Chronicle of Fight in Palmyra from Serviceman of Syrian Army

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A soldier of the Syrian Army described the battle in Palmyra, in which he took part.

Chronicle of Fight in Palmyra from Serviceman of Syrian Army

The Suleeman Shahin Facebook page has published a description of the battle in Palmyra, told by Omar Dirmam, a soldier of the Syrian Army, and written by Iyad Al-Hussein. SF presents the translated chronicle of the fighting in Palmyra.

Saturday, December 10, 2016 – Palmyra, 8 am

Repeated warnings about the impending attack of Daesh [the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group] came from Russian satellites. An alert about dangerous gathering of terrorists on the city’s perimeter sounded. The air power was carrying out airstrikes on oil fields in the area and did not have time to respond.

The as-Savamiyah military facility and its surroundings, 10 am

The post is located 15 km east of Palmyra on the as-Suhna highway. The defense forces consisted of the Military Security Shield Forces, al-Badia with different units, as-Saima, Zanubiya, Heart of Syria, and units of ash-Sheikh Suleiman – in total, about 1,800 fighters; the 11th and 18th divisions, armed with six 130-mm artillery cannons, six 122-mm artillery cannons, seven Grad multiple rocket launchers, and 12 tanks; the formidable al-Faminiyun legion, consisting of 1,200 fighters and a large number of redoubtable military equipment; about 150 fighters of the Tiger Forces for defense of the weak point in the southeast of the region.

In total, it was enough large army, according to the number of servicemen and military hardware.

So, a movement of two Daesh vehicles and a tank on the as-Suhna road, 7 km from as-Savamiyah, was spotted from the top of the at-Tar hill, where the observation point was located.

The air power carried out airstrikes and destroyed the both vehicles. The tank continued to move. As it turned out, it was loaded with ten tons of explosives, which could defeat in a radius of 400 meters in the case of an explosion.

For unclear reasons, the Konkurs anti-tank gun, which the 18th division had, did not shell the tank. Being approximately 200 meters from the positions, the tank was hit with an assault antitank weapon.

A powerful explosion occurred. A terrible panic started among fighters, survived after the explosion, they started to leave the positions. Then, a quite long lull followed, terrorists were preparing to storm the at-Tar hill.

Fighters started to leave their positions across all the front line without any apparent reasons. The retreat of the al-Faminiyun legion provoked a chain reaction, and the legionnaires did not run in the direction of Palmyra, but abandoned the defense of the city to its fate.

The Military Security Shield Forces and the 18th division followed after them. Unlike them, the 11th division retreated to the city and took up defensive positions on the perimeter of Palmyra. In this way, only the forces of colonel Suheil, defenders of the airport and the air security forces stayed in the south-eastern sector of the defense – in total, about 100 fighters.

The fighters scattered around and set up a temporary line of defense on the sides of the east and south-east.

The area of the top of the at-Tar hill, 11 am

The at-Tar hill towers over the city of Palmyra. Control over it would mean control of Palmyra and the road, leading to the city. Usually, attacks of Daesh begin with car bomb attacks, then, direct contacts with an enemy follow in order to avoid airstrikes. At-Tar is the most strategically vulnerable defense point; its owner controls the situation. About 500 members of the Tiger Forces were stationed at its top before the start of the fall of Palmyra. At the first sign of danger, about half of them left the position, explaining their action with the delay in wages for 5 months.

In addition, there were two positions of the 18th division near the top, in the area of the Ras-Antar hill.

The attack on the at-Tar hill began with terrorists’ firing. The firing was conducted from four pickup trucks, equipped with machine guns, which covered the movement of 2 tanks. In addition, 130-mm cannons, as well as 120mm and 92-mm mortars also operated. The ‘hellish cannons’ also shelled the point with gas cylinders with explosives. There were no effective anti-tank weapons, which could stop and destroy the approaching enemy tanks, on the at-Tar point.

Soldiers, deployed in the area of the Ras-Antar hill, also had two tanks, but the terrorists almost immediately brought them out of operation with precise strokes.

In this way, only infantrymen stayed at the defense of the hill, and they directly clashed with the enemy.

The fighters managed to destroy Daesh tanks and terrorists, accompanying them, but it was a hard and long fight. Despite the losses, the defense withstood. The attack lasted up to 17 pm, soldiers lost a few positions. There were many wounded militants, several Daesh members were captured. But the rest of them continued to resist! The 18th division retreated towards the Т-4 airfield.

Anyone, who asks where the air power was, we answer – it is impossible for the air force to operate in such conditions, for this reason, its role was only to carry out air strikes on routes of reinforcement of the terrorists’ units.

Palmyra, 17 pm

Russians blew up the ammunition depots at their base in Palmyra, before to leave it. The sky over the city turned into a festival of fireworks that scared civilians and military in the city. Later, the city was completely evacuated.

Palmyra, 18 pm

The city is empty. There are no people, no military, except a detachment of the state security forces and police. The head of the al-Badia security forces, accompanied by a handful of officers, was always on the move with his armored luxury Cadillac in order to demonstrate his command that he did not leave the city. At the same time, 2,500 fighters of al-Badia and the Military Security Shield Forces were not in Palmyra, nobody of them defended the city.

Only fighters of the 11th division were on the positions among the Tiger Forces, but they were dispersed without a specific place of deployment.

The Tiger Forces came in touch with the leadership, reported the situation and asked for urgent reinforcement. Colonel Suheil ordered to stay and said that help is on the way.

Nobody else of the other forces, which were supposed to protect Palmyra: the 18th division, al-Badia, the al-Faminiyun legion, stayed in the city. Only the Cadillac of Major General Shaulat Hawali, ten his officers and a pickup truck of his guard forces were in Palmyra.

Palmyra, 22 pm

The reinforcements did not arrive.

Palmyra, 24 pm

About 100 fighters of the al-Faminiyun legion and 70 soldiers of the 18th division returned with support. It was not a lot, but it was good.

The 11th division, as the Tiger Forces, did not leave the city; the Tiger Forces were grateful to them for this and welcomed their courage and resilience.

These forces strengthened the eastern flank of the defense by halves. Two tanks and 40 fighters took up positions on the as-Suhna road.

Sunday, December 11, 2016 – Palmyra, 1 am

A mined vehicle with suicide bombers penetrated to the positions of the 11th division from as-Suhna and destroyed tanks of Syrian soldiers. Several defenders were killed. The rest remained in the place. About 60 fighters of the Tiger Forces came to the place to help them. Together, they blocked an access to Al-Ameria neighborhood and the hill, which was empty already during twenty-four hours. Only the area of the warehouses 410 on the Raqqa highway was not covered because there were not enough forces for this.

Palmyra, 3 am

Contact with the commander. The colonel found out the current situation and explained the situation. The Tiger Forces were grateful to him that he kept in constant touch, encouraging and supporting them.

The sector of the warehouses 410 was empty. There was suspicious silence that caused concern. But it was impossible to do anything. Elementary, there was not enough manpower.

Palmyra, 9 am

The attack of Daesh began simultaneously on two directions: on the at-Tar hill (south-west) and al-Ameria neighborhood (north, perhaps, even the north-east of the city). At night, a group of terrorists, dressed in military uniforms, entered the neighborhood and suddenly hit us in the back from al-Ameria, occupied by them. Then they were supported from the direction of the warehouses 410. I should say that control over al-Ameria allows to shell all the city. Militants killed everyone, whom they noticed at the streets.

Jabal at-Tar

At the same time, four tanks and three pickup trucks of Daesh, equipped with heavy machine guns, attacked the positions of Syrian military in the well-protected at-Tar point. Due to the cold and hunger, the defense was considerably weakened. The help never came, only false promises. However, the defense of at-Tar fell only after almost all the fighters were killed or wounded.

Palmyra, 11 am

Tel al-Ameria was under Daesh control. They shot at any moving target. Jabal al-Tar is under control of terrorists.

Palmyra is surrounded and completely fell under the Daesh fire.

Remains of the Syrian military were forced to retreat to the southern suburbs and to gain a foothold at the al-Bayarat fork.

Palmyra, 13 pm

All servicemen were withdrawn. About 200 fighters of the Tiger Forces left to cover the retreat. They had two tanks and two machine guns, as well as the luxury car of the Major General. Unfortunately, nothing else. As I have told, we stayed at the al-Bayarat fork.

Palmyra, 14 pm

We are completely surrounded by Daesh. The terrorists also fully control the al-Bayarat highway. There is no place to retreat. Thank God that the General is with us, he finally got in touch with the authorities and sent six Mi-28 helicopters to accompany our retreat through gardens. They successfully covered us with fire from the right and left flanks. We managed to break out of the encirclement. During all the time, two journalists kept in touch with us and recorded the chronicle of the events. They supported us morally and promised that even in the case of our death the truth about the fall of Palmyra will be enlightened for the history.

In this way Palmyra and its surroundings fell.

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  • Athassino

    I can’t believe this….it was clear that something is going wrong in Palmyra!

  • PZIVJ1943

    Good account. Shows problem of too many different different forces involved, with no unified command. When under pressure, each unit did what they thought best. Even SAA “brigade” of 18th left 11th elements and Tigers to fend for themselfs. Looks like they where the rearguard force. At least small Russian force blew up some supplies. The heights should have been better defended! Ounce they where lost, the defense did not stand a chance.

    • Adam Kafei

      There are advantages to having little unified command, for example it allows for greater mobility and the greater autonomy allows for greater operational capacity when communication lines are cut.

      That said though, I agree there was too little oversight and the ranking officer appeared more interested in appearances than coordinating forces.

    • Balázs Jávorszky

      “At least small Russian force blew up some supplies.”
      The terrorists published a video about the Russian base, and it was intact, with ammo + small arms left behind.

  • I read this and rememberd how the jihadist broke the first East Aleppo siege, in August, by attacking exactly where they were supposed to attack
    It was not a mistake
    It was not a misunderstanding
    Petrodollars did the difference
    Soon, we will learn about replacing military commanders with other……

  • Brad Isherwood

    https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51Fl8bvwoXL._SX301_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

    For those interested in a direct testimony evidence study of a Theatre operation which was
    Epic fail. …this book is it.
    Dozens of stories spread accross M155 Sheridan Tank platoons getting zapped by NVA,
    To air cav firebases being overrun by NVA
    Wiki excerpt Lam Son 719
    The number of helicopters destroyed or damaged during the operation shocked the proponents of U.S. Army aviation and prompted a reevaluation of basic airmobile doctrine. The 101st Airborne Division alone, for example, had 84 of its aircraft destroyed and another 430 damaged. Combined U.S./ARVN helicopter losses totaled 168 destroyed and 618 damaged.[89] 

    This book is a must read …on the Vietnam War.

    • XRGRSF

      Yep, I remember that one. We got suckered into Laos, cut off, and destroyed. Of course, it was much worse on the RVN than it was on the USA. Ah, the satisfying life of an adviser.

      The same thing is going on in Palmyra. ISIS has been pulled into the trap, their lines of logistics are over extended, and they will be annihilated. Once ISIS grouped into attack formation they became easy targets, and the farther they’re drawn into the trap the better. This has happened so many times before. When will they ever learn?

      I wonder is the Syrian commanders understood their mission? Did someone tell them that it’s a bitch to be the bait?

      • MeMadMax

        So far, the theory is holding true. isis unable to advance to anything worthwhile past tyas airbase.
        LOTS of them got wasted going there too.

        This whole isis operation reeks of a politician planned and executed operation. Palmyra is mostly symbolic, taking it does nothing.

        Tyas airbase on the other hand, if they had gone all balls in there first, then the SAA would’ve been really fucked as they would’ve lost everyone in palmyra and would have a new staging point for going all the way to damascus if they wanted to.

        However, if it was me on the other hand. I would’ve sent all them mosul boys to BACK to break into mosul now that its apparent the iraqi guys have stretched themselves as well. or to al-bab… Palmyra would be at the mid-bottom of my list of targets thats for sure… Or even sent them up north thru kurd territory now that they are busy with turkey, open up a new supply line…

        But isis/politicians don’t really display much strategic smarts…

      • Brad Isherwood

        Coment to you and Me Mad Max.
        The current war in DC vs Trump has the Neocons going full court press to get electors
        To buy the Trump is Kremlin Be’atch lie…to Trump is nat security risk as Russia is the enemy.
        From Trump’s tweet on F 35…to Trump saying We must work with Russia.
        So….Palmyra is basically a stick in the Eye of Celebration for Syria/Russia over
        Aleppo.
        ISIS over runs Palmyra**….The Neocons cons …State Dept, CIA, Pentagon. ..can say
        To the world. …”See…Assad has not defeated ISIS….Putin has allowed ISIS to take
        Palmyra.”
        If Trump gets past the electors and gets The Whitehouse…He will face a Juggernaut
        System that wants no Detente with Russia. …but war…which means it’s Attack
        ISIS. ..which is excuse to go boots in Syria. ..and end Assad by any means.
        So ya….ISIS was thrown on Palmyra like gas on a fire to create the needed tensions
        Which the political will use.

        • XRGRSF

          Brad, you could well be right. I have this bad, old soldier’s feeling that we’re looking at a global conflict in the near term. I think this is insanity, but then sociopaths aren’t sane, are they?

          Do you remember the novella/movie, The Man Who Would be King, by Kipling. I read the book, but never saw the movie. There was a passage in the book where the bride to be bit the “King”, and he bled. The natives then exclaimed, “Not a demon or a god, but just a man.” They then turned on the “King”, and killed him.

          The “savages” have seen the Empires blood, and they will tear the US to pieces unless something is done, and done very, very quickly. The US will do anything, including global nuclear war, to stop its destruction at the hands of the so called “savages”. Ergo, the world is screwed.

          • Brad Isherwood

            The Movie with Sean Connery,Michael Caine,Christopher Plummer is Outstanding!
            Empires journey with the Free Masonic is intrigue.
            It’s not always pure Evil. ..but there is a dark thread in the mix.
            The Masonic being key operatives in intelligence to stoking conflicts.

            Rudyard Kipling :

            When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
            And the women come out to cut up what remains,
            Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains 
            An’ go to your Gawd like a soldier.

            I’ m a Bradshawe Isherwood…Old Family lines Lancashire England.
            Our link to Bradshawe is after John Bradshawe ( Judge England’s Parliament )
            With Cromwell…sentence King Charles I to death and all the Civil War.
            Later. ..13 Family so far…Union Regiments US Civil War,
            2 @ Gettysburg. ..66th NY and 20TH Mass.

            WW 2….The Family name via Fletcher Class Destroyers USS Isherwood DD 520.
            Spent 2 decades visit the crew at their homes/ship reunion…and publish online the ships war history.
            In research of family going back to pre 1000 ad Britannia when the old name was
            Yserwude…
            You see the trace of history and how people’s are caught up in a wave of event and quite captured in it.
            IE. ..you can indeed be on the wrong side of things…
            Some of the best German Tank Divisions were SS. ..like SS Totenkopf at Kurdk
            https://padresteve.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/totenkopf-kursk-01.jpg
            Immediately the label SS begets tension.
            Not all SS troops were butchers as post WW 2 history tends to cast them.
            In fact. ..the real narrative is a smaller group of psychotic SS types did move thru the burning Eastern Europe and murder people…but these were not registered Military Division. ..more like roaming MI death squads.

            Can today’s CIA with Negroponte and Central America Iran/Contra death squads
            Really be any different?

            Lol…..My Family. …We killed a King….guess I’m damned for sure now : )

          • XRGRSF

            It’s interesting how people meet on this site, and then have no path for direct communication. They need to set something up for that.

            My son purchased a complete set of the works of Kipling from the university that he’s attending for $15.00. They are in mint condition, but not suitable for the PC academic crowd because they have that old Indian good luck symbol on the covers: The swastika.

            My family was mostly Ulster Scotts, and Anglo Irish. We were kicked out, and washed ashore in the US in 1635. We then fought on the losing side in the American Revolution, and bailed to Texas when it was still Mexico. Travis was my great, great grandmother’s 1st cousin.

            I’m a retired infantry officer with time in ‘Nam, Africa, and Central America. Close combat prepared me for marriage. God help me, my wife is Brit from a coal mining family. I suppose I would be considered a slow learner.

            After TX we settled in N. W. Louisiana, and once again we fought for the losing side. My family was 31st Louisiana Infantry. I’m rather proud of the 31st battle record as recorded at Vicksburg: “Heavily engaged at Port Morgan, and Vicksburg. All officers killed or wounded. Casualties extreme, but not fully reported.” The 31st held the left flank of the redan, against a reinforced Union regiment. They held !!

            The War of Northern Aggression was a messy divorce with good me on both sides. We can but wonder how the world would be if it had turned out differently.

            Ah, the SS; in my opinion there have never been finer soldiers than the Waffen SS. I’ve studied their history, their tactics, their training, but most importantly their ethos. They were in all ways superlative. They were never dishonored. Although the Russians would never admit it they now carry the legacy of the SS, and the future of our folk.

            It will be interesting reading all of the moaning, and groaning about using this forum for personal conversations. Well, if they don’t like it they don’t have to read it.

            One thing you really must understand. We Freemasons don’t run the world; only the really important parts.

          • Brad Isherwood

            This is awesome conversation : )
            On my part…risk to share ….some call it vanity post.
            Every now and then…a forum poster…and sometimes a lurker who follows my
            E mail link..
            Brings conversation that thrills.
            These type of exchanges online is how I got to know Aloha Ronnie ..and Sneakypete
            The Green Beret.
            You learn from them what few books can convey about conflicts and the real perspective of those in such campaigns.
            Past friends had Family with Confederate regiment history…they knew all the months
            Years details of where so and so was.
            You can’t really fully understand a conflict lessen one see it from the other side.
            One family member with 8th Wisconsin Ind light Artillery was Army of the Cumberland
            With actions in the south /Tennessee. ..Georgia 1862 to 65.
            ..learn about fast moving recon/artillery and the fast moving Southern units,
            Then the big fights such as Corinth, Stones River,Chickamauga, Murfreesboro.

            The Civil War has interesting details to certain units.
            66th NY was one of the Empire States Zouave Regiments. .. ( The red outfit )
            Pennsylvania had a few Zouave outfitted regiment,.
            And guess what. . So to the South…. Louisiana …Something Tigers*
            If memory serves. ..white and blue. …they looked like Pirates of the Caribbean : )

            South were Terrific soldiers…enduring.
            Better riders and shooters than the North.
            North had repeating rifle which made up for lesser skill.
            South were better tactical and able to logistic on far less than the Union.
            The Naval Blockades in my opinion marked the obvious fate,
            You need materials to compete and endure.

            On final…
            One family member was D Day + 6….Sherman tank platoon/Brigade.
            They were decimated in just a few months…
            Even though the Wermacht was mauled in France from air attack,
            What % remained to fight …were wiping the fields of Allied armor.
            Michael Wittman and his Tiger are down the road : )

  • Daniel Castro

    Meaning, incompetence at the start, when things got bad most ran away as cowards, few held ground and some died heroicaly to protect the evacuation…

    It sounds to me most of the fighters that were in Palmyra were third rate and were there just to add numbers, and the real focus was taking Aleppo.

    Also, this is a major offensive orchestrated by NATO and the russians weren’t expecting this, the west pays a price too because they lose even more credibility, now their support for ISIS is just indeniable.

    Let’s hope SAA retake Palmyra fast with the incoming soldiers from Aleppo front.

    • Daniel Apaza

      It seems that they were new recruits that were there just to show their presence; they probably never been in a real battle before.

  • John Mason

    Mass desertion caused the fall of Palmyra. Leaders of the deserters could have been bribed by the US to vacate. Doesn’t sound logical that the Syrians would prefer to live under ISIS rule.

    • Daniel Apaza

      They been battered after 5 yrs of war plus we don’t know if they were experienced or new recruits.

  • Balázs Jávorszky

    With all due respect, this account looks very incoherent, i would say bullsh.t. The numbers are not clear (“– in total, about 100 fighters” remained, but later reports 250 of the Tiger forces at at-Tar, and later more and more soldiers keep just popping up etc.).

    The airforce is seemingly incapable of close air support, but in the beginning, they were used against 3 vehicles in close proximity, and a bit later again helis gave them close air support. The sandstorm, that hindered tactical aviation, and was reported widely by other sources, wasn’t mentioned. Actually, the first wave was reportedly stopped with the help of at least 50 airstrikes, not mentioned.

    Also, where were the Russians? Their only deed was blowing up the ammunition, but according to the videos uploaded, even that was not successful, their camp is still perfectly intact, even credit cards are left behind, beside ammunition and small arms. So they just ran away? I hardly believe this.

    And while it is possible that there was panic among the soldiers, but this complete implosion doesn’t look realistic. At least a great majority of these guys are battle hardened, and they are supposed to be in good spirit, ‘cos the tide is turning now. The half of the Tiger Forces left because missing payment? These are supposed to be elite, patriotic guys, the last line of defense.

  • sólyomszem

    i wrote several times, the syrians are cowards. they do not deserve fresdom, do no deserve, that men of other nations die for them.

  • Valery Grigoryev

    It’s a great shame…

    • Daniel Apaza

      It is.

  • MeMadMax

    Apparently, all these different groups need a unified command structure.

  • hvaiallverden

    Somebody needs to be flogged, and that hard, this was an downright failure of communication, logistics and implementing whats been planned, and nobody had any overall knowledge of what to do if shit happens, as it did.

    This story sounds credible, and I dont accuse the men, nope, if uncertain, when this comes against you, and nobody beside you know what the f…. this is, anyone in the military knows this, then you retreat, and if one does it, the effect is contagious, and still normal, nobody wants to die.

    The ones left, have done what they could, and that, is what makes the difference, discipline, termination and knowledge, but above all, balls, we dont know how we would react, nobody knows that until you actually sit there in the firing line, and rockets is incoming.
    I would dream of judging them, other than hopefully somebody learned an lesson.
    I always blame the leader ship, period.
    Thats where the problem is and should be dealt with and make the commando lines crystal clear.

    May the lord have mercy upon you all.

    peace

    • Brad Isherwood

      While the Syrian and Iraq Baath party have their downside,
      Syria was…even in the midst of the kook MB which inhabit Idlib province
      Was a Kodak of how interfaith people’s could exist with each other,
      Have Mosque and Churches.
      Hezbollah troops fought room to room in villages and city to rescue Christians and
      Drive the Takfiri way.
      Israel demonized Hezbollah.
      Hezbollah are Brave Men…fight for Truth…..nothing more ask : )

      Nasser and Sadat were tumbled by a confused nation agenda in Egypt where
      Islam and Pan Arab/socialism clashed.
      SISI has rescued Egypt from the Hillary Clinton Faux Arab Spring and Muslim Brotherhood.
      The mid east is in a fight for deliverance from Fatal Jihadism.
      At some point….Saudi Arabia,UAE have to be smacked down. ..
      Erdogan too….Turkey needs to choose ….future Insanity and Chaos… ..or Islam
      Without the Fatal Jihadism.

      All our hopes towards Assad and Syria.
      Russia may find resolve to enter more into the ME for future security/Silk Roads,
      And break the Fatal Jihadism side……we hope : )

  • Daniel Apaza

    Looks like the terrorists are getting encircled in a cauldron.

  • Balázs Jávorszky

    Guys, why did you
    delete my comment?

    Again, this writing
    is very convoluted, or the translation is bad, or both. A few things
    doesn’t make sense, and looks smear to me.

    We start
    as-Savamiyah. It’s not clear that the numbers are for as-Savamiyah
    or the whole of Aleppo. All in all around 3000 soldiers, plus the
    11th and 18th division (numbers are not given)
    and also 150 from the Tiger forces, who are supposed to be in Aleppo
    (or as-Savamiyah? Not clear). This is a considerable force actually.
    Earlier reports talked about 1000 soldiers all together.

    Also, earlier
    reports talked about fog or mist or sandstorm with very low
    visibility. Nothing is mentioned here, quite to the contrary: a tank
    and 2 vehicles 7 km from as-Savamiyah to the East supposedly are
    spotted from Jabal at-Tar that lies to the North and slightly _West
    of Palmyra, so at least 15 kms away or even more, all in all at least
    21 km away from the approaching vehicles.

    They call in
    airstrikes, and those strikes are delivered promptly. A single tank
    remains, that explodes and sends almost everyone (?) into panic,
    during a time that actually nothing had happened except the explosion
    (“Then, a quite long lull followed”), and they successfully
    stopped an attack.

    The panicked
    soldiers avoided Palmyra in their retreat. This is again a claim
    quite hard to believe, cos it would be quite hard to avoid Palmyra
    during the retreat, and actually, ISIS attacked from almost every
    direction except for the West.

    And they did, in an
    hour time they attacked Jabal at-Tar, where 500 from the Tiger forces
    were. What? Is this another 500? And again, the Tigers are supposed
    to be in Aleppo! So the initial force is only for as-Savamiyah? Not
    clear and the whole piece is like this. Half of the Tiger force
    deserts exactly at the time when a known enemy attack is coming ‘cos
    of missing payments. This is an elite force, the last line of
    defense, I hardly believe this.

    The 18th
    division again deserts (it has already deserted, if you remember).

    I don’t continue,
    cos this whole writing is like this. This is supposed to be a report
    and actually it may be true, but it is full of stuff like this, and
    in this current form it is hard to believe, and it actually
    contradicts other reports. Eg. Russians blew up the ammunition depot
    at their base. But their base was filmed later (by ISIS) and it was
    completely intact, with ammo and small arms left behind.

  • Balázs Jávorszky

    Guys, why did you delete my comment?

    Again, this writing is very convoluted, or the translation is bad, or both. A few things doesn’t make sense, and looks smear to me.

    We start as-Savamiyah. It’s not clear that the numbers are for as-Savamiyah
    or the whole of Palmyra. All in all around 3000 soldiers, plus the
    11th and 18th division (numbers are not given)
    and also 150 from the Tiger forces, who are supposed to be in Aleppo. This is a considerable force actually. Earlier reports talked about 1000 soldiers all together.

    Also, earlier reports talked about fog or mist or sandstorm with very low
    visibility. Nothing is mentioned here, quite to the contrary: a tank
    and 2 vehicles 7 km from as-Savamiyah to the East supposedly are
    spotted from Jabal at-Tar that lies to the North and slightly _West
    of Palmyra, so at least 15 kms away or even more. Adding it up: the observation point is at least
    21 km away from the approaching vehicles.

    They call in airstrikes, and those strikes are delivered promptly. A single tank
    remains, that explodes and sends almost everyone (?) into panic, when they had successfully
    stopped an attack, during a time that actually nothing had happened except the explosion
    (“Then, a quite long lull followed”).

    The panicked soldiers avoided Palmyra in their retreat. This is again a claim
    quite hard to believe, cos it would be quite hard to avoid Palmyra
    during the retreat, and actually, ISIS attacked from almost every
    direction except for the West.

    And they did, in an
    hour time they attacked Jabal at-Tar, where 500 from the Tiger forces
    were. What? Is this another 500? And again, the Tigers are supposed
    to be in Aleppo! So the initial force is only for as-Savamiyah? Not clear and the whole piece is like this. Half of the Tiger force deserts exactly at the time when a known enemy attack is coming ‘cos
    of missing payments. This is an elite force, the last line of defense, I hardly believe this.

    The 18th division again deserted (it had already deserted, and left the whole area, if you remember).

    I don’t continue,
    cos this whole writing is like this. This is supposed to be a report
    and actually it may be true, but it is full of stuff like this, and
    in this current form it is hard to believe, and it actually
    contradicts other reports. Eg. Russians blew up the ammunition depot
    at their base. But their base was filmed later (by ISIS) and it was
    completely intact, with ammo and small arms left behind.

  • gustavo

    The unprofessional, ineptitude, lack of military tactic in syrian army is well known, without russian, inarian, and hezbolah, Syria and Assad already have disappeared. However, since Rusia has all technologiacal capability to see and destroy anything, the fall of Palmyra is a russian stupidity or
    a Levrov-Kerry agreement.

    • Balázs Jávorszky

      This whole account looks suspicious to me. The Syrian Army (and not just the Tiger forces) has been quite capable of good moves, especially when outside forces hadn’t hindered it. That’s why we should avoid this “unprofessional SAA” line. Actually, the Russians failure in recon had been epic in this episode since they had much superior equipment etc. Also, the Russians left their base so hastily that even they left behind credit cards, and as far as it can be deduced, they didn’t take part in the combat (probably the Russian force was small, trainers, advisers etc., so their participation wouldn’t change anything).