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Expert: Syrian Army Capable of Liberating Palmyra in A-Month-Long Operation



A former Syrian Army commander and military expert underlined that his country’s army soldiers can take back the ancient city of Palmyra from the ISIL in an intense operation in less than one month.

Brigadier General Mohammad Sarhan said the army has inflicted tens of casualties on ISIL in its recent attacks in Eastern Homs.

“On the other hand, the army men have advanced significantly against ISIL in T4 airbase,” Sarhan added.

“In the meantime, the death of Abu Bakr Halfaya, a notorious commander within the ISIL rank, has lowered the morale of the terrorists and led to their heavy defeat,” he continued.

The Syrian general stressed that the army can drive ISIL out of Palmyra (Tadmur) in less than 30 days of intense battle.

He further added that the army soldiers, backed up by the Russian and Syrian fighter jets, can annihilate all terrorist bases across Syria in a few months.

The expert pointed out that some of the Arab countries are still supporting terrorist groups in Syria, and said complete annihilation of the terrorists’ bases in Syria needs the firm will of Arab nations to force backers of the terrorists to end their back up.

A media expert said on Sunday that the army which recently liberated Aleppo from terrorists would focus in 2017 on boosting its positions around the city and then would engage to retake control over Palmyra and, possibly, continue an offensive on Idlib.

It is expected 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,” said Igor Korotchenko, chief editor of the Russian magazine National Defense, RIA Novosti reported.

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.

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.

ISIL 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 ISIL, which 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.

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