The army of Bashar al-Assad has reportedly started crushing Islamic State militants that had previously seized the cities of Palmyra and Homs. Western experts and journalists believe that the Syrian troops receive substantial military assistance from Russian military men at the base in Latakia.
In addition, Russia has deployed modern weapons, including air defense, missile systems and aviation, having turned the area of the Russian base into a strong fortress. To crown it all, Russia still ships weapons to the government of Bashar Assad under previously concluded contracts.
Russia's TV channel "Zvezda" ("Star") reports that the Syrian army forced ISIS militants to retreat from Palmyra, although they hide in residential areas and use ancient monuments as a cover.
"The militants, who had been keeping the city under control and destroying priceless ancient monuments for months, are being killed in the air raids of the Syrian Air Force. During the most recent attack, 40 terrorists were destroyed in the province of Homs," Zvezda reporters say. It was also said that many militants of the Islamic State lay down their arms and surrender.
"On September 20, in the village of Kanaker (province of Damascus) more than 500 fighters of the Islamic State and so-called moderate opposition laid down their arms," Syrian agency SANA reports, adding that there is a video of ISIS militants yelling to government troops. The militants were said to be mercenaries from Iran, Turkey and Sudan. They received weapons from Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Lebanon. There are also many US-made weapons and heavy equipment, reporters say.
Representatives of the central command of US armed forces said that there were 70 fighters sent to Syria to fight against Assad and the Islamic State together with selected opposition groups. Previously, it was reported that the United States was providing military assistance to the Syrian opposition and ISIS militants to overthrow the Assad regime, similarly to how the US was supporting al-Qaeda during Soviet times to suppress Soviet troops in Afghanistan.
Many experts and journalists say that ISIS is a "product of the USA." Many recall the notorious reply that President Obama gave to the question of "Who are we bombing in the Middle East?" "That's not quite right, but that's OK," Obama said. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also wonders why the USA does not destroy ISIS, even though the US knows everything about the whereabouts of ISIS bases.
"The Russian military have deployed a layered defense system and continue fulfilling contracts for the delivery of modern weapons to Syria. That's all I can say officially. I have no right to either deny and confirm whether the Russian aviation is involved in the military actions," a high-ranking source in the General Staff of the Russian Federation told Politonline.ru. He added that Russian troops have already repulsed terrorists' attacks before, quite successfully.
Russia has already deployed multi-purpose Su-30CM fighter aircraft, Pantsir-S1 mobile missile complexes, Mi-24 attack helicopters, multi-purpose Mi-17 helicopters, as well as Sukhoi Su-24M bombers to Syria.
Also read: Third World War to be launched in Latakia?
Over the past few weeks, a large number of military advisers have arrived in Syria. Syria has received six MiG-31 jets - these are the best interceptor aircraft in the world. For the first time, the Russian army has provided satellite intelligence data to Syria. Previously, Jihadists managed to avoid attacks from government forces because NATO was providing them with satellite information on time. Now, it appears that NATO no longer shares the intelligence data with the Islamic State, although the alliance still continues providing this information to Frente al Nosra, Russian publications said.
Russia and Iran have achieved agreements on joint activities in Syria. Should Iran officially start a military operation in Syria for the destruction of the Islamic State, many predict complete destruction of the terrorists and mass destruction of Syrian opposition fighters.
Israel has already held high-level talks with Russia to exclude possible collisions between Russian and Israeli troops. To crown it all, US officials declared readiness for immediate negotiations with Russia on Syria, although they previously excluded such a possibility.