Syrian army again accompanied by success, especially in regard to the attack on the Palmyra full return which can be expected in the spring. However, this can not be said about the army Turkish, mired at El Bab carrying unnecessary losses and frankly surprises low level of their training.
The Syrian government army successfully and practically unopposed advanced to a distance of three kilometers from the "Palmyra triangle" and took several key altitudes, entering into a visual contact with the militants positions west of the city. The offensive of government troops in the main proceeded along the highway Tiyas - Palmyra and practically repeats in detail the way in which it has been carried out during the liberation of Palmyra in the spring of last year.
In fact, the troops without a fight LIH * left a large area, which objectively could not hold, and seized the chance - "on the shoulders of" retreating in December, the Syrian part. This advanced parts terrorists entrenched in line Huveysis - Jesolo, that is almost the same position from which began the first attack on Palmyra.
As a result, on both sides of the highway from one position to another, the government troops formed something like a narrow ledge with weakened and elongated flanks. The command realized the threat in time and in the last few days was engaged in strengthening these. In particular, on the southern flank of the SAA began the advance to the hills of Jebel Hayal, and also took the height of 939. The southern flank of the offensive will naturally end up in the mountain range, which starts from the Jebel Hayal to the southwest. On the northern flank, government troops began to restore old strongholds lost in the winter. In addition, there is progress towards the gas and oil fields of Al-Mahr and Jezal.
At the rear, along the highway Homs is also the strengthening of the wings. Apparently, it's the result of rethinking the experience of the last years of the war, when the jihadis have successfully cut the rear communications even in small groups, since these slopes practically not protected, and "sanitary space" around the road was minimal (if any exist).
In parallel to the area of Palmyra imported ammunition, including anti-tank systems, both Russian and West European production. Presumably, the spring offensive begins with the storming of the heights to the "triangle" at the western gate of Palmyra, as the last time. Mastering these heights makes absolutely senseless further defense of the city even fanatical jihadists.
The current offensive is being conducted by 5-brigade, aka "The Fifth legion." In common parlance it is called "Russian". Firstly, because of the maximum possible number of Russian military advisors in it. Secondly, due to the fact that this team of government troops was created from scratch, armed and trained, with the active assistance of the Russian Federation. Who is the most combat-ready units of the Syrian army - on a par with the "Tigers", which increased the T-90. But the "Tigers" are occupied by Al-Bab, which is very effective working with an ax that cuts the defense jihadists.
At the same time support the operation to free Palmyra air is not as significant as in the past year. In recent days, the Syrian Air Force and Russian VCS caused by LIH seven air strikes, mainly in strongholds and enemy armored vehicles. For its part, the propaganda LIH insists that their armed drone attacked some "Russian colony" in Deir ez-Zor. UAVs they have, but the presence in the region, "the Russian column" raises a reasonable doubt.
However offensive outburst jihadists in Deir ez-Zor, is celebrated a week ago, the final attenuation and that in itself shows a strong resistance, which was surrounded by government troops there body.
In other parts of the front is occupied by the CAA extruding a variety of opponents of the long-held areas them. So, to the east of Aleppo, government forces began to gradually move towards the Kurdish mountains, and in the province - to liberate small towns and farms.
Special Damascus under the situation where there is a sweep past the small enclaves of the enemy. In some cases there have to use force, even in respect of those groups, which are involved in the Alma-Ata negotiations (in the first place we are talking about "Jaish al-Islam"). At the same time there was a tendency towards fragmentation of certain groups of jihadists and former "moderate" on the smaller because of the splits and quarrels within their command over the attitude to the talks and the ceasefire.