Why is ISIS fleeing from Raqqa toward Palmyra?

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Why is ISIS fleeing from Raqqa toward Palmyra?

Original by Aleksandr Kots published by RIA Novosti; translation by J.Hawk

Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) aircraft destroyed three ISIS vehicle columns attempting to break into Palmyra during the night of May 29/30. According to the Russian MOD, the terrorists were attempting to leave Raqqa which is besieged by Kurdish militia of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and US-led coalition forces.

The terrorists lost over 80 killed, 36 vehicles, 8 fuel tankers, and 8 technicals with mortars and heavy machine guns, according to the MOD.

On Wednesday, the Russian military attacked ISIS positions near Palmyra using Kalibr SLCMs launched from the frigate Admiral Essen and the submarine Krasnodar operating in the Mediterranean. The strike destroyed heavy armor concentrations and munitions depots. According to many military experts, the terrorists are not time and again attempting to seize Palmyra for naught: the ancient city’s geographical location has turned it into a very convenient base for launching attacks in almost any direction. Its capture would give ISIS a major advantage.

We should remember the last time ISIS attempted to attack Palmyra was on May 25, also at night. The column of 40 gun trucks, tanks, and trucks was detected in a timely manner by own reconnaissance on the plans, and then destroyed by Russian bombers. The terrorists made earlier attempts to infiltrate the city using smaller units, but also failed.

 In actuality, the fighting for Palmyra has not stopped even after its second liberation on March 2, 2017. This is due to the fact that Raqqa–the pseudo-khalifate’s capital–will, by most estimates, soon fall after a prolonged siege. Its defense has become untenable, and the terrorists have started looking for another strongpoint. Only another major city can play that role.
Why is ISIS fleeing from Raqqa toward Palmyra?
“The terrorists are launching desperate attacks, they are trying to fully capture Deir-es-Zor, part of which has been in Syrian Army hands for over three years”, said the Director of the Strategic Trends Center Ivan Konovalov in a Radio Sputnik interview. “It is from the direction of Palmyra that the main assault toward Deir-es-Zor will come, in order to fully lift the siege and expel ISIS. They, in turn, understand they are about to lose Raqqa and want to make Deir-es-Zor their new capital.”

The capture of Palmyra is a key phase of this plan. Having taken the city, the militants will be able to move forces eastward toward Deir-es-Zor. SAA forces which are there will find themselves under a heavy siege. The new capital will have to be subjected to a prolonged and grinding assault, in order to expel the militants. Moreover, the terrorists can always retreat from Deir-es-Zor into Iraq which is only 140km away.

Central Location

Palmyra would give the militants not only a path to the East. If successful, ISIS will gain the ability to launch diversionary strikes and even full-scale offensives in many other parts of the country. Just south of the city there is the Jabal-ar-Ruvak mountain range which stretches westward to Damascus itself. The militants would be able to send small detachments toward the capital using the difficult terrain for cover. They would be more difficult to detect from the air in the mountains than in the open desert. The terrorists would also be able to reach the strategically important Kalamoun gorge, with the city of Yabrud in its center, which is located north of Damascus. Control of Kalamoun would allow the terrorists to de-facto paralyze movement along the Damascus-Homs road and open them a path toward the Lebanese border.
Why is ISIS fleeing from Raqqa toward Palmyra?
In addition, the capture of Palmyra would give the militants a path toward the Tiyas airbase just west of the city. It is the home to two bomber and two fighter squadrons of the Syrian Air Force. Destroying the base would make it more difficult for Syrian airpower to launch strikes in the central and southern part of the country. Moreover, the militants would be able to fully control the Homs-Palmyra road, which even now is considered one of the most dangerous in the country.

Having access to Homs, liberated from ISIS on May 22, 2017, would allow the militants to seize initiative on this part of the front and once again ensconce itself in one of the key populated areas of the country. Northern outskirts of the city are part of one of the four “de-escalation zones” created by a Russia-Turkey-Iran agreement at Astana. If the militants capture one of these zones, it will threaten all the efforts of countries seeking to broker the peace process in Syria.

“One must not allow the fall of Palmyra–five or six key roads meet there,” said the Director of the Military Forecasting Center Anatoliy Tsyganyuk. “The militants would be able to move from here in all directions. This is a central location which they can use as they please. There’s also the political dimension. Taking this city will greatly improve terrorist morale, increase the flow of recruits and financial aid from foreign ‘sponsors’. Bashar al-Assad, in turn, can’t lose Palmyra for the third time. This would be a serious blow to his army’s image.

 All in all, the militants are now in a tough spot. Assad and his allies understand the strategic importance of Palmyra and are doing everything necessary to ensure its defense. Tsyganyuk underscored that effective airstrikes would have been impossible without spetsnaz operations which guided aircraft to their targets, and without Russian recon satellites. It means that the outskirts of Palmyra are under constant observation, and the militants got a really “warm” reception. But the final defeat of ISIS is still far off: the terrorists have demonstrated more than once they can launch unpleasant surprises.

 

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  • Kell

    Hit them with everything, get those Backfires in Iran quick

  • Jesus

    Yea, US wants to destroy ISIS, only allowing them to escape from a surrounded city to scatter in the Syrian countryside and become a nuisance for SAA and the Russians.
    A decisive effort from the air and ground should neutralize these straggling ISIS elements, removing them from the face of the earth, then focusing on the treacherous SDF and their deeds to promulgate US agenda.

    • Samuel Boas

      The US does not want to destroy ISIS.

      • Jesus

        I know, ISIS is an asset in the US portfolio.

        • Dustil schmit

          I love debunking idiots like you
          Agreement between Assad and SDF/YPG allowed Assad to send fighters & military support to Qamishli & SDF sent fighters from Raqqa to afrin

          • Samuel Boas

            According to some sources. That’s your reply kid? get a life.

          • Jesus

            You are not debunking anything, you are not even addressing the essence of the article which is …..ISIS instead of being obliterated in Racqa, itis allowed to escape. I think idiots are those who have the facts starring at them, yet they spout their narrative which is a blatant lie. US is not fighting the war against terror, it is promulgating the war on terror.

      • Gary Sellars

        The US has never wanted to destroy ISIS, simply to re-direct them against the targets of Uh’Murikkkan choosing. Against Iraq they oppose ISIS, but not so much that the Iraqi army and PMU triumph well, as that would strengthen Iraqs Shia government (who don’t like US involvement in their country). Against the Syrians, the US does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, but instead encourages ISIS thru proxies such as Wahabbi Arabia aka Goatfuckistan, while condemning effective action taken by the Russians.

        • Jens Holm

          hahahahahahah.

          USA was asked back as well.

          Far out in most matters.

          • Samuel Boas

            No one asked the Americans to come to Syria you imbecile.

      • Jens Holm

        bork

  • aeolius

    Jesus:
    There is the small matter of the 200K+ civilians in Raqqa who are trapped. .As we know from Manbij Mosul etc ISIS is happy to use civilians as shields. So there will be many civilian casualties in the forthcoming urban warfare campaign.Every ISIS fighter who leaves means fewer innocents will die. Important to some if not to you.
    I presume the Russians/SAA forces are better able to take care of themselves then are Raqqa civilians.
    Since the US and Russians military do communicate military moves of mutual interest, I expect the Russians agreed to this procedure. If only not to look bad if they did not agree to let ISIS fighters

    be sent their way.

    • FlorianGeyer

      When has the US ever been concerned about civilian casualties ? ISIS is funded by Saudi Arabia. The US bows to Saudi Arabian money, ergo the US and the Saudi’s must have a plan worked out for ISIS terrorists.

      • Solomon Krupacek

        florian, you crazy gipsy, please save us from your false comments like: The US bows to Saudi Arabian money

        • Gary Sellars

          If the Saudis had no money, do you think that the Trumpian would make Riyadh his first port of call on his first international trip as Prez?

          No chance…

          • Jens Holm

            But they do. Saudis has invested all over the world and are by that a part of the world economy and not onlý oil.

          • Solomon Krupacek

            sure, would do. similarly like with other gulf states.

          • Solomon Krupacek

            otherwise, then russia bows befor qatari money according your logics.

        • Divesh Kumar

          Then what do they bow for? good human rights…. ?

          • Jens Holm

            It might be some realism and many, many mirrors for those who always blame others even making most of the dirt themselves.

          • Solomon Krupacek

            keep the line. here is the line: saudis.

      • Jens Holm

        And ISIS cant fly ergo they are no stones.

      • Dustil schmit

        When has Russia US China care about civilians? Answer never cared.

        • FlorianGeyer

          The US always exudes her fake democratic values whilst bombing civilian infrastructure to cause death and fear amongst civilians. We have witnessed this in all of US conflicts, old and new.

    • Divesh Kumar

      Can you Pls elaborate that what is US doing in Syria and WITH WHOSE PERMISSION. WHO ARE THEIR ALLIES.? SDF/FSA/ISIS/ANUSARA? Pls don’t put so much pressure on your adolescent brain…. They are are same and US is using and shuffling them as per their wicked needs. It’s same what they did in Pakistan in 70s i.e. To create dogs and then these dogs bite on their back

      • Bill Wilson

        You obviously have shit for brains.

        • Jens Holm

          I vote for that

      • Jens Holm

        If You after years havnt been able to understand their credentials, You never will and staying in bed shoukld be Your safezone.

    • Jens Holm

      Im sure russians are well informed.

    • Jens Holm

      Yes even much, much smaller.

      Its a try for double bingo telling they kill to many civilians and in the same time demand it should go faster. If many leaves more civilians most likely has a chance.

  • SnowCatzor

    I always thought Palmyra had little strategic value, I guess it’s quite important after all. Still, I do not believe ISIS will abandon Raqqa, they will probably fight for months to defend it.

    • John Mason

      ISIS have made a deal with the SDF and are leaving Raqqa towards Palmyra. US wants the area from all Eastern Syria under their control. Time that Russia drops some decent size bombs.

      • Jens Holm

        Rubbish. A russian fake of the worst. The rethoric says all. before SDF came closer to Raqqa ISIS could go 360 degrees as they wished. Now ISIS are reduced to 179 degrees russians calls it and open corridor.

        And Yes , ISIS can escape. The more escapers the more civilians will be alive. Thats a choise – correct. We see the propaganda about that too and fakes and fakes and fakes – blaming SDF to kill civilians, bomb hospital in Raqqa, bomb people outside a bakery, a few days ago turks brought a picture from a vudeogame blaming kurds to kill some fellows.

        Even a fisherman near Jarablus is taken in as proof for SDF being bad people.

        The fellow look like an actor to me. Could be. How old is this picture. Is it taken in Cairo, Lissabon or what.

        Even danish pigs wouldnt eat all as too many do here in evil wishthinking of the worst kind.

        • John Mason

          Do some fact checking.

          • Jens Holm

            I did. Its even fine to me they and USA promised to let them go, so russians could have them in the open to kill them.

            lesss facts then pure manipulations of the worst kind.

            If ISIS has left as proposed its fine with me 100%. That should give a much better chance for civilians. Seems You prefare civilians and ISIS killedin the citycenter blaming us killing too many civilians….

          • John Mason

            You are missing the point of the debate, namely that the US and coalition are violating International Law and that their proxy armies are nothing but terrorists, also another violation. Obviously from your comment you have no respect for International Law or sovereign rights to a nation. It is a known fact that the US supports ISIS and Assad has confirmed it also.
            http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960313001144

          • Goran Grubić HardyVeles

            Guys guys!!! You’re missing an important point: not only the ISIS is not a single entity in this but USA is not a single entity either. When one of you writes “USA wants this, ISIS done that” it seems for me you don’t get the reality well. Even SAA is not a single entity, not USA, the country having the President sabotaged every day by executive, legislative and juridical branches of the Government – and even these branches are not a single entity.

          • Jens Holm

            I vote for parts of it. Too many from M.E. and several other countries think Trump is a President as Thier own “Father”.

            The main thing for Democrasy is, the power is diveded into many hands(and many can be elected or replaced). So the country dont go down even Trump is low flik-flacking.

            Tump has just made a kind of dirty oilpipeline through Alaska possible and also work for coal should come back for making dirty electricity as well as heat.

            But most of the other states systematicly replace parts of that where they can because much is even cheeper – especially to use less energy for doing same rthing, but also vindmills and solarcells to making electricy from the weather.

            Military things are in some matter the same. He cant just take plans away which is decided by the Parlament. He can declare more – but the Parlament decide, if their is money for more then the start.

          • Jens Holm

            Its mainly far out. Take this. Turks has even not signed:

            United Nations are not international intensions ??????????????

            Seems like You dont know what same HUMAN RIGHTS to all are:
            Article IA
            All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are
            endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
            Article 2
            Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion,political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
            Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political,
            jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
            Article 3
            Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
            Article 4
            No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be
            prohibited in all their forms.
            Article 5
            No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
            Article 6
            Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
            Article 7
            All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any
            discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
            Article 8
            Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.
            Article 9
            No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
            Article 10
            Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.
            Article 11
            1. Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed
            innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which hehas had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
            2. No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or
            omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or
            international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier
            penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time
            penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal
            offence was committed.
            Article 12
            No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
            Article 13
            1. Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the
            borders of each State.
            2. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to
            return to his country.
            Article 14
            1. Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
            2. This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely
            arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and
            principles of the United Nations.
            Article 15
            1. Everyone has the right to a nationality.
            2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to
            change his nationality.
            Article 16
            1. Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality
            or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled
            to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
            2. Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of theintending spouses.
            3. The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and isentitled to protection by society and the State.
            Article 17
            1. Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with
            others.
            2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.
            Article 18
            Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
            Article 19
            Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
            Article 20
            1. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
            2. No one may be compelled to belong to an association.
            Article 21
            1. Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country,
            directly or through freely chosen representatives.
            2. Everyone has the right to equal access to public service in his country.
            3. The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by
            equivalent free voting procedures.
            Article 22
            Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in
            accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.
            Article 23
            1. Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and
            favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
            2. Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal
            work.
            3. Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration
            ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity,
            and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
            4. Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
            Article 24
            Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of
            working hours and periodic holidays with pay.
            Article 25
            1. Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and
            well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing
            and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security
            in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or
            other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
            2. Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All
            children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.
            Article 26
            1. Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made
            generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
            2. Education shall be directed to the full development of the human
            personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and
            fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and
            friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
            3. Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
            Article 27
            1. Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the
            community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and
            its benefits.
            2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests
            resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the
            author.
            Article 28
            Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and
            freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.
            Article 29
            1. Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
            2. In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
            3. These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
            Article 30
            Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

            Those are not OK. NO THEY ARE NOT IN MANY COUNTRIES.

          • Dustil schmit

            Well many of you here believe conspiracies more then a know fact.

          • Jens Holm

            You are not interesting in facts at all. MKost seemes to be throwing Your own dirt, so it seems better in Your own house.

            But You are the producer, så it would be cleaner, if You stopped.

            Its westerns as well. But You could avoid much if You at least avoided to produce the most stinking ones among each other.

            Most things has nothing to do with anybody else.

          • John Mason

            What nationality are you? Your English is the worst I have had the displeasure of reading! Your comment and the way it is structured shows a complete lack of intelligence. No insult intended.

          • Jens Holm

            Until 3 months ago I havnt written any english for 40 years.

            I have a 4 years education and some real – but smaller lessons for University. Im just above middle class and have other and better skils. which make me a good income as well as house, summer house, TV channels, Samsung Galaxy and all.

            So my english is slightly improving getting fewer and fewer complaints. You have to get used to many more actually can communicate in english – because we have to – And many of us are not and will never be first class.

            I can only see, You are as descriebed and it doesnt matter if it is in chinese, spanish, arabic or what. No facts. Twisted facts.

        • Samuel Boas

          Kid what is wrong with you. Bunch of bullshit you are spewing here. Get a life.

          • Jens Holm

            It would be nice with a reliable source or 2 instead. I have written a lot about and it obly indicate evil intensions by fakes.

    • Jens Holm

      The auther says so. Its speculations. Take it for that and not a patent for thruth. Hard to get the ISIS intensions.

  • Gary Sellars

    ISIS take Palmyra and destroy the Tiyas airbase…. It would be easier for them to build rockets and relocate to the moon…

    ISIS are fucked, are facing a steep slope to utter ruination. Good riddance to Wahabbi goat-fucking rubbish.

    • dutchnational

      It might be true.

      On the other hand, IS took Palmyra twice already so maybe we will soon have a Lunar IS.

      In general though, I agree IS is, as a “proto” state on its way down. The problem is just that there are a lot of failed states in Africa and the MENA region where they can play hide and seek and the problem of terrorist attack will remain or even grow.

  • Bill Wilson

    LOL! This was the funniest nonsense that I’ve read in several days.

  • Jens Holm

    Too many strange speculations to me. I cant see ISIS doing this and that as descriened.

    But I dont have any reliable speculations myself.

  • gustavo

    Palmyra can only fall under terrorists control because of stupidity of Russia-Syria, or because there was an under gorund deal with USA. Russia can see every movement of the terrorists in Syria land, and Russia has not excuse why it can not stop any terrorists at all (helicopters, planes, missiles, infantery).