The Russian Special Operation Forces and the Russian Aerospace Forces played a key role in the Syrian army’s second liberation of Palmyra, according to Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi, the chief of the Russian General Staff Main Operational Directorate. He reported that 1,000 ISIS fighters were killed and wounded, 19 battle tanks, 37 armored vehicles and 98 pickups armed with heavy weapons were destroyed. DEBKAfile: What the Russian general omitted to mention was that the Russian special forces deployed in Tadmor were taken by surprise by ISIS in December 2016 and forced to retreat after the most disastrous defeat in the first Russian face to face with the jihadist group.
These same Russian units led the town’s recovery this week. Gen, Rudskoi added that they would now continue to advance eastward. They will target the large ISIS concentrations in Deir ez-Zour.