Government forces in Syria and the Russian VKS managed to stabilize the situation in the area of Palmyra, avoiding the worst-case scenario. Now the question for a counteroffensive, the preparation of which includes work on the bugs. And there were many mistakes – a tragic story of defeat at Palmyra is cluttered with new details.
Numerous attacks of the ISIL terrorists* near Palmyra reflected line of defence is in the area of Tias and Tifor airfield, said Deputy head of the Main operations Directorate of the General staff Lieutenant-General Viktor Pozniki in the briefing. He also stressed that Russia is providing assistance to the Syrian leadership in organizing the counter-offensive of Palmyra.
“Major General Saulat Hawali to the last traveled to Palmyra on a luxury armored Cadillac”
Earlier, government forces regained control of the heights near the base of the T-4. After the loss of Palmyra it was the most important task. Before command of the Syrian armed forces have sent reinforcements, which allowed to discard the gangs of ISIS from a military airfield in the area occupied by the terrorists in the city.
The Syrian army managed to stop the blow by the enemy near the key intersection of roads, and thereby to avoid encirclement T4. A few “Technicals” and the base tanks of ISIS, marching in this direction at the forefront, was forced to retreat. At the same time to the North of T4, government forces recaptured from ISIS the hill and a long-abandoned fortified battalion item, which allowed us to obtain outgunned and completely stabilize the Northern flank of defense.
At the moment the front is a ledge at the base of T4, on the flanks which were regularly arriving reinforcements. It is worth noting that the onset was suppressed exactly when managed to stop the uncontrolled retreat of ran units and at least a little foothold in the area.
The Islamists, in their own Declaration, planned to seize the T4 shoulders demoralized government units in just two days, but managed to avoid that. Objectively LIH is no longer possible to transfer a PAL reinforcements – they simply have nowhere to take, unless, of course, not to consider a complete withdrawal from Mosul.
On the contrary, to help the 11th armored division of the Syrian army deployed new units “Tigers” from Aleppo, and partially of “Hezbollah”. Iranian command promises to restore order in parts of the Afghan volunteers Shiite brigade”, Patision”, which ran from Palmyra among the first (perhaps a chain reaction in the surrender is triggered they are), and return them to the front.
The command, in principle, trying to somehow organize all the forces now assembled at Palmyra, including the 11th and 18th divisions, Afghans, and small units assigned to the security service, such as “al-Badia”. They say that the commander of “al-Badia” major General Saulat Hawali to the last traveled to Palmyra on a luxury armored Cadillac and surveyed the defense of the city when his men have already fled. Position of the key mount At-tar in the beginning of the ISIS attacks left and half of which were there five hundred elite “tigers”, explaining the delay of salaries for five months. This is despite the fact that their famous commander, Suhail al-Hassan of Aleppo – was urged to stay.
In the end, effective resistance had part of soldiers of the 18th division, who were able to organize to move to T4 and the first to hold the perimeter. So it became clear that virtually the entire defense of Palmyra hanging on one mount, the At-tar, to protect which in the conditions of surprise is simply not enough personnel.
By the way, ISIS militants in addition to the Jihad-mobiles used Jihad-tank, which was filled with 10 tons of explosives. After his disruption with the hand grenade had to take a break even the ISIS.
Ultimately, an orderly retreat covered six helicopters Mi-24, but only when managed to contact the commanders in HOMS and call them in Palmyra, and nearly 200 “tigers” with two machine guns. The massive use of aircraft from the airfield Hamim was virtually impossible, because the opponent nearly to the positions of Pro-government forces, and in some places was already in the middle of a shooting fight.
In this part the previously fleeing soldiers of the 11th and 18th divisions by the evening we returned to the front to help the remaining “tiger”. Back even about a hundred of Afghans, but this reinforcements did not arrive. Part of the modern anti-tank weapons for some unknown reason did not work (maybe a diversion, maybe wrong usage), and the defenders of the mountains At tar left against the militants almost with his bare hands, but defended until he died.
Now the Syrian command for some time to save power and conduct debriefing (receive reports about suspension and even the dismissal of several top generals, including Deputy chief of the General staff). Only after that we can talk about the beginning of the counterattack. Now, the forces of ISIS at Palmyra already exhausted, but that doesn’t negate the fact that they are monotonous and a usual tactic of suppression fire of infantry and the use of suicide bombers brings limited results. So it was a few years ago.
The announcement of the capture by Islamists of a large number of weapons and equipment in the Russian warehouses in Palmyra were greatly exaggerated. Russian commanders on the spot decided to blow up the warehouses has at 17.00 on 10 December. Nevertheless, it is possible that in the hands of ISIS still could get some weapons, such as anti-tank “Competition” administered by the 18th division.
But the main trophy was the Cadillac of General Architecture.
* Organization in respect of which the court accepted entered into legal force decision on liquidation or ban the activities on the grounds stipulated by the Federal law “On countering extremist activity”