Syrian Warplanes Pound Palmyra, Killing 38 ISIS Fighters

Airstrikes Escalate In and Around Key City of Tadmur

Syrian warplanes have carried out one of their most intense series of airstrikes in weeks against the ancient city of Palmyra, on the outskirts of the strategically important central city of Tadmur, killing at least 38 ISIS fighters. Attacks continued for hours.

ISIS captured Palmyra and Tadmur back in mid-May, and while most of the focus has been on the danger ISIS poses to the antiquities in Palmyra, the capture of the area has given them a corridor through which to attack deeper west and deeper south into the country.

The latest round of airstrikes likely reflects Syria’s military growing emboldened by the receipt of new warplanes from Russia, allowing them more freedom to carry out airstrikes than they’d previously been able to with the remnants of their air force.

Syria has lost some of its most important air bases in recent weeks, but Russian specialists along the Latakian coast have been expanding the air fields there. With the Syrian military mostly losing conflicts on the ground, relying on air power is becoming one of the few ways they can keep ISIS at bay.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.