Russian jets reportedly repel militants from ancient Syrian city

Introduction — Dec 11, 2016

Russian sapper clearing mines in Palmyra

Russian sapper clearing mines in Palmyra. Click to enlarge

Islamic State was forced out of Palmyra earlier this year. The fact that they’ve now returned means that whoever was supporting the militants has not abandoned them. To retake Palmyra they must have been re-supplied and re-equipped.
We know that Turkey, Israel, the gulf states and the West have all been covertly assisting the militants. Until that stops the conflict in Syria is not going to end. Meaning that it could get much worse before peace is finally restored in Syria. Ed.

Russian jets reportedly repel militants from ancient Syrian city

Liz Sly — Washington Post Dec 11, 2016

Russian airstrikes reportedly pushed Islamic State militants from the ancient city of Palmyra on Sunday, a day after the extremist group came close to recapturing the symbolic site.

The advance into Palmyra had seemed set to reverse a year of steady defeats for Islamic State fighters and came three days after a big offensive launched from three directions in the surrounding desert.

But the militants were repelled by “intense” Russian airstrikes overnight, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which said Islamic State militants were now fighting in orchards on the fringe of the town. 

Palmyra is the site of an ancient Roman complex of temples considered one of the world’s archaeological treasures, and work had recently begun on restoring some of the many ruins that were blown up during the Islamic State’s 10-month occupation of the city.

It is also the one place where Russian military intervention had made a significant difference in the fight against the Islamic State. Russian airstrikes facilitated the Syrian government’s recapture of Palmyra in March, and in May the Russian military escorted a planeload of journalists on a victory tour of the city, complete with a performance by a Russian orchestra.

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