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‘Islamic State militants used a break in the US-led coalition’s advance against them to launch offensive in Palmyra, while counting on the fact that Russia will not conduct airstrikes on residential areas, the Russian Defense Ministry said. The setback shows that terrorists should not be given the opportunity to regroup.

“Seizing on the suspension of active military action near Al-Raqqah till spring by the US and international coalition, Islamic State devoted considerable forces to storm Palmyra,” the ministry spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov said on Monday.

Konashenkov said that Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorists knew that the Russian Air Force would not conduct airstrikes in Palmyra’s residential areas, and “used that to reinforce their attacks.”’

Read more:Thousands of ISIS terrorists given free passage across US ‘coalition’ land to retake Syrian city of Palmyra