.....and not by us:
Syrian government forces backed by heavy Russian air support drove [the] Islamic State out of Palmyra on Sunday, inflicting what the army called a "mortal blow" to [jihadis]ts who seized the city last year and dynamited its ancient temples.
The loss of Palmyra represents one of the biggest setbacks for the ultra-hardline Islami[c Fundamentali]st group since it declared a caliphate in 2014 across large parts of Syria and Iraq.
The army general command said that its forces took over the city with support from Russian and Syrian air strikes, opening up the huge expanse of desert leading east to the Islamic State strongholds of Raqqa and Deir al-Zor.
Palmyra would become "a launchpad to expand military operations" against the group in those two provinces, it said, promising to "tighten the noose on the terrorist group and cut supply routes ... ahead of their complete recapture". [emphases added]
Huh; I guess it really does take "boots on the ground" to retake territory from an occupying enemy force after all, as has actually been documented and proven fact for several thousand years, and that air power alone cannot regain ground, as has actually been documented and proven fact for over a century. Who knew, other than everybody outside the Obama White House? Which is great for Syria, and not so much for Iraq, into which ISIS will retreat full-force, smashing into and through the "Iraqi army" and its fantasy of retaking Mosul. Perhaps with the Russian military in full, hot pursuit, which could create more....awkward situations.
By the way, did you notice that the Russian forces in Syria that Putin claimed to have withdrawn a few weeks ago seem to have had their departure "delayed"?:
Russia's intervention in September turned the tide of Syria's five-year conflict in Assad's favour.
Which was Barack Obama's deliberate post-"red lines" policy, despite his incessant "Assad must go" whining.
Despite its declared withdrawal of most military forces two weeks ago, Russian jets and helicopters carried out dozens of strikes daily over Palmyra as the army pushed into the city.
"This achievement represents a mortal blow to the terrorist organisation and lays the foundation for a great collapse in the morale of its mercenaries and the beginning of its defeat," the army command statement said.
All of which we could and should have done years ago. But did not because of the strategic White House shift that achieved its money shot with this statement:
In a pointed message to the United States, which has [behind-]led a separate Western and Arab "coalition" against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq since 2014, the military command said its gains showed that the army "and its friends" were the only force able to uproot terrorism. [emphasis added]
Its friends in Moscow, that is.
And thus has another Obama Doctrine goal been achieved: the Middle East is now a Russo-Iranian jihadist dungeon, save for Israel, which is surrounded and besieged, and from which Europe is being overrun and occupied, though not destroyed, because the Euros already took care of that part years, even decades, ago. And, most important of all, from which the last vestiges of American influence have been scoured and expunged.
In the waning days of World War II during a discussion of the future of Eastern Europe, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill cautioned Joseph Stalin to consider the views of the Vatican. To this the Soviet leader responded “How many divisions does the Pope of Rome have?”
In case you were wondering about in which circumstances the Islamocommunist dictator of D.C. would ever be cast in the role of the Pope of Rome, now you know.
UPDATE: And Czar Vlad is making sure the whole world knows it:
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday hailed Syria's recapture of the ancient city of Palmyra, while stressing the role of Moscow's military in reversing the Islamic State tide.
The recapture of the ancient city represents a major victory over the Islamic State group, whose fighters had destroyed many monuments at the UNESCO world heritage site since they overran it in May last year.
Putin phoned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to personally congratulate him Sunday, the Kremlin said.
"Putin congratulated Assad on Syrian forces successfully completing a large-scale operation to liberate Palmyra with the support of Russian air and space forces," the Kremlin said in a statement.
Assad in turn "expressed gratitude for the effective help given by the Russian ... air forces to Syrian forces," the Kremlin said.
The Syrian leader told Putin "successes such as the liberation of Palmyra would be impossible without Russia's support," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told RIA Novosti state news agency.
Meanwhile The One is.....
....preparing for his Dancing With The Stars appearance, I guess.