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Operation to free Palmyra conducted under Russian military advisers’ guidance

On Thursday, the Syrian government troops completed their operation to seize Palmyra with the support of the Russian air task force

MOSCOW, March 3. /TASS/. The Syrian troops conducted the operation to free the city of Palmyra under the guidance of Russian military advisers, Head of the Main Operations Department at Russia’s General Staff, Lieutenant-General Sergei Rudskoi said on Friday.

"The Syrian army has achieved significant success in Palmyra. The operation was planned and conducted under the guidance of Russian military advisers," he said.

"Despite the militants’ continual opposition", over the past month and a half, the Syrian government troops and militia units advanced 60 kilometers and took full control of Palmyra on March 2," Rudskoi said.

On Thursday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported to the Russian president that the Syrian army had concluded the operation to free Palmyra with the support of the Russian Aerospace Force.

The IS militants seized Palmyra in May 2015. A year ago, the operation to free Palmyra lasted two weeks. The Syrian army took the castle on March 25, 2016, and entered the city two days later.

The Russian Aerospace Force played an important part in that operation delivering pinpoint airstrikes on the Islamic State’s positions. Afterwards, Russian de-miners cleared the world famous archeological site from mines.

The Islamic State retook Palmyra on December 11, 2016, after the government forces had retreated.