Breaking reports on a developing situation in Syria estimate that around 4,000 ISIS fighters are heading back to Palmyra. They are bringing heavy equipment with them, including tanks and armoured vehicles from Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor into the centre of the country. This according to a statement from the Russian Ministry of Defence.
This comes just days after Barack Obama waived restrictions on arming Syrian ‘rebels’ which in actual fact means terrorists.
This looks likely be a final big push by ISIS to regain control over a historically prominent region of central Syria. With the Battle of Aleppo all but over, it appears that ISIS and their cronies are looking to secure their positions in the east of the country by trying to lure the Syrian Arab Army back into Palmyra which was initially liberated from ISIS occupation in March of 2016.
If Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor are liberated, it will mean that the last two significant terrorist strongholds in Syria will be eliminated. All that will be left are the outposts surrounding the Damascus countryside. ISIS will surely do everything they can to stop this from happening.
Yesterday’s attack on Palmyra by 300 ISIS fighters may well have been a concerted attempt to set up Syria for an easy victory whilst more well-armed reinforcements arrived from the east. It is essential that Syria along with her allies are able to push this new ISIS front back and ideally drive them all the way to the Iraqi border where in all likelihood, they may make a final stand against Syria before retreating into northern Iraq where presently there is something of a stalemate between ISIS and the combined forces of the Iraqi, US and Turkish militaries, each fighting for a different purpose.
With Aleppo secured, various terrorist groups in Syria will try to make the most of the last weeks of a sympathetic Obama administration. There may yet be more bloody fighting to come, but it looks more like a final desperate push on behalf of the terrorist forces than anything which could lead to further long-term occupations of Syrian territory.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.