So let’s do just that.
Here is one of the latest maps via Al-Masdar News.
Not only have all of the hills towards the west of Palmyra been brought under firm SAA control, which allowed them to rain down fire on the hapless Islamic State defenders, but according to the latest reports Palmyra Airport has also been captured.
This means that Palmyra is as good as fully encircled, a development enabled in significant part by Russian air strikes in support of the SAA advance. Looks like Russia’s “retreat” wasn’t as total as some feared!
The current Islamic State plan is to abandon positions and establish a new line of defense at Al-Sukhanah, which controls a vital crossroads triangulated between Palmyra, Deir ez-Zor, and Raqqa. This is a critical point, because its loss would practically bisect the Islamic State between Iraq and Syria.
In general Islamic State seems to be pretty much falling apart now, showing up NATO/State Department claims about how Russia wasn’t doing anything against them for the self-serving lies they were.
Front-line commanders no longer speak of a scarily formidable foe but of Islamic State defenses that crumble within days and fighters who flee at the first sign they are under attack.
Of course seeing all this makes Atlanticist propagandists like Bild’s terminally Russophobic ISIS supporter Julian Roepcke very sad.
Additionally, Palmyra’s liberation also means that the Islamic State will be deprived of the oil wells around Palmyra. This is not hugely important, since the Islamic State has always drawn the bulk of its revenues from tithes on locals even before Russia fighters put an end to their nice little oil smuggling arrangements with the Erdogan family. Nor will Syria itself will not be able to benefit immediately since it will take time to restore output and that’s making the bold assumption anybody will risk going there.
I suppose there might also now be a trickle of archaeologists coming in to assess the scale of the damage Islamic State wreaked on Syria’s cultural heritage.
Just as the original ruins immortalized the glory of the Roman Empire, so the ruins of those ruins – doubleruins? metaruins? either way, their Ruinenwert must have gone through the roof – will stand testament to the criminal malignancy of the neocons who helped enable all this.