After Aleppo Syrian Army Likely to Launch Offensive on Palmyra, Idlib
On December 16, the Russian Defense Ministry’s center for Syrian reconciliation said that the Syrian army operation to liberate Aleppo’s eastern neighborhoods was over, and that Syrian government troops were eliminating separate hotbeds of militant resistance; Sputnik reported.
On Thursday, the Syrian army declared victory in Aleppo as the last convoy with militants left the city’s east. The liberation of Aleppo from the radical element is the most important component of a full normalization in Syria, and I hope in the region as a whole,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. “I think that in 2017, the Syrian Army will focus its efforts on preventing possible counteroffensives by militants. The military will also protect infrastructure facilities and residential areas which are already controlled by the government. Another important goal is retaking Palmyra,” Korotchenko told RIA Novosti.
Daesh terrorists first seized the ancient city of Palmyra in spring 2015 and a year later was forced out by Syrian government troops with air support from Russian jets. On December 11, Palmyra was recaptured by the Daesh, who pushed the Syrian army out and forced units to regroup at an airbase dozens of miles westward from the city.
The expert underscored that the importance of retaking Palmyra is due to its strategic locations and unique cultural artefacts. “Another task is to improve combat capabilities of the Syrian Army and boost morale of Syrian troops. Then, the army may launch an operation to liberate Idlib,” he suggested.