Around midnight, a military source informed Al-Masdar News that the Islamic State has largely withdrawn its military forces from Palmyra after pro-government units entered a neighborhood in the western part of the ancient city a few hours ago.

However, preliminary reports suggest that ISIS insurgents have scattered booby traps and mines across the entire city while lone suicidal jihadists strapped with explosive belts remain bogged down inside Palmyra to cover the retreat.

Effectively, the SAA is yet to unleash the bulk of its assault troops on Palmyra due to concerns over casualties. Once daylight breaks on Thursday, Syrian government soldiers are expected to descend upon the city and conduct mopping-up operations.

ISIS’ supposed large-scale retreat from Palmyra contradicts footage released by Amaq Agency hours earlier depicting defiant jihadists:

On Wednesday, the SAA liberated the Palmyra crossroad (Palmyra Triangle) and two mountains overlooking Palmyra. The latter advance rendered the city virtually indefensible.

Nevertheless, Amaq Agency reported that two ISIS suicide bombings struck the advancing government troops near the Palmyra Triangle on Wednesday around noon.

Securing the liberation of Palmyra will be the newly formed 5th Legion, elements of the SAA’s 18th Tank Division, Military Shield Forces, Al-Badia branch, Shaitat tribesmen, National Defence Forces, and a contingent of Hezbollah (Lebanese paramilitary).

ISIS recaptured Palmyra in December, 2016 after some 4,000-5,000 militants overran the city and pushed the SAA all the way back to Tiyas Airbase.

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Student currently living in Denmark. Special focus on news from Syria, MENA map-making and strategical military analysis.

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The Smart Guy
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The Smart Guy

Amazing news to start off March. If the Daeshbags are losing hundreds of square kilometers to lack of manpower and training- imagine what the future will hold for the defiant SAA chasing the rats down. Onward to as-Sukhanah, and hopefully Deir ez Zor afterwards! Paint the entire Syrian desert red

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Stern Daler

IS must make a stand – if not in the oil rich Palmyra area where?

p.s. Oil products are the prerequisites of modern warfare.

David
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David

Their missing an opportunity. They shouldn’t go into Palmyra but go around it and trap the escaping militants so they don’t come back. Then once it’s safe go into the city. It’s obvious they have traps all over it.