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International Military Review – Syria, Mar. 25, 2016

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The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies have advanced on al Nusra militants in Marj region in Eastern Ghouta, and seized full control over the strategic Tal al-Frat region.

Separately, 800 humanitarian aid packages were delivered as a part of Russian support in at least three towns in the Southern parts of Damascus: Yalda, Babbila and Seyedi Meqdad.

On Mar.24, the Syrian forces supported by Russian fighter helicopters entered the rugged terrain of Palmyra Orchards following liberating the Semiramis Hotel and Gas Station. Now, the loyalist forces are clashing with ISIS militants in order to consolidate the gains and continue advance on the city’s southern part. Meanhile, Russian warplanes are pounding ISIS’ supply route between Palmyra and Al-Sakhanah.

If Palmyra is liberated, the SAA and its allies will likely advance through the Palmyra-Sukhna-Deir Ezzor road in order to break ISIS siege from the Deir Ezzor. Furthermore, Palmyra is a crucial logistical hub which will allow the loyalists to increase its edge in freedom of movement while terrorists will be restricted the liberty of actions.

A Russian Special forces officer has died a hero in Syria during a target-designation mission near the city of Palmyra, a spokesman for the Russian military contingent at the Hmeymim air base told reporters on Thursday. The Russian officer carried out a mission for a week, spotting crucial ISIS facilities and providing precise coordinates for Russian airstrikes. The officer’s name, rank and the date of the accident remain undisclosed.

The presence of Russian special forces, conducting target designation missions, was earlier confirmed by Colonel General Aleksandr Dvornikov, a deputy commander of the Central Military District in Russia and chief of Russia’s campaign in Syria.

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