Middle East

US-trained militants to attack Syria’s central city of Palmyra: Russian military

The Russian Defense Ministry says newly-obtained information from captured militants has revealed that the US-trained militants are set to conduct a terrorist attack on Palmyra, a city in Syria’s central province of Homs, almost a year after it was liberated from the clutches of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group.

According to the Russian Center for Syrian Reconciliation, part of the Russian Defense Ministry, the information was received from two militants of the Lions of the East Army group, affiliated with the so-called Free Syrian Army, a Turkish-backed militia fighting against Damascus.

The captured militants, along with their comrades, were heading toward Palmyra from a settlement of 500-strong militants near the US-led international coalition’s Tanf military base, when they were ambushed in early morning by the Syrian government troops, said a spokesman of the center in a press conference on Saturday.

“One of the terrorists said US instructors were involved in training their group, weapons and ammunition were delivered from the US base. The militants’ objective was to commit a series of terrorist attacks near the inhabited community of Palmyra and ensure the passage of about 300 militants to capture the city within the next week,” he added.

The militants were to carry out “a series of terrorist attacks in Palmyra area” and ensure the passage of around 300 militants to seize the city within the next week, he further revealed.

The Tanf base is close to the Rukban refugee camp, which is home to more than 60,000 internally displaced women and children from the cities of Raqqah and Dayr al-Zawr.

Back in late July, the Russian Defense Ministry also warned about chemical-weapons provocations planned by militants in the northwestern province of Idlib, which is waiting for an upcoming full-scale operation by the Syrian army to flush out terrorists from the militant-held region. It said that an attack would be used as a pretext for airstrikes on Syrian targets by the US, UK and France.

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