Putin is a hero. Look what enormous feat the Russians managed in a few short months. Amazing. The endless media bashing against Putin is bizarre and rather suspect.
May Assad win against the Saudi lead and funded Salafi infiltration tormenting his country.
Pictured: Syrian army on the ground as they continue to retake historic city of Palmyra from ISIS after massive offensive as Iraqi forces advance on Mosul
- Syrian army is pictured on the ground as they retake Palmyra from ISIS
- Russian military announced death of special forces officer near Palmyra
- ISIS captured the ancient city of Palmyra in May 2015 from Syrian forces
- The terror organisation began blowing up the area’s historic monuments
- Russian jets have been pounding ISIS positions in the area for weeks
By Darren Boyle and Imogen Calderwood For Mailonline|
Syrian troops have been pictured on the ground in the historic city of Palmyra, as they continue to take it back from ISIS.
The Syrian regime successfully marched into the city in a major strategic setback for the terror group.
Photographs have this evening emerged of Syrian soldiers standing next to a mansion belonging to the Qatari royal family in the ancient city.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed that the Syrian forces, backed by Russian warplanes and allied militia on the ground, has advanced into Palmyra after launching a desert offensive early this month.
Backed by Russian warplanes and allied militia on the ground, the Syrian army advanced into Palmyra after launching a desert offensive early this month, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Across in Iraq, ISIS positions in Mosul are being attacked by US-led aircraft while Iraqi ground troops advance on the city.
ISIS captured Palmyra in May 2015 and began blowing up many of the area’s antique attractions such as the 2,000-year-old Arch of Triumph.
President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have spent the past month advancing on the ancient city with the assistance of the Russian forces who have pounded ISIS positions in the area.
It comes as the Russian military announced the death of a Russian special forces officer in fighting near Palmyra.
Russian news agencies quoted a military representative at the country’s base in Syria as saying: ‘An officer of Russian special operations forces was killed near Palmyra while carrying out a special task to direct Russian airstrikes at Islamic State group targets.’
Syrian state TV said fighting in Palmyra was concentrated near the archeological site on the south western edge of town.
Advance: Syrian government soldiers mark into what local media claims in Palmyra on Thursday, as the army moves to recapture the historic city from ISIS
Syrian government forces have spent the past month advancing on the ancient city with the assistance of the Russian forces who have pounded ISIS positions in the area
Back in the day: The historical city of Palmyra, in central Syria, is seen on 2010, before it was destroyed.
One soldier warned ISIS: ‘You will be crushed under the feet of the Syrian Arab Army.’
Syrian troops have been on the offensive for days in an attempt to capture the town that is home to one of the world’s most famous archaeological sites.
Russian news agency Tass reported that Palmyra is under ‘Syrian Army fire control’ quoting sources in the Damascus regime.
The state-run news channel Ikhbariya broadcast images from just outside Palmyra and said government fighters had taken over a hotel district in the west. A soldier interviewed by Ikhbariya said the army and its allies would press forward beyond Palmyra.
‘We say to those gunmen, we are advancing to Palmyra, and to what’s beyond Palmyra, and God willing to Raqqa, the centre of the Daesh gangs.’
The state news agency SANA showed warplanes flying overhead, helicopters firing missiles, and soldiers and armoured vehicles approaching the city.
Syrian forces have made major advances against ISIS in the ancient city of Palmyra, pictured
Syrian Army forces are advancing on the ancient city of Palmyra to recapture it from ISIS
The terrorists captured Palmyra in May 2015 and began systematically destroying the ancient artifacts
Earlier Syrian troops were just 500 metres from the city centre and have now been photographed inside.
Civilians began fleeing after Islamic State fighters told them via loudspeakers to leave the centre as fighting drew closer, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The Observatory monitors the war using a network of sources on the ground.
ISIS has blown up ancient temples and tombs since capturing Palmyra in what the U.N. cultural agency UNESCO has called a war crime. The city, located at a crossroads in central Syria, is surrounded mostly by desert.
The capture of Palmrya and further eastward advances into Deir al-Zor would mark the most significant Syrian government gain against IS since the start of Russia’s military intervention last September.
Syrian troops are retaking the ancient city of Palmyra which has been held by ISIS since May 2015
ISIS has already destroyed some of the ancient monuments in the city in yet another war crime
Among the monuments destroyed by ISIS is believed to be the 2,000-year-old Arch of Triumph, pictured
The United Nations has described the destruction of UNESCO world heritage sites as a war crime
ISIS released photographs of their terrorists inside the ancient ruins soon after they took control last year.
With Russia’s help, Damascus had already taken back some ground from ISIS, notably east of Aleppo, Syria’s biggest city and commercial hub before the war.
Recapturing the town, a UNESCO world heritage site, would be a significant victory for Syria’s army and its Russian allies. Russia withdrew most of its forces and aircraft from Syria last week after a months-long bombing campaign that succeeded in turning the tide of the war again in President Bashar Assad’s favor.
Earlier in the day, Governor Talal Barazi told The Associated Press from the nearby city of Homs that the Syrian army has determined three directions to storm Palmyra and was clearing all roads leading into the town of mines and explosives.
‘We might witness in the next 48 hours an overwhelming victory in Palmyra.’
In Iraq, authorities have launched Operation Conquest to retake the northern city of Mosul from ISIS
There have been co-ordinated attacks on ISIS positions in villages surrounding Mosul to cut off the terrorist organisation’s supply lines before beginning the process of retaking the city
A US-led coalition has been attacking ISIS positions in villages surrounding Mosul, pictured
Mosul lies 225 north west of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad and is major strategic point for control of the country.
In Palmyra, ISIS destroyed many of the town’s Roman-era relics, including the 2,000-year-old Temple of Bel and the iconic Arch of Triumph, and also killed dozens of captive Syrian soldiers and dissidents from ISIS in public slayings at the town’s grand roman theater and other ruins.
WHY IS PALMYRA SO IMPORTANT?
A UNESCO world heritage site, Palymra boasts 2,000-year-old towering Roman-era colonnades, temples and priceless artifacts that have earned it the affectionate name among Syrians of the ‘Bride of the Desert’.
They are the remnants of an Arab client state of the Roman Empire that briefly rebelled and carved out its own kingdom in the 3rd Century, led by Queen Zenobia, with Palmyra as its capital. Before the war, it was Syria’s top tourist attraction, drawing tens of thousands of visitors each year.
Palmyra was first mentioned in the archives of Mari in the 2nd millennium BC, according to UNICEF’s website. The town was the hub of a network of caravan trails that carried silks and spices from eastern Asia across the Roman province of Arabia to the Mediterranean.
Palmyra became a prosperous region during the Hellenistic period. It later became part of the Roman Empire.
But its rebellious Queen Zenobia challenged Rome’s authority. The city was plundered in 272 A.D. after she was captured during a long siege.
Along with blowing up priceless archaeological treasures, among the first destructions ISIS carried out in Palmyra was the demolishing of the town’s infamous Tadmur prison, where thousands of Syrian government opponents had been imprisoned and tortured over the years.
The advance on Palmyra comes against the backdrop of Syrian peace talks underway in Geneva between representative of the Damascus government and the Western-backed opposition. The talks, which have been boosted by a Russia-U.S.-brokered cease-fire that has mostly held since late February, were to adjourn on Thursday – without having achieved any apparent breakthroughs.
Across in Iraq, a major offensive has been launched against ISIS positions in the city of Mosul in the north of the country.
The US-led international coalition is bombing ISIS positions, allowing ground troops to capture several villages on the outskirts of the city before continuing their advance.
An Iraqi military spokesman says the long-awaited military operation to recapture the northern city of Mosul from Islamic State militants ‘has begun’.
The spokesman for the Joint Military Command, Brigadier General Yahya Rasool, says Iraqi forces retook several villages on the outskirts of the town of Makhmour, east of Mosul, on Thursday morning.
The Iraqi forces spent months training for this operation which could take until the new year to complete.
Rasool says the U.S.-led international coalition is providing air support. He wouldn’t divulge more details.
It was not immediately clear how long such a complex and taxing operation could take. Mosul lies 360 kilometres, or 225 miles, northwest of Baghdad.
It’s Iraq’s second-largest city and it fell to Islamic State group during the militants’ June 2014 onslaught. Mosul is also the largest city in the Islamic State group’s self-declared caliphate.