The Syrian Arab Army’s “Tiger Forces” are keen to capture the ancient city of Palmyra; however, the rugged desert is making it difficult to maneuver through the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham’s (ISIS) defenses at the western flank.
Instead of concentrating on one target, the Tiger Forces and their allies have shifted their attention to three different flanks in order to spread out the terrorist group and overwhelm them with sheer numbers.
The military strategy focuses on three flanks: southern, western, and northern districts of Palmyra.
Currently, the Tiger Forces and their allies are steadily advancing at the Hayyan Mountains that border the Palmyra Orchards, but they are still about 5 km away.
Before the Syrian Armed Forces can even think about the Palmyra Orchards, they will have to capture the Qatari Royal Villa, which is now ISIS’ primary training camp in the region.
Unlike the western and northern districts, the southern district’s defenses will likely be the most difficult to penetrate due to the dense orchards that safeguard the city.
Then there is the northern flank, which is also very difficult to infiltrate; however, once the Syrian Armed Forces are able to bypass the mounds in east Al-Bayarat and the hilltops at Jabal Al-‘Assafeer, they will be in prime position to strike the important Al-‘Amariyah District.
In fact, when ISIS first entered the city of Palmyra on May 20th, 2015; it was through the Al-‘Amariyah District.
If they choose to enter through this route, the Syrian Armed Forces will be very close to the Palmyra National Hospital, which is now an ISIS base.
Finally, there is the western flank of the city; this is likely to be the Tiger Forces’ gateway to Palmyra’s Architectural Zone.
The Tiger Forces and their allies are currently committed to entering the city through this flank, despite the arduous journey that awaits them once they reach the Architectural Zone.
What makes this more difficult? Well, for one, the Russian Air Force will not be able to provide the same-kind of air cover because of the ancient sites that are located all around the western corridor.
Should they reach the western corridor of the city; it will be likely due to the T-90 Tanks that have been deployed to this battle.
The tanks should give them the ability to plow through the open fields and eliminate ISIS’ resistance at the city’s gates.