Despite reports, Syria’s Palmyra and Iraq’s Mosul not on verge of liberation

In complete contrast with media reports issued on Thursday morning, the Iraqi army is not preparing to liberate Mosul, the country's second largest city, and the Syrian army is not on the verge of capturing Palmyra.
DEBKAfile's intelligence and military sources report that the Syrian army is not capable of taking over the historic city without support from the Russian air force. On President Vladimir Putin's orders, the Russian military has recently reduced its support of the Syrian army to a minimum until Damascus agrees to negotiate with the opposition regarding the country's future.
The sources add that the Iraqi army does not intend to attack ISIS-held Mosul at any time in the near future, and has even reduced its forces near the city by sending a number of battalions to Baghdad to protect the capital from attacks by the terrorist organization. 

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