Palmyra Liberated, Islamic State Decimated, Raqqa in Sight

Photo: SPUTNIK / MICHAEL ALAEDDIN

The recapture of Palmyra from Daesh by the Syrian Army and its allies demonstrated the success of Damascus’ strategy in fighting terrorism, President Bashar Assad said Sunday according to SANA news agency.

Earlier in the day, the Syrian Arab Army and popular defense forces drove Daesh terrorists out of the ancient city of Palmyra.

“After heavy fighting during the night, the army is in full control of Palmyra — both the ancient site and the residential neighbourhoods,” a military source told AFP.

The Army and People’s Defense Forces are chasing the rest of Daesh militants who left Palmyra retreating to Raqqa, Deir Ez-Zor and Sukhnah. According to a military source cited by Al-Masdar News, the terrorists lost hundreds of fighters and weapons during the battle for Palmyra.

“Having Palmyra in the army’s hands is an important achievement and new evidence of the effectiveness of the strategy followed by the Syrian army and its allies in the war against terrorism,” President Assad told a delegation of French parliamentarians.

The Syrian Army said the operation to liberate Palmyra was supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces. Sappers began defusing explosives left by terrorists in the town.

Assad added that Damascus’ strategy is more efficient than that of the US-led coalition of more than 60 countries.

Palmyra, located 210 kilometers away from Damascus, is considered key for advancing to the Daesh stronghold of Raqqa in eastern Syria.

The town and its historic ruins had been under Daesh control since May 2015.

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