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Russian warplanes deliver airstrikes at 146 facilities near Palmyra — defense ministry

March 24, 2016, 18:44 UTC+3

Six command points, more than 320 terrorists, five tanks, six pieces of artillery, two ammunition depots and 15 vehicles were destroyed

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© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, March 24. /TASS/. Warplanes of the Russian Aerospace Forces delivered 146 airstrikes on terrorists near Syria’s Palmyra between March 20 and 23, destroying more than 320 terrorists, the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Warrying Sides in Syria reports.

They made 41 sorties near Palmyra, Homs province, delivering strikes on 146 military facilities of terrorists, the news-bulletin said.

"Six command points, more than 320 terrorists, five tanks, six pieces of artillery, two ammunition depots and 15 vehicles were destroyed," it added.

"No strikes were made on opposition armed groups who announced cessation of hostilities and provided information about their positions to the Russian or American reconciliation centers," the Russian center said.

Syrian government troops and self-defense forces on Thursday entered the city of Palmyra. 

Militants from the Islamic State terrorist group (which is banned in Russia) seized Palmyra early in the summer of 2015. The Syrian authorities warned at that time that the unique historical complex could repeat the sad fate of the ancient Iraqi cities of Ashur and Nimrud, which had been fully ruined and eliminated by insurgents.

IS prepares offensive in Aleppo province

The Russian Center for the Reconciliation of the Warring Sides in Syria has been informed that IS militants are concentrating their forces in a number of areas in the Aleppo province, an indication that they are preparing a new offensive.

"According to the information received from the population of the Aleppo province, ISIS [the former name for the Islamic State -TASS] is concentrating its forces near the populated localities of Han-Hafira, Marran, Shamir, Umm-Adasa and Deir-Anta. The concentration of these forces indicates that the terrorists are preparing to launch a new offensive against the government troops positions in this province," the information bulletin said.

The Russian and US militaries have discussed problems with data exchanges on areas where Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group militants are concentrated.

"Regular talks in the regime of a telephone conference between the leadership of the Russian and American centers have been held. Problem issues have been discussed relating to exchange of information on the areas of location and activity of the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group’s gangs," the bulletin posted on the Russian Defense Ministry’s website said.

Russia joined the operation against terrorists in Syria on September 30, 2015 at the request of Syrian president Bashar Assad. President Putin ordered on Monday to start withdrawing the main part of Russia’s forces from Syria as of March 15. He said the tasks assigned to the military were generally fulfilled.

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