Syrian Front: Celebrations of Victory in Palmrya Continue as Defense Forces Liberate New Territory

Putin discusses with Russian Security Council positive developments in Syria
28 March، 2016
Moscow, SANA

Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed on Monday with the permanent members of the Russian National Security Council the positive developments resulting from the Syrian army’s continuous operations against terrorism with the support of the Russian air force.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a statement on Monday that during the meeting, discussions stressed the importance of restoring Palmyra from ISIS terrorists by the Syrian Arab Army.

The General Command of the Army and the Armed Forces announced in a statement on Sunday that security and stability were restored to Palmyra city after a series of precise and effective operations.

Qabas/ Manal

Kremlin Report


Report of the Russian Centre for reconciliation of opposing sides in the Syrian Arab Republic (March 28, 2016)

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

Consultations with representatives of 2 towns of the Damascus and Hama provinces have been held. The sides discussed issues of ceasefire and providing humanitarian aid.

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

Negotiations with field commanders of three armed formations active in the Hama and Homs provinces have been held. The parties discussed issues of joining ceasefire regime.

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, 9 ceasefire violations by militants of Ahrar al-Sham grouping, which had claimed to belong to the opposition one, have been registered (Aleppo and Idlib – 4 for each, Latakia – 1).

In Aleppo, Ahrar al-Sham militants carried out four mortar attacks against living houses and positions of Kurdish militia detachments in Sheikh Maqsood.

Mortar firing was opened for four times from positions of Ahrar al-Sham in Tell Suffan and Binish against Fua (Idlib province).

Militants of Ahrar al-Sham carried out mortar shelling against positions of the government troops in Guebara from Shamruran (Latakia province).

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

Citizens of Izra (Daraa province) have received 2.7 tons of humanitarian aid.

27,2 tons of food products have been delivered by the Syrian leadership to citizens of Deir ez-Zor, which had been besieged by militants of Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS.

Humanitarian convoy to inhabited areas of the Aleppo province is being formed.

Additional information

The Russian Centre for reconciliation of opposing sides has held meeting with administration and public representatives of Fua and Kafr Khaya (Idlib province), which had been besieged by Jabhat al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham and Jaysh al-Islam armed formations for more than two years.

According to the participants of the meeting, the inhabited areas have been suffering catastrophic humanitarian situation. The citizens appealed to all involved parties for stopping shelling, providing humanitarian aid and evacuating numerous badly injured and sick, who had been suffering qualified medical assistance.

Jubhat al-Nusra formations continue performing acts of provocations in the north-west of the Aleppo province. Militants took efforts to carry out offensive from Hraitan on positions of the Kurdish militia detachments in Sheikh Maqsood after conducting mortar shelling. Terrorists withdrew to their positions after a 1.5-hour combat.

Militants of Jabhat al-Nusra carried out 6 mortar and artillery attacks from Tell Jobekjo mountain and Bustan al-Basha city section against Sheikh Maqsood. Terrorists fired more than 30 bombs and 14 self-made projectiles. Two civilians were killed and 6 ones were wounded.

According to the information received from citizens of the Aleppo province, more than 50 militants and 3 heavy trucks with munitions have arrived in Anadan from the Turkish territory in order to strengthen positions of Jabhat al-Nusra formations.


Russia to send experts and robots to help clear Palmyra from landmines
28 March، 2016
Moscow, SANA

The Russian General Staff stated on Monday that Russia will help the Syrian army in removing landmines which were planted by ISIS terrorists in Palmyra city.

RT Russian website quoted Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, as saying that Russia will send experts from its engineering forces along with special robots to take part in demining the archaeological sites in the ancient city of Palmyra.

General Gerasimov added that recapturing Palmyra has a strategic importance in combating terrorism, adding that Russian airstrikes destroyed positions and depots of terrorists and cut off routes for oil smuggling which was supporting the activities of terrorists.

He stressed that Russia’s airstrikes in the past months helped to radically change the situation that resulted from the spread of terrorism since positions of terrorists were destroyed along with their depots and supply routes.

Units of the Syrian Arab Army, in cooperation with popular defense groups, had restored security and stability to Palmyra, both the modern part of it and the ancient city which is listed on the UNESCO list of World Heritage, and established full control over Palmyra Airport.

Qabas/ Hazem Sabbagh


Directorate-General of Antiquities and Museums sends team of archaeologists to assess situation in Palmyra
28 March، 2016
Damascus, SANA

Director of the Historical and Archaeological Buildings Department in the General Establishment of Antiquities and Museums Nazir Awad said that the directorate had sent a team including archaeology specialists and experts to Palmyra city to make a preliminary assessment of the situation there in the wake of recapturing the city from ISIS terrorists.

Awad explained in a statement to SANA on Monday that restoration of the damaged ruins in Palmyra needs about five years of work if material support and conditions are provided.

Awad added that the images and information about Palmyra ruins show that more than 80 per cent of them are in good condition, noting that the danger lies in the secret exploration operations carried out by the terrorist organization, stressing at the same time the need for an accurate preview to appraise the effect of the secret exploration on the ruins.

Units of the army in cooperation with the popular defense groups restored security and stability to Palmyra city after eliminating the remaining gatherings of ISIS terrorists in it.

Qabas/ Manal


Global Media Praise Palmyra Liberation as Victory for Damascus and Moscow

The Syrian flag has been raised in Palmyra, the monumental ruins of an ancient civilization long gone, after Damascus-led forces assisted by Russian planes pushed Daesh out of the city in what would undoubtedly be later recalled as a significant milestone in a multinational effort to defeat the brutal group.

Sputnik-World

The long-awaited victory of the Syrian Arab Army and its allies, particularly Russia, has been hailed as a success both for Damascus and Moscow.

“Retaking the desert city, a UNESCO world heritage site known for its Roman-era ruins, is a substantial victory for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad,” the Washington Post asserted. It is also “a victory for Russia’s military involvement in Syria.”

Moscow’s aerial assistance was instrumental in retaking Palmyra. “Despite the official end of Russian military intervention, its aircraft evidently played a central role in retaking the city,” the Independent observed.

But implications of Moscow’s military engagement in Syria go beyond the liberation of Palmyra.

The multinational airstrike campaign has been largely credited with helping Damascus-led forces turn the tide of war and deal a heavy blow to Daesh. Moscow has also contributed to turning the Syrian Arab Army into the capable and motivated force it is today.

“The withering defeat underscores [Daesh’s] broader struggle to retain territory it has seized in Syria and Iraq,” the New York Times reported. “The capture of Palmyra, days after the deadly Belgium bombings for which [Daesh] claimed responsibility, added weight to Mr. Assad’s contention that his government is a bulwark against the transnational extremist group.”

Daesh captured and partially destroyed Palmyra in May 2015 as part of an effort to prove that the group was as powerful and resilient as in mid-2014 when it shocked the world by seizing Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq, and advancing towards Baghdad. The militants also recognized the ancient city’s strategic value. The city’s location will now work against the terrorist group.

Damascus-led forces “can use Palmyra as a stepping stone for offensives against [Daesh]-held territory in Syria’s eastern desert, where the militants are entrenched in Deir ez-Zor, as well as the self-proclaimed caliphate’s de facto capital in Raqqa,” the Guardian explained.

Die Zeit noted that the Palmyra victory could help the SAA to “decisively weaken” Daesh.

Michael Stephens of the Royal United Services Institute highlighted the psychological aspect of the victory, calling it “a step in chipping away at the group’s power base, both geographically and strategically, as well as debasing the myth that the caliphate’s armies are all-conquering and unable to be defeated.”


Palmyra Victory Proves Syria ‘Can Crush Terrorists With Its Own Forces’

On Sunday, the Syrian Army and its allies, with air support from Russia, completely liberated the ancient city of Palmyra from Daesh militants; the joint military operation took three weeks.

Sputnik-Middle East

Without doubts, this has been the biggest defeat for Daesh since its “caliphate” was declared in 2014.

For over 10 months, Palmyra was under control of the terrorists, who pillaged and destroyed its world-renown ancient ruins. However, the Syrian government was able to strike back: its assault on Palmyra lasted three weeks. On the morning of March 27, while Western Christendom was celebrating the Easter holiday, the city was liberated. Over 400 terrorists were reported to have been killed in the operation.

Security and stability have been restored in Palmyra, a spokesperson of the Syrian Army commented. The army also regained control of the surrounding heights and hills, killing many terrorists in the process.

“This battle is really of strategic importance. It proved that the Syrian Army is capable of fighting on its own. It is the only force in the country capable of defeating Daesh. The liberation of Palmyra is a tremendous strategic and symbolic victory for the government forces,” Syrian military analyst Kamal Alam told RT.

He also explained why this victory is now so important.

“Palmyra is situated right in the middle of Syria. It connects the eastern and the middle parts of the country. The main routes to Raqqa, Damascus and Idlib run through the city. Having regained control over Palmyra, the Syrian Army would advance to eastern Syria,” he pointed out.

Alam added that after the Palmyra liberation, there are several ways to settle the Syrian crisis despite the skeptical position of the West.

“The West should change its stance and admit that the Syrian government and the Syrian Army are the only institutions capable of defeating Daesh. Western governments should support Bashar Assad in the fight against terrorism,” he said.

Daesh militants cannot survive the organized ground operation being launched by the Syrian government forces, strategic analyst Gregory Copley pointed out.

“In order to survive, Daesh would need much more support from abroad, including from Turkey, Qatar or Saudi Arabia. Now, Daesh is adopting a defensive position,” he said.

The end of the Syrian conflict would not serve Ankara’s interests, he added.

“Turkey cannot let Daesh lose at the current stage of the war. If the terrorists are defeated in Syria, they will go back to Turkey. As a result, the Kurdish problem, which has nearly turned into a civil war in Turkey, would intensify,” Copley explained.

The Battle of Palmyra, between the Syrian Army and Daesh militants, began on March 24. Government forces attacked Daesh all along the front line. They reversed the tide of the battle and pushed the terrorists back.

Palmyra is not only one of the most important strategic targets, but is also considered Syria’s greatest archeological and historic site. A number of monuments have been destroyed by Daesh. They have also laid dozens of mines in the heart of the ancient city.

“UNESCO will send a supervising mission to Palmyra when security conditions are restored. We’re inviting international experts, everyone who loves Palmyra, to contribute to its restoration,” Maamun Abdulkarim from the National Museum of Damascus said.

The victory of Palmyra has both strategic and symbolic meanings. According to experts, after the defeat in Palmyra the militants will retreat toward Deir ez-Zor or flee to Iraq. As Daesh flees east, it will have to contend with the US-led coalition’s airstrikes in Iraq. Currently, coalition aircraft are dropping bombs on large cities in Iraq, where the terrorist group has already lost 40 percent of its territory.


US Has No Plans to Help With Demining Palmyra

WASHINGTON (Sputnik-Middle East) — The United States is not planning on helping demine Palmyra that was recently retaken from Daesh by Russia-backed Syrian forces in order to facilitate access for UNESCO to the site, US State Department spokesperson John Kirby said in a press briefing on Monday.


Iraqi Popular Forces Cut ISIL’s Strategic Iraq-Syria Supply Route

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iraqi popular forces cut ISIL’s main supply route from Iraq to Syria after seizing two more important regions near the city of Sinjar.

The Iraqi forces took full control over the strategic Um al-Diban and Um al-Jaris regions in the Northern parts of Iraq.

The ISIL sustained heavy losses, including losing several of its armored vehicles.

Um al-Diban and Um al-Jaris regions are located in Sinjar countryside near Iraq-Syria borders and they were regarded as one of most important supply routes of the ISIL from Nineveh province in Iraq to Hasaka and Deir Ezzur provinces in Syria.

On Thursday, the Arab media outlets reported that the Iraqi Army and popular forces have begun military operations to retake the Northern province of Nineveh from ISIL.

It said that the Iraqi forces have already liberated several villages in the district of al-Makhmour and Mosul, which has been under ISIL’s control for two years.

The Northern and Western parts of Iraq have been plagued by violence ever since the ISIL terrorists began an offensive through the Iraqi territory in June 2014.

Iraqi army soldiers and popular forces are now seeking to win back these occupied regions in joint operations.

Last Tuesday, Nineveh Province Operations Commander Brigadier General Najm al-Jabouri announced that the ISIL positions in Mosul were under the army’s heavy fire, underlining that his forces were waiting for an order to launch the final battle.

“The Central and Southern parts of Mosul which host the ISIL commanders’ strongholds are under artillery fire and airstrikes,” Jabouri told FNA.

He said that the Iraqi army and popular forces were all prepared for their commanders’ order to launch a decisive battle against the ISIL in Mosul.

A source in Iraq’s Ministry of Interior announced last Friday that the Iraqi Air Force’s planes dropped thousands of leaflets on the city of Mosul (405 km North of Baghdad), calling on the residents to be prepared for the liberation operation of the city by the Iraqi army.

The source said in a statement that “today the Iraqi Air Force planes dropped thousands of leaflets on Tahrir neighborhood, as well as different parts in the left side of Mosul”.

The source, who asked anonymity, added, “The leaflets called the citizens to be prepared for the expulsion of ISIL terrorist members.”


Military operations against terrorists continuous in several areas
28 March، 2016
Provinces, SANA

Army units carried out Monday military operations against terrorist organizations in several areas around the country, as the popular resistance in the eastern area also killed many ISIS terrorists in Deir-Ezzor.

Hama

An army unit carried out an operation against a Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists’ gathering in al-Mansoura village in the northwestern countryside of Hama central province.

A field source told SANA that a mortar launcher was destroyed in the western neighborhood of al-Mansoura village in al-Ghab Valley and a number of terrorists were killed or injured in the operation.

Idleb

In Idleb Province, local sources from Sarmada town, close to Bab al-Hawa border crossing with Turkey, said that a car bomb exploded on Sunday near the roundabout of the town where terrorists of “Ahrar al-Sham movement” are spread.

The sources added that eight terrorists were killed in the explosion including the terrorist Thaer Afandi, while others got injured.

Deir-Ezzor

Popular resistance in the eastern area killed nine ISIS terrorists in the towns of al-Mayadeen and al-Ashara in Deir-Ezzor eastern province.

Local sources told SANA that members of the popular resistance in the eastern area ambushed four ISIS terrorists, all of whom are foreigners, near al-Tebbiya Roundabout in al-Mayadeen town to the southeast of Deir-Ezzor city.

The sources added that members of the popular resistance in the eastern area carried out an accurate operation against ISIS gathering in al- Ashara town to the southeast of Deir-Ezzor, killing five terrorists, three of whom are Saudis.


Syrian Army Captures More Key Areas Near Quaryatayn

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army and popular forces attacked the ISIL’s military positions in the surrounding areas of the strategic town of al-Quaryatayn in Homs province, and managed to seize back a number of key regions.

The strategic regions won back by the Syrian government troops are located along Taloul al-Soud axis.

Meantime, the clashes continued along al-Sukhneh axis in the Northeastern part of Palmyra city.

The Syrian government troops also engaged in heavy clashes with al-Nusra Front terrorists in the surrounding areas of Talbisa, Tir Ma’ala and Um Sharshoukh in Homs province.

In a relevant development earlier on Monday, the Syrian army and the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement started fresh military operations against the terrorists’ military positions in the town of Quaryatayn, and seized control of a strategic hill in the region in the first phase of the operation.

The army units attacked the terrorists’ positions in Quaryatayn.

The Syrian army and resistance forces seized back Mantar al-Ramliya Hill in Taloul al-Soud area in the Western part of Quaryatayn town early in the first phase of their massive operations.

The Syrian army started its fresh operations after it cut the terrorists’ supply routes to the ancient city of Palmyra which is also located in Eastern Homs.

Meantime, the Syrian army’s artillery units heavily pounded the terrorists’ positions in Quaryatayn.

Last week battlefield sources announced that the Syrian Army’s 11th Division and 3rd Division had secured all hills around al-Quaraytayn city.

In a relevant development on Saturday, the Syrian army and popular forces managed to take full control of a major supply line to the West and Southwest of Palmyra city.

The army units took full control of ISIL’s Quaryatayn-Palmyra supply route in a bid to prevent flow of supplies to the ISIL terrorists in the Western and Southwestern parts of Palmyra.

The ISIL’s logistic and supply routes from the West and Southwestern parts of Palmyra are disconnected now.

The Syrian army also managed to disconnect Quaryatayn and Palmyra from each other by taking full control over the Quaryatayn-Palmyra highway.

The Syrian army’s special troops known as Tiger Forces are engaged in heavy fighting with the ISIL Takfiri terrorists in the streets of the ancient city of Palmyra (Tadmur) in the Eastern part of Homs province.

The ISIL terrorists are trying hard to prevent the Syrian army from making further advances in Palmyra city as the street battle between the two sides is intensifying.

The ISIL militants have sustained heavy casualties and losses in fierce clashes with the Syrian army in recent days.

The Syrian army has made considerable advances in the areas near Palmyra city and taken full control of a strategic ancient castle near the Palmyra city.

On Friday, the Syrian government forces and Desert Falcons fighters gained control over a strategically important height near Palmyra.

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”.


Eastern Homs: Syrian Army Wins More Key Areas

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army and popular forces took full control over the strategic regions in the Eastern part of Homs province.

The army units established full control over Heights 849, 850 in the direction of al-Hazem al-Thani and Height 876 in al-Ramila direction to the Northwest of the town of Quaryatayn.

In a relevant development on Sunday, the Syrian army and the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement were preparing to attack the terrorists’ military positions in Quaryatayn which overlooks al-Qalamoun area in Damascus countryside.

The army units were ready to attack the terrorists’ positions in Quaryatayn as the Syrian army and popular forces have cut the terrorists’ supply routes to the ancient city of Palmyra which is also located in Eastern Homs.

Meantime, the Syrian army’s artillery units heavily pounded the terrorists’ positions in Quaryatayn.

On March 23, battlefield sources announced that the Syrian Army’s 11th Division and 3rd Division had secured all hills around al-Quaraytayn city.

In a relevant development on Saturday, the Syrian army and popular forces managed to take full control of a major supply line to the West and Southwest of Palmyra city.

The army units took full control of ISIL’s Quaryatayn-Palmyra supply route in a bid to prevent flow of supplies to the ISIL terrorists in the Western and Southwestern parts of Palmyra.

The ISIL’s logistic and supply routes from the West and Southwestern parts of Palmyra are disconnected now.

The Syrian army also managed to disconnect Quaryatayn and Palmyra from each other by taking full control over the Quaryatayn-Palmyra highway.

On Friday, the Syrian government forces and Desert Falcons fighters gained control over a strategically important height near Palmyra.

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