Over 1,000 ISIL Terrorists Killed, Wounded in Syrian Army’s Palmyra Operation March 4, 2017 War Reports 1233 As at 4 March 2017 Source: Fars News The Syrian army troops have killed or injured more than 1,000 ISIL terrorists during the military operation to recapture the ancient city of Palmyra (Tadmur) in Eastern Homs, a senior Russian military official said on Saturday. Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi, the Chief of the Russian General Staff Main Operational Directorate, said that ISIL lost at least 1,000 of its militants in the Syrian Army troops’ operation that ended in the liberation of Palmyra from the terrorists. The Russian General added that the Syrian forces also destroyed 19 tanks, 37 armored vehicles, 98 pickup trucks with heavy weapons mounted on them and more than 100 automobiles during the operation. Damascus and Kremlin both declared on Thursday that the Syrian Army, backed by the Russian Air Force, took back the key city of Palmyra from the ISIL terrorist group. Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov stated that Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu reported to the commander-in-chief, President Vladimir Putin, that the historic city of Palmyra in Homs province was liberated. Hours after Moscow declared the liberation of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Homs province, the General Command of the Syrian Army also confirmed the report. The Syrian army forces broke the ISIL defense lines in Palmyra on Wednesday night and entered the ancient city after liberating the Palmyra Triangle and Castle, cutting off the ISIL supply routes towards the historic city. According to reports, the ISIL terrorists evacuated most parts of the city on Thursday after planting bombs in its houses and roads. ISIL kicked off a large-scale operation on December 8 with thousands of forces in Homs province to take control of Palmyra that was liberated by the Syrian Army in March 2016. The ISIL took control over some energy fields and strategic heights and approached Palmyra. The terrorist group finally entered the city of Palmyra on December 10, but the Russian and Syrian forces could repel their attacks, killing hundreds of them. 4,000 fighters of the ISIL carried out again a large-scale offensive against government positions in Palmyra from several flanks and finally managed to capture the city on December 11, while only 800 army soldiers were defending the city and there was no possibility for aerial coverage by the Russian and Syrian warplanes due to bad weather. The Russia’s center for Syrian reconciliation noted ISIL had moved considerable forces from their stronghold of Raqqa, while more forces and equipment were relocated from Deir Ezzur. The center cited intelligence data that ISIL had moved up to 5,000 fighters to the cities of Raqqa and Deir Ezzur from the Iraqi stronghold of Mosul. The Syrian Army, backed by the Syrian and Russian Aerospace Forces, liberated Palmyra in March, 2016, nearly a year after it was captured by ISIL in May 2015. During the invasion, terrorists had cruelly destroyed a major portion of the historic sites in the city. UNESCO Chief Irina Bokova had warned that ISIL militants in both Iraq and Syria were responsible for “the most brutal and systematic” destruction of the ancient heritage since World War II.