such as the distinctive tower tombs and the iconic Arch of Triumph.

H. Said / Rasha Raslan / Hazem Sabbagh