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Syrian forces preparing for launching offensive in Palmyra

March 23, 2016, 8:55 UTC+3 BEIRUT

Sappers are demining approaches to the ancient site, SANA news agency reports

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© SANA via AP

BEIRUT, March 23. /TASS/. The Syrian government army supported by self-defense forces have regained control over the El-Hayal mountains to the south-west of ancient Palmyra, SANA news agency reported on Wednesday.

A representative of the Syrian army told SANA that the government forces are currently preparing for a decisive offensive at Palmyra in two kilometers from the city while sappers are demining approaches to the ancient site.

While destroying remaining strongholds of terrorists from Islamic State (terrorist organization banned in Russia) in El-Hayal, "a large number of militants were killed and injured, while others fled leaving their weapons behind," the representative said. The mountain rises above the oasis seized last May by IS and allows to open fire at terrorists’ positions on the approaches to Palmyra and inside the city.

Meanwhile Syrian forces delivered strikes at terrorist strongholds in the El-Karyaten oasis on the Damascus-Palmyra highway thus destroying their last base in Mkhin. Militants sustained considerable losses, their military equipment and transport were put out of order.

In Deir ez-Zor at the Euphrates river, Syrian forces repelled attacks of IS gangs that were trying to capture regions controlled by the Syrian army. Terrorists’ attacks were also repelled to the north of Latakia and in Aleppo’s industrial zone.

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