Home Investigations How the Islamic State took over the city of Palmyra

How the Islamic State took over the city of Palmyra

Comment l’Etat Islamique a repris la ville de Palmyre

Valentin Vasilescu for VT

The offensive of the Islamic State against Palmyra triggered on 9 December completely surprised the garrison of the Syrian Arab army in the city. It was the time of the final assault on the city of Aleppo by the Syrian Arab army, and all Russian means of reconnaissance were deployed in Syria for the execution of this mission in the region of Syria, Aleppo. The manner in which American military planners conceived the encirclement of the city of Mosul seems odd as they have left a free corridor for the Islamic state north-west of Mosul on the road to Rabiia, Crossing the Iraqi-Syrian border.

north-nineveh-29nOn 2 December, the United States ordered Iraqi troops to reduce combat operations in Mosul, and to stop the offensive on 11 December. This allowed a column of vehicles including some Islamic state tanks to leave the city. In the middle of the night, the columns headed northwest, crossed the Syrian border through the territory occupied by the Kurdish fighters of the SDF coordinated by special forces instructors of the US Army. Islamic State fighters reached Raqqa without any obstacle, running 10 hours a distance of over 460 km. And the next day they are in Palmyra.


The US-led Islamic anti-state coalition, conducting 24/24 hours of reconnaissance flights on the territory occupied by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, signed a protocol of cooperation with Russia on the ” Exchange of information related to the recognition and distribution of strikes on land targets. The coalition either did not detect the displacement of the column of vehicles from the Islamic State of Mosul to Raqqa, and then to Palmyra, or “failed” to warn the Russian colleagues.

The planning of the Palmyra offensive was carried out in a highly professional manner, since the Islamic State has staff officers at the level of that of the most powerful NATO armies. The trip was organized in several walking columns of Raqqa on the outskirts of Palmyra. For example, approximately 4,000 Islamic state soldiers, who were loaded into Toyota pickups (equipped with machine guns), armored vehicles, artillery and tanks, were deployed overnight, over a distance of 200 km And entered directly into the battle.

The Islamic state has created a superior power balance, maneuvered and attacked at night with exemplary efficiency. This proves that the members of the Islamic state are not Syrian rebels against the government of Bashar al-Assad, but well-trained mercenaries, armed and constantly informed by their sponsors about the movements of the Syrian Arab army. Informed of the device of the Syrian troops on the ground a few days before the offensive, the commando groups of the Islamic State, disguised as civilian refugees, infiltrated the periphery of Palmyra. The members of these groups positioned themselves near the checkpoints of the Syrian Arab army in the outskirts of the city and waited for the arrival of the columns of the troops of the Islamic State. Thanks to these commandos, the Islamic State could easily open breaches through which the columns could enter Palmyra.

Even under these conditions, the soldiers of the Syrian Arab army could resist for a long time if they were endowed with night vision equipment like the fighters of the Islamic State. Armed with superior equipment and precise information, the subunits of the Islamic State maneuvered very precisely, succeeding in enveloping and isolating the defenses of the Syrian Arab army. One wonders where the Islamic state has bought thousands of night vision equipment in recent months.

After the reoccupation of Palmyra by the Islamic State, Russian experts deployed in Syria drew the necessary conclusions and delivered to the soldiers of the Syrian Arab army who fight for the liberation of the city the individual equipment of night vision and equipment Fara-1, 1PN90-3 and Aistyonok which are endowed in the Russian motorized infantry brigades. The Fara-1 portable radar is coupled to machine guns of 7.62 mm 12.7 mm and 14.5 mm guns and detects individual combatants over a distance of 2000 m in night or fog, and vehicles Over 4000 m, and can accurately guide the fire of the machine gun. The 1PN90-3 thermo-vision camera is also attached to 7.62mm, 12.7mm and 14.5mm machine guns and can detect a single fighter at a distance of 200-500m.
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fara800_d_850The Aistyonok portable radar is used by artillery batteries of all calibres. It traces the trajectory of the projectiles, calculated from coordinates of the artillery piece which launched it for a distance of 20 km, even if it is mobile. The radar follows the trajectory of its own projectiles, with the ability to make corrections after firing. It can be installed on vehicles, and is similar to the American radar An / Tpq -50.



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