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Syrian Regime Uses Defeat in Palmyra to Convince Russians to Invest in War | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Syrian regime forces and civilians raise their arms as others are evacuated al-Foua and Kefraya, are welcomed by pro-regime forces in the Jibrin neighborhood near Aleppo, Syria, December 19, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Beirut – The ISIS organization continued on Tuesday to widen its grip around Palmyra, a week after controlling the ancient city located in central Syria. The terrorist organization exerted more pressures on the Tayfur military airport, where 20 regime soldiers were killed, according to reports.

And while ISIS’ prompt occupation of Palmyra carried several local and regional messages, particularly in the absence of factors explaining the reasons behind the regime retreat, several observers believe that the Syrian regime might have facilitated the resurgence of the ISIS organization to extend the Russian interference in Syria.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Tuesday the ISIS organization “extensively shelled the Tayfur airport making an important advancement in its surroundings. The airport includes hundreds of Russian Special Forces, but the organization continues its attempts to control it.”

In the last few hours, an ISIS attack on Tayfur airport near the city of Palmyra killed at least 20 Assad and pro-government forces. Two high-ranking Syrian officers were also killed when a regime helicopter was shot down near the airport.

According to Lebanese political strategist Dr. Sami Nader, Russian President Vladimir Putin is speeding up the political solution in Syria, contrary to the regime and the Iranians, who both wish to continue the military operation.

“It is probable that the Iranians want to embarrass the Russians by showing that the war has not yet ended and that it was still early to go to the political operation.”

Nader said that central Syria, where ISIS was improving its control, “is very important for the Iranians because it links Iraq to Syria and it also links Aleppo to Tehran.”

The political strategist added: “The fact that ISIS is controlling advanced weapons complicates matters. It is unfortunate that ISIS is benefiting from the international differences among parties participating in the Syrian conflict.”

Nader did not rule out that the regime might be using the latest developments in Palmyra to push Russians to continue their war in Syria.

“The regime and its allies cannot military terminate the war and expand across the Syrian territories because they are simultaneously confronting geography and demography,” he said.