In an unusually specific update on their actions within Syria, Russia’s Defense Ministry today announced they have made a policy of “systematically” bombing any ISIS forces caught trying to flee from their capital city of Raqqa and the surrounding area, though so far systematically actually just means they did so twice.
The defense ministry says they carried out two different bombing runs in the past week related to Raqqa, saying the YPG had halted their offensive trying to surround Raqqa and left gaps to the south through which ISIS forces have been trying to escape, with many apparently fleeing toward Palmyra.
They say they killed more than 80 ISIS fighters in the course of the bombings, destroying 36 vehicles and eight fuel tankers, along with pickup trucks that had makeshift mortars mounted on them. These strikes were near Palmyra, but appear not to be specifically related to the cruise missile strike on ISIS forces near Palmyra.
In general an ISIS buildup in the south would be a problem for Syria, as they are trying to mount an offensive toward the Iraq border, hoping to link up with Shi’ite militia forces planning to cross into Syria from the Iraqi side, and giving them a land route through which to do so.