Call the Russians when you need to get something done.
Just as we suspected: The Russian Ministry of Defense has confirmed that the lightning-fast assault on Palmyra was planned and coordinated by Russian Special Forces and of course backed by Russian air support.
The Syrian army’s major offensive to retake the ancient city of Palmyra from Islamic State militants was planned and coordinated by Russian military advisers, Russia’s General Staff said.
“The Syrian army’s operation in Palmyra has been a remarkable success. It has been planned and carried out under the guidance of Russian military advisers,” Sergey Rudskoy, chief of the General Staff’s operations department, said on Friday.
Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) suffered heavy casualties, having lost over 1,000 militants killed or injured in action, along with 19 tanks, 37 armored fighting vehicles, 98 pickup trucks mounting heavy weaponry and 100 other combat vehicles, General Rudskoy added.
The Russian Air Force and Special Forces played a vital role in destroying IS positions outside Palmyra, he continued. Russia’s brand new fixed- and rotor-wing aircraft, including the newest Kamov Ka-52 attack helicopters, were deployed in the operation.
Russian special forces arrived in the western countryside of Palmyra in mid-February to begin preparations for the assault on the ancient city.
For political purposes, it's important for Syrian forces to be in the limelight. The Russians of course are playing a key (if not vital) role. But there's no reason for Moscow to advertise it.
Four Russian military advisors were killed last week not too far from Palmyra, but the report was buried. It's clear the Russians are extremely active in this region. But they want the glory to go to Syria.
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