Russia: ISIS Offensive on Palmyra Could Be Launched to Give Respite to Militants in Aleppo

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According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, a new offensive of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group on Palmyra could be organized in order to deflect attention of the Syrian Army from Aleppo.

Russia: ISIS Offensive on Palmyra Could Be Launched to Give Respite to Militants in Aleppo

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (Photo: TASS / Alexander Shcherbak)

A new offensive of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group on the Syrian city of Palmyra from the Iraqi region of Mosul could be organized in order to deflect attention of the Syrian Armed Forces away from Aleppo and save militants, who stayed in the city, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said during a press conference in Belgrade, Serbia.

The fact that the offensive of the IS terrorists on Palmyra was launched from Iraq and “apparently from Mosul” and militants marched through the “territories patrolled by the aircraft of the US-led coalition makes one think that – and I really hope to be wrong here – that it was orchestrated and coordinated to give a respite to those thugs, who are entrenched in eastern Aleppo,” Lavrov said.

The Russian Foreign Minister also noted that from the very beginning of the Syrian crisis, the US has been conducting a two-faced policy towards Syrian terrorist groups. He pointed out that while the US-led coalition is fighting against the IS, it is studiously avoiding a fight against another terrorist group – the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra Front, which is currently known as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham.

“There is a significant number of reasons to believe that [Al-Nusra] is being spared as the most effective combat-capable force, which opposes the governmental [forces] of the ground in order to be used for overthrowing the legitimate Syrian government when the time comes,” Lavrov said.

He also stressed that Moscow is still ready to guarantee that the Syrian government forces will not target the corridors, allowing militants to leave Aleppo city, and once again appealed to the US, asking to persuade the armed groups to leave the city.

“Those who want to be the part of the reconciliation process should immediately join the ceasefire regime, as all the others would be regarded as legitimate targets,” Lavrov noted, referring to the groups of militants, fighting against the Syrian Arab Army on the territory of the country.

At the same time, he admitted that the negotiations between Moscow and Washington on the Syrian issue are difficult, noting that “the US has returned to its old deadlock position,” once again demanding to introduce another humanitarian pause in Aleppo city that could last from three to seven days, before the US would coordinate the issue of the militants, leaving the city. However, he also expressed his hope that Washington will stop to “exonerate” the militants and confirm its commitment to the “fundamental agreement” on “uncompromising struggle against terrorism.”

“That [the humanitarian pause] would mean another respite for the militants,” the Russian Foreign Minister said, adding that “we have been through this before.” Lavrov also stressed that the situation in Aleppo should be resolved primarily on the basis of the care for civilians.

He also criticized the EU for its ideology-driven policy toward Russia, as well as for the pressure, exerted on its members, associated and candidate countries.

“We are aware of the written instructions issued by the EU that oblige every [EU] country as well as the Associated and Candidate Countries to make [specific] statements concerning Russia,” Lavrov said.

As the Russian Foreign Minister noted, according to the EU instructions, “all these countries” must condemn the “occupation of eastern Ukraine” and “annexation of Crimea,” as well as define situations around the Crimean Peninsula and in Ukraine strictly in that way.

Lavrov called this approach as “absurd” and compared the current policy of the EU with the Soviet Union, where ideological dogmas were prioritized “over economic interests and essential interests of its members.”

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  • adzsiam

    A little late for that. And personally, I think the SAA and its allies should have wiped the Aleppo militants out, giving them very little to negotiate for. I guess it was the civilians who were the pawns in the militants’ pocket.

  • Drinas

    Lavrov and his usual BS. All these lies while ISIS advanced 15-20km west of Palmyra threatening Tiyas airbase.
    Also, no surprise that Russia is having difficulties with this war, since its defence budget has been further reduced in 2016.
    “In relation to GDP, the share of spending on national defense will be 4.7% in 2016, 3.3% in 2017, 3% in 2018, 2.8% in 2019.

    Yes, that’s the way to move forward Russia, by unilateral disarmament. Good job Lavrov & Putin..

    • John Whitehot

      Actually it seems that Russia has had much less difficulties in this war than the US several trillion effort over the “war on terror”. After all, I think that if the USAF bombed jihadists with vans filled with cash they would had spended less and probably gained more. Also, I see many folks are pretty much entangled in the typically jewish way of just looking at the money, without guessing anything else that more is better.

  • 888mladen .

    Mr Lavrov I would presume you have no right to say anything on the matter.

  • Byzantines

    Sergei Lavrov has signed the sanctions against Serbia and the Hague trial when he was an ambassador in 1990.Sergei Lavrov close his eyes in regime change in Libya ,Lavrov recognized the Kiev Junta which continues to genocide the RUSSIAN POPULATION in Donbass.Lavrov with the high treason Minsk truce stop the advance of Novorossiya army to liberate Mariupol .Lavrov every time when Syrian army and allies advance stop them with some suspicious ceasefire never the opposite.Lavrov come from Gorbatjov and Yeltsin generation who lost the cold war and has inferiority complex toward west.The problem with Lavrov is not that he is a Atlanticists the problem is that he is above Putin when is handle the foreign policy.(the only time that Putin refused tho listen him was when he was against the Crimea annexation).The only hope that Russia will be an independent country is that when τhis dinosaur goes for pension and a new generation of diplomats take the foreign ministerium.Maria Zacharova will be a good choice.

    • Brad Isherwood

      Russians view Odessa Ukraine as Russia…
      Mariupol is another city /region where Russians are bang the table loud angry that Kiev
      Wears like offensive jewelry.
      Over on Col Cassad in years past blog…the point that certain crimeski type connected
      To Industrial and shipping from Mariupol, ….just needed to be bought off,.
      And They** would break with Kiev and free Mariupol.

      Ukraine is perfectly positioned between Europe and Silk road.
      Was historic for broker/crime reality way back. ….positioned to do so,
      Again!
      On a side note,….The Taliban burned down so much the A Stan Opium poppy fields
      Before Bush and crime show poured in,
      They had to find new Opium Poppy seed to rebuild the A Stan Opium industry.
      Solution…..Seed stock was from Turkey and near match for climate .
      NATO fly the rebuild enterprise in.

      Crime planet……..3rd from the Sun

      • 888mladen .

        Brad I hope you have read my post about Ukrainian and RU oligarchical structure. There is shadow government in RU which is made up of RU oligarchs. Thinking that Putin or Lavrov have been calling shots independently is fantasy to say the least. When it comes to Ukrainian and RU oligarchs and their dealings a border between two countries means next to nothing. Conflict in Novorosia has been controlled by mates from both sides.

        • Brad Isherwood

          Your post 5 days ago ?
          >> The most of the commentators have no idea how RU ruling elite works. And yes Putin will do everything to remove the western sanctions which have been hurtful to them. There is only one aria where RU interests are in harmony with Syrian government’s and that’s destruction of terrorists in order to prevent another Chechnya or Dagestan war. RU is obviously using Syria as a polygon for testing their weapons and attracting more sales for their military industrial complex. Another interest is tied to the RU energy sector which goal is to prevent the Iranian gas from reaching EU market. That’s why RU signed an agreement with Turkey for transit of their gas pipeline through its territory. That’s why there is no interest in liberating eastern parts of Syrian territory on the part of Russia. Unfortunately the most of people are capable of scratching the surface only. So this comment will not attract much attention or positive response either.

          Found this via your Disqus posting archive.

          Recently listened to an interview with Stephen Cohen who pointed out that Putin had focused on internal state reforms /economy. … and it did not go well for him.
          Russia’s Historic legacy of not do as Moscow requests. …with schemes and scams to avoid compliance.
          Cohen Said that Russia land Buracracy /Oligarchs only do 30% what Moscow orders.

          • 888mladen .

            There is an earlier post with the link to YouTube video from 11 days ago.

            888mladen .

            Bob

            11 days ago

            You can’t juggle forever can you? First of all Putin comes from
            intelligence community. That doesn’t have much to do with real warfare.
            That’s all about undercover operations. And they have their limitations
            which is clearly seen in the conflict in Syria. Secondly the most people
            who post their comments are not aware of oligarchical structure of the
            shadow government in Russia and Ukraine. Basically they’ve been cut of
            the same cloth, Their dealings have been so intermingled that the border
            between them hardly makes any difference. My proof battle for Mariupol.
            Batman’s brigade Vostok was at the verge of capturing it which would
            provide conveniently a corridor from Novorussia to Crimea. However the
            whole operation was suddenly halted and the brigade Vostok was disarmed.
            Not long after Batman, the commander of the battalion was
            assassinated. The assassins knew exactly all the details about his
            whereabouts. Even they knew that he was wearing bullet proofed vest on
            the day of the event. Hence they used RPG to make sure kill.

            It turned out that all those who fought in Novorusia on ideological ground have been useful idiots of the oligarchs on the both sides of the
            border. I’m not saying it was not worthy of fighting. What I’m saying is
            that those who really fought were not the ultimate beneficiaries.

            If you think that Putin has been calling shots independently you better
            think twice. Mind we are all vulnerable to wishful thinking especially
            when we have some kind of vested interest in what’s happening around us. We tend to believe in an outcome which is somehow favorable to our
            expectations. Don’t we?

            Watch this clip and prove me wrong. What he is talking about has an universal application.

            https://youtu.be/K4kHiUAjTvQ

          • Brad Isherwood

            The history since the Communist revolution…as noted by my picture post this thread in concert with your posts.
            The …Usual Suspects **
            While I myself do not buy into all the Khazarian spin cycle which surges thru the alternative community at present.
            There was* a collective of criminals which one could use the Khazar label. ..who did cause exceeding trouble to ancient Russia and other regional people’s.
            They got run off afterwards. ..to not be the great collective they were formerly.

            The criminal racket which existed since ancient Silk Roads.
            The Venetian Bankers backed Europa vs the Mongols…and even backed the Mongols.
            They exceeded their lease of extortion and spying and of course…creating coin and debt banking.
            Even the Pope finally flipped out and went on them….Europe scattered them
            They reset in the Swamps of Holland…then jumped to London ( City of London)
            And today now in Wallstreet.
            The Venetian bankers had historic roots via migration going back to Babylon.

            This creature is very alive today and morphed into cells of dominion where it’s
            Like a crime family of removed cousins and uncles. ..
            As you mentioned…the Ukraine Oligarchs and the Russian have a shared history together.
            The moving force of the regional chaos in the Donbass threatens Enterprises,
            So ya…..a deal to not tumble Mariupol gets struck and then certain leaders get struck. ….and the moving map settles out.

            A reminded of the decades past contract with Sukhoi and China over Mig 27
            The Chinese were locked out of certain technology and got creative to aquire that. ..so they could build their own Su 27 .
            Using defect problems and other periphery excuses…they tricked Sukhoi into sending techs to China to resolve the problems.
            The Chinese got these guys hookers,booze…..cash bribe,
            They manipulated certain techs to give up the needed know how on production engineering and computer/flight/communications interface.
            Russia was livid after…Probably some of the Sukhoi techs went to prison.
            In the world of business the deceit is mere moments away.
            Today Russia knows they sell military contract. ..the other party going to copy/R&D that while lying thru their teeth…. ( Iran : ) )

            These regional conflicts are the deals struck by criminals and governments.
            With other nations and their criminals….angry and angst to get into the Fight Pit!

        • Brad Isherwood

          Post of mine on Russia Insider

          The Future of Syria is ?? for me…
          Poster 888mladen on Southfront shared about RU Oligarchs and Russia’s interests.

          I’ve been getting up to speed on where Russia’s interests really are,..and here. ..there is
          Divisions within Russian leadership on numerous agendas from Geostrategic, economy, to military. 
          I myself may be personally disappointed in Russia’s choices,…yet I’m not knowing fully why the paths continue as is…
          Numerous Web forums have posters appealing to Moscow via the posts to act on behalf of the Donbass….or Syria etc.
          Russia MOD via Moscow Times…if article is accurate, …Stated No Russian ground Forces will be sent to Syria…as media roiled over Palmyra.

          Syria has the post WW 2 historic problem of the Muslim Brotherhood 
          Since the Hama riots in the 60s. 
          Idlib and other places are decades with anti Damascus groups and Anti Baath party.
          Me posting that Syria is a really messed up place and it did it to itself. …That
          Required some background to justify the cutting comments.

          Saddam probably faced a similar reality with Iraq landscape and how to keep 
          Authority over provinces.

          Am reminded that Saladin …after sacking Jerusalem…went back to Damascus, 
          Where several assassination attempts on his life occured.
          So much for Allah’s will and Victory : )

          Syria’s military can turn the corner…Russian training and realistic operations pace. 
          I still however am ?? as to Russia’s future agenda in the mid east. 
          While Russia has relationship with say Iran….things are not allways like they appear. 

  • Byzantines

    Lavrov will be in a big depression after 20 of Januar when he will miss his “lover“Kerry. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d8bc336a2c81f8dedf4b940e3de07606f25e0a9c8349cc6f4befd47b8ecf292a.jpg

  • 1691

    Thank you, Mr Lavrov. I am not a politician, diplomat or military expert but I am sure that you are doing the best given all the circumstances. There is more in the bigger picture. It is tough.I know. Best wishes!

    • Byzantines

      All the Russian generals and military experts blame Lavrov for his failed Syria policy,Be more inform before write your comment.here http://theduran.com/furious-russian-military-blame-us-humanitarian-pauses-fall-palmyra/

      • 1691

        Thank you for the link. I stand by what I said. You sure know that the americans are not to be trusted, quite well armed and their military bases are all over. Loosing a battle does not mean loosing the war.Too much is at stake- Crimea, Donetsk, Lugansk.I don’t have to list all possible hot spots. I believe that whatever comes out from Lavrov is coordinated with Putin, Shoigu and team.Thanks God, we are not in a position to make important decisions regarding global matters.There are people, who are appointed and elected to do that( I am not talking about EU).We should leave it to them. Btw I am also mad about Palmyra but did not loose my marbles and will not practice the”blame game”.

      • Brad Isherwood

        Maybe in some deal….US make sure Mercs now in Palmyra do not pull down any more Historic property.
        Trump made hint that US fight ISIS. …might actually be,
        US take over Areas which Media and US Gov label as ISIS.

        Having worked decades front end oil/nat gas process build,
        The oil pigs will screw each other over for a buck like no other.
        We ponder who might control what pipeline route from where.
        Another possibility is just brokering energy,…like the present crime ride
        Of loot Iraqi and Syrian oil..
        If someone sat on the Palmyra nat gas fields, …they could broker that on the market,
        Maybe even list on the world stock market in some shoddy label set up.

        Not saying this is going to happen….yet it could happen that US walks into Syria with the Mercs faint away and maintain a security zone over Palmyra and other central Syria.
        And under the we are staying to ensure ISIS never returns. …broker the energy and be the
        Top dog for future energy routes if they occur.

        US military stay on for decades……just ask Europe what it means to have NATO around.
        I hope I’m wrong…and Trump really does fight ISIS and Syria remains Sovereign,
        Eventually free to the most part the foreign mercs wars.

        There are several Jewish power blocks with oil/nat gas company’s and ties to Wallstreet
        Salivating to have the Golan. ..the Offshore North towards Cyprus and the South
        Offshore from Gaza to offshore Sinai.

        Obama Said no more US boots on the ground in Iraq,…yet there are over 4000 US military
        In Iraq easy.
        Once Uncle Sam goes in…..you can’t get the @r to leave after.
        Fingers crossed that Trump does not out flank the dozzy Saudi/UAE side and take
        All at 11:59.
        Again. …I hope I’m wrong….and Syria goes free from this nightmare.

  • gfsdyughjgd .

    Lavrov caused this nonsense with his non interest Kerry NATO suggested cease fire.He risk the soldiers life’s and equipment.He must stay in consultation with the Syrian government who invited Russia.Not Erdogan or Kerry let Syrian government decides as affected country.No more guy love play with NATO Kerry or NATO Erdogan.

  • wayne1954

    I found this article very informative background:
    https://southfront.org/deir-ezzor-attack-enables-the-salafist-principality-as-foreseen-in-the-2012-dia-analysis/

    Here is my two-cents regarding the recent events:
    1) US has facilitated the movement of ISIS fighters and material into Syria from Mosul
    2) The US led attack on Raqqa has stalled (intentionally or not)
    3) This has allowed those Mosul resources to push the boundaries of the “Salafist principality” (described in the above article) further south and west
    4) Deir Ezzor is a likely next target for consolidation of this “Salafist principality”
    5) After the Trump Administration’s inauguration, the Pentagon leadership fears that the US will lose interest in the Raqqa campaign
    6) The “Salafist principality” will be established as described the the article.

  • gfsdyughjgd .

    This Lavrov guys really risky and stupid.How can the army deflect its attention from the terrorist.Of cause their are going to arrest and use population again as shields.Before any retreat let terrorist surrender or die.Maybe it is USA special forces which have remained.

  • trid2bnrml

    Unfortunately Mr. Lavrov, you’re probably right on all counts