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The Syrian army to liberate Palmyra from ISIS

TOPSHOT - Smoke billows in the background as the Syrian army advances to retake the ancient city of Palmyra, from Islamic State (IS) group fighters on March 2, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Islamic State has largely withdrawn its military forces from Palmyra after the Syrian Army entered a neighborhood in the western part of the ancient city a few hours ago.

However, preliminary reports suggest that ISIS insurgents have scattered booby traps and mines across the entire city while lone suicidal jihadists strapped with explosive belts remain bogged down inside Palmyra to cover the retreat.

Effectively, the Syrian Army is yet to unleash the bulk of its assault troops on Palmyra due to concerns over casualties. Once daylight breaks on Thursday, Syrian government soldiers are expected to descend upon the city and conduct mopping-up operations.

On Wednesday, the Syrian Army liberated Palmira crossroad and two mountains overlooking Palmira. The latter advance rendered the city virtually indefensible.

It should be mentioned that ISIS recaptured Palmyra in December, 2016 after some 4,000-5,000 militants overran the city and pushed the Syrian Army all the way back to Tiyas Airbase.

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