A Syrian military source says government forces will move into Palmyra “very soon” in their latest push to retake the ancient city, which fell to the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group for a second time a few months ago.
Backed by Russia’s air cover, the Syrian troops had advanced to the outskirts of Palmyra, also known in Arabic as Tadmur, in the last few days and their “entry to the city will begin very soon,” the unnamed source told Reuters on Wednesday.
The remarks came on the same day as the Syrian military announced the recapture of an area called the “Palmyra triangle” a few kilometers west of the city.
Meanwhile, Syria’s official SANA news agency reported that the gain followed fierce clashes between Daesh militants and the Syrian army and its allied fighters, leaving scores of the terrorist dead or injured.
The army units are advancing in the direction of the Palmyra Citadel, while engineering units are dismantling improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and landmines left behind by the Takfiri elements, the report added.
Additionally, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed that the government forces were expected to storm Palmyra at “any moment.”
Russia has also expressed its readiness to deploy aircraft in support of the Palmyra operation.
The Syrian army, backed by Russia’s counter-terrorism airstrikes, liberated Palmyra in March 2016 after Daesh held the city for 10 months.
However, Daesh managed to seize the historic city once again in December 2016 after days of intense fighting as the Syrian military focused mainly on defeating terrorist groups in eastern Aleppo.
During both of its spells in control of Palmyra, Daesh razed ancient monuments and dismantled key parts of the city’s UNESCO World Heritage ruins.
The Syrian forces have been fighting different foreign-backed militant groups wreaking havoc in the Middle Eastern country since 2011.
Over the past few months, troops have made sweeping gains against Takfiri terrorists who have lately increased their acts of violence across Syria following a series of defeats in Aleppo and elsewhere.