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(Almasdarnews) ~ According to a trusted military source in Damascus, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) – alongside Liwaa Al-Fatemiyoun (Afghani paramilitary) – arrived to Hill 900 in the Palmyra (Tadmur) countryside on Sunday as part of the final wave of reinforcements to help liberate this ancient desert city.

The IRGC and Liwaa Al-Fatemiyoun contingent was not as large as the brigade from the Syrian Marines that arrived to the Palmyra countryside last week; however, they are an important component in the military strategy to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) across the country.

The source did not mention whether or not the IRGC was planning on participating in the actual battle to liberate the city; it is very likely that they will be advising the Syrian Armed Forces and their allies from Afar.

Interesting enough, as the Syrian Armed Forces kick-off their massive desert offensive in eastern Syria, the Iraqi Army has begun a large-scale operation to liberate the Al-‘Anbar Governorate from the ISIS terrorists inhabiting a substantial portion of it.

The timing of these offensives is rather important because ISIS is currently being attacked from two different flanks in two different countries.

Since the Iranians are advising both armies; it would not be out of the realm of possibility that they coordinated this coincidental military operation against ISIS in both Iraq and Syria.



Russia Steps up Airstrikes as Syrian Arab Army Prepares for Final Assault on Palmyra

(Russia-Insider) ~ Russia steps up its air operations around ISIS-held Palmyra as the Syrian Army and its allies inch closer to the city

The limited withdrawal from Syria has not affected Russia’s participation in the assault on Palmyra. According to Russia’s Defense Ministry, Russian warplanes are now carrying out up to 25 airstrikes a day around Palmyra in support of the Syrian army’s offensive. The Syrian army has made steady progress over the last week, and is now within striking range.

The Syrian Armed Forces and their allies have been steadily advancing in the Palmyra (Tadmur) countryside today, thanks in large part to the Russian Air Force’s relentless bombardment of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham’s (ISIS) defensive positions that were considered impregnable 6 months ago.

As a result of these powerful airstrikes from the Russian Air Force, the Syrian Arab Army’s “Tiger Forces” – backed by the Desert Hawks Brigade, Hezbollah, and Liwaa Imam ‘Ali – have been able to take advantage of ISIS’ misery and capture several small hilltops at Jabal Hayyal’s eastern slopes that border the Qatari Royal Villa.

In addition to their advance around Jabal Hayyal’s eastern slopes, the Tiger Forces and their allies have been applying a lot of pressure on ISIS’ defensive positions at the Palmyra Castle (Qal’at Tadmur), striking this important site with thermobaric missiles to avoid damaging this historical structure.

Although ISIS has been putting up stiff resistance (thanks in part to an intricate tunnel and fortification system), multiple sources confirm that the Syrian army is building up strength and preparing for a final assault on Palmyra. According to reports, the Syrian army is now so close to Palmyra that they are able to see Palmyra airport from one of their positions

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