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Daesh pulls out of Syria’s Palmyra under Russia air raids: Monitoring group

11 December 2016 13:11

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Daesh Takfiri terrorists have reportedly withdrawn from the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra amid counter-operations by government forces backed by Russian fighter jets.

“Intense Russian raids since last night forced IS (Daesh) out of Palmyra” hours after the terrorists briefly re-entered the city, said the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday

The Observatory head, Rami Abdel Rahman, said a large number of Daesh militants were killed in the Russian airstrikes, without providing a precise figure.

On Thursday, Daesh began an offensive to regain a foothold in Palymra in the west-central Homs Province months after the Syrian army liberated the city from the terror group.

The militants had managed to seize areas to the northwest and southeast of the historic city, according to the Syrian army.

Damascus was, however, quick to deploy reinforcements to the outskirts of Palmyra, engaging in heavy clashes with the terrorists there.

Meanwhile, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement that it had carried out 64 anti-terror air raids around Palmyra last night.

The strikes killed more than 300 Daesh elements and destroyed 11 tanks and 31 cars equipped with heavy machine guns.

“Over the past night, with active Russian air support, Syrian government forces repulsed all attacks by the terrorists on Palmyra,” the statement read.

Terrorists held Palmyra for some 10 months, causing extensive damage to many of its ancient sites, before its liberation in March.

The developments in Palmyra come at a time when a crucial victory is firmly in sight for government forces in the northwestern city of Aleppo.

The Syrian army soldiers and their allies have dealt heavy blows to militants in Aleppo over the past few weeks, with Russia saying that the Damascus forces are now are in control of 93 percent of the strategic city.

Additionally on Sunday, the Observatory estimated that more than 10,000 people had escaped since midnight from the terrorist-held areas of Aleppo to the government-controlled regions.

“They fled towards government-held areas in west Aleppo and districts newly controlled by regime forces in the north and centre of the city,” Rahman said.

Reports said fighting was underway on several fronts in southeast Aleppo as the Syrian forces continue their operations to rid the city of foreign-backed militants.

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