Chronicle of the fall of Palmyra | Colonel Cassad

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The text below had read in technical translation and a link to it yesterday already laid out.

Good people made a translation into Russian and now you can read the description of the battle for Palmyra in the statement of a man who was there.

The description of the battle in Palmyra from a soldier of the Syrian army Omar Dirname

This text I found on the net my friend and colleague Vlad Shurigin (Vlad Shurygin)Shurigin. This description of the battle from a soldier of the Syrian army Omar Dirname recorded by Iyad al-Hussein . Published on Facebook Suleeman Shahin. With Arabic text helped me to translate friends in Moscow, I have not changed anything, posted as is in order not to lose details.

The Fall Of Palmyra. Chronicle of events.

Palmyra 8 a.m. Saturday 10.12.2016.

Come numerous warnings from the Russian satellites of the impending attack DAESH (so the Arabs call ISIL – here and below-note mine). Sounds an alert about the dangerous accumulation of terrorists around the perimeter of the city. Aviation busy with strikes on oil fields in the area (first launched an attack on the Shaer oil fields, West of Palmyra – my note) and did not have time to react.

10 am, a military facility As-Savala and its surroundings

the Item is in 15 km East of Palmyra on the track As-Sukhna (I think we are talking about the object of the Granary and the surrounding area – my note).
The composition of the forces of the defenders: “the Shield of military security” (as I understand it , the forces of the Mukhabarat, the secret services – my note ) “al-Badia” with the various divisions “As-Saima”, “Zenobia”, “Heart of Syria” and the groups “Al-Sheikh Suleiman” – about 1800 soldiers;

11 and 18 military division, which is armed with 6 guns of calibre of 130 mm (apparently, we are talking about the Soviet 130 mm gun M-46 – my note), and 6 – 122mm (probably howitzers D-30 – my note), 7 “Grad” and 12 tanks; the terrible Legion “al-Feminin” of 1200 soldiers, and many awesome equipment; About 150 soldiers of the “Tiger” on the protection of the weak point on the South-East of the district (at that time the most distant point Palmyra – my note).

Overall – it’s quite a large army by number of troops and equipment.

So, from the top of the hill Al-tar, where the observation point was marked by the movement of 2 vehicles and tank DAYS on the track As-Sukhna in 7 km from the As-Savala.

The aircraft bombed and destroyed both cars. The tank continued to move. As it turned out it was mined 10 tons of explosives, the explosion is able to defeat in a radius of 400 m.

Install anti-tank “Competition”, in the location of the 18 division for unknown reasons did not shoot the tank. About 200 m from the position of the tank was hit by ATGM (hand grenade – my note).

A powerful explosion. Among the survivors after the explosion, soldiers began a terrible panic and flee from the position. Then followed quite a long lull, the terrorists were preparing to assault the heights At-tar.

Across the front line fighters started to leave the position for no apparent reason. The retreat of the Legion, “al-Patamon” provoked a chain reaction, and the Legionnaires ran not in the direction of Palmyra, and throwing the defense of the city in the lurch.
They were followed by “the Shield of military security” and 18 division. 11 division unlike them retreated to the city and took up defensive positions on the perimeter of Palmyra. I.e. in the South-Eastern defence sector remained only the forces of the Colonel of Those (Tigers – my note), the defenders of the airfield and air force safety (that’s for sure Mukhabarat – my note) (about 100 people).

The soldiers dispersed and has created a line of temporary defence from the East and Southeast.

11.00 the area of peaks At-tar.

Explanation of the top At-tar takes precedence over the city of Palmyra. Control over it would mean control over Palmyra, and the route leading to it (this is the top, in the South-West of Palmyra, which can be seen in all the photos – my note). Usually attacks begin with the DAESH car bombings with suicide, followed by direct contact with the enemy, in order to avoid air strikes. Al-tar is the most strategically vulnerable point of defence, which owns it – run situation. At the top was located about 500 soldiers of the Tigers prior to the fall of Palmyra.At the first sign of danger, about half of them left, explaining that the delay in salary for 5 months.

In addition, located near the top 2 positions to 18th division near the summit of RAS Antar.

The attack on the top At-Thar began with the attacks of terrorists. The attacks were carried out with 4 pickups with machine guns, which covered the movement of 2 tanks. Also worked 130mm caliber guns and mortars – 120 mm and 82. In addition, point-beat the “hell cannon” (gas cylinders with explosives). It is noted that the Al-tar was not effective anti-tank weapons that could stop and destroy the approaching enemy tanks.

The army team in the PAC-anter also had 2 tanks, but the terrorists almost immediately with a precise strike brought them down.

Ie the defence of the heights was only the Marines who came into direct clash with the enemy.

The soldiers managed to defeat the tanks of DAESH and accompanying terrorists, but it was a hard and long fight. Despite the loss, the defense prevailed. The attack lasted 17 hours, the army lost a few posts. There were many wounded, and several soldiers DAYS captured. But the remainder survived! 18 division retreated in the direction of the airport T-4.

Anyone who asks, where was the aviation answer – in such circumstances, the air force can’t work (I think we are talking about what the fighters much closer to the positions of the Syrian aircraft in such conditions could hit its – my note), so her role was only in the attacks on the ways to strengthen the gangs.

17.00 evening Palmyra.

The Russians blew up the ammunition stores at its base in Palmyra, before abandoning it. The sky over the city turned into a festival of fireworks that scared frightened civilians and military personnel behind in the city. Later the city was completely evacuated (apparently, the sight of the fleeing Russian is not the best way affected the morale of the defenders – my note).

18.00 Palmyra.

The city is empty. No population, no military, except for a detachment of state security and the police (the author saw it with my own eyes).

The head of the security forces, “al-Badia”, accompanied by a handful of officers rode to his armored luxury Cadillac to demonstrate his command that have not left the city. Thus 2500 of fighters of “al-Badia” and “the Shield of military security” in Palmyra was not, none of them defended the city.

The positions together with the Tigers were only the soldiers of the 11th division, but they were dispersed without some dislocation.

The tigers got in touch with management, reported the situation and asked for urgent reinforcements. The Colonel of Those ordered to stay, and said that help is on the way.
Of all the other forces that were supposed to protect Palmyra – 18 division, the forces of “al-Badia”, “Legion Facimus” – there was none, only the Cadillac of major-General Saulat Hawali, 10 officers and pickup guards.

22.00 PM.

The reinforcements arrived.

24.00 night.

Returned with the support of about 100 fighters from the “al-Patamon” and 70 people from 18 divisions. Not much, but it’s good.

11 division, as the Tigers did not leave the city, for which the Tigers are grateful to them and welcome them courage and perseverance.

These forces managed somehow to strengthen the Eastern flank. On the track Al-Sukhna (the Granary – my note ) took up positions, 2 tanks and 40 soldiers.

1.00 am, Sunday, 11.12.2016.

A car bomb with suicide bombers from the Al-Sukhna has penetrated to the position of the 11th division, and brought the tanks out of action, killed several of the defenders. The rest remained in place. To their aid came to the fore about 60 Tigers. Together they have blocked access in the district of al-Ameriya (as I understand it, the North-East of the city – my note) and hill (???), already the day was empty.

Naked was only a storage area 410 on the road of raqqa (North of the city – my note), because it was not strong enough.

3.00 am.

Communication with the commander. The Colonel found out the current situation and explained the situation. The tigers are grateful to him that he kept in constant communication, encouraging and supporting.

Warehouse sector 410 were empty. Above them reigned a suspicious silence, which caused concern. But to do nothing was impossible. Do not have enough manpower.

9.00 Palmyra.

Attack Days began simultaneously in two directions, on the hill of Al-Thar (South-West) and the district of al-Ameriya (North, or rather North-East of the city). And at night, dressed in a military uniform, a group of terrorists broke into the quarter and suddenly smacked us in the back of tel al-Ameria occupied by them. Then they were supported from the warehouse 410. I must say that control of tel al-Ameriya allows you to sweep the entire city. Militants kill anyone they see on the streets.

Jabal Al-Thar.

At the same time, 4 tanks and 3 pickup DAESH with heavy machine guns attacked positions of the Syrian military carefully protecting the At-tar. Because of the cold and hunger, the defense was considerable weakened. Help never came, only false promises. And yet, the defense At-tar fell only once, when almost all soldiers were killed or wounded (above, the author writes that the defenders had anti-tank weapons, ie fought with his bare hands, until all were killed, my note).

11.00 Palmyra.

Tel al-Ameriya under DAESH. Shoot at any moving target. Jabal Al-Thar terrorists.
Palmyra is surrounded and completely fell under the fire of DAESH.

The remnants of the Syrian military were forced to retreat to the southern suburbs and to gain a foothold in the fork of al-Bayarat (South-West of the city – my note).

13.00 Palmyra.

All military personnel were withdrawn. To cover the retreat there were about 200 Tigers. They had 2 tanks and 2 guns. In addition a luxury car major General. Sorry – that’s all. As reported, we are left at the fork in the al-Bayarat.

14.00 Palmyra.

We are completely surrounded by the DAIS. Also, the terrorists are in full control of the track al-Bayarat. Nowhere to retreat. Thank God that to us was the General, who finally got in touch with the authorities and caused 6 helicopters Mi-28 to accompany our retreat in the gardens. They have successfully protected us fire from the right and left flank. We managed to break out of encirclement. During the whole time we were in touch two journalists who wrote a chronicle of events. They supported us morally and promised that even in case of our death, the truth about the fall of Palmyra will be lit for the story.

So fall of Palmyra and its vicinity.
Written by Iyad al-Hussein with the words Omar Dirname.

My comment.

Heavy text. What conclusions can we draw?

The beginning of the assault, the Syrians were soldiers 3650 (11, 18 division, unknown to me, “al-Badia” with the units “As-Saima”, “Zenobia”, “Heart of Syria”, the forces of “Al-Sheikh Suleiman al-Feminin,” “the Shield of military security”), plus the military police forces, Mukhabarat and an unknown number of troops of the Russian contingent, which in Palmyra was located a stationary base including means UAV, light armored vehicles, antitank weapons and arsenals. At the 11th and 18th divisions were armed with 6 guns M-46, 6 howitzers D-30, 7 “Grad” and 12 tanks.

After the storm (between 8:00 and 10:00 on December 10), undermining of the suicide bomber and the first loss in the morning withdrew from positions 18 division “the Shield of military security” and 1200 “al-Feminin”. The retreat of the 18 divisions and the rest began with the retreat of the “al-Feminin”. While 11 division retreated to the town, and prepared for defense. We can assume that withdrew from the position almost half of the garrison. The militants struck in the forehead from the East, and then began to beat on the flanks, i.e. from the South-West, in trying to get the key height of Al-tar.After the storm of the Al-tar in the area 11.00 am on 10 December, it took about 250 out of 500 of the Tigers, citing his departure delayed salaries in 5 months. Storm 10 Dec key height has not led to the success of the militants. Despite the departure of half the Tigers remaining 250 people and Tigers, plus part of the 11th division were holding the line.

The tactics of insurgents was typical – put it on direct fire heavy machine guns and anti-aircraft guns with the aim to pin down the infantry without letting it pop out. Mortars and “cannons of hell” to distribute already in the perimeter defense, not allowing to hide behind the mounds. If there is a tank to roll out for direct fire and holes in the defense. If there is a suicide bomber under cover of fire extends it. After a fire attack in battle entered the assault team. On the attached video is just the final stage of such an operation. Judging by the terrain, just South-West of Palmyra.The author points out that number 10 had lost a number of points on the Al-tar. Shooting just 10 numbers.

It should be noted, that the height of Al-tar, the militants attacked with the support of 4 tanks. The defenders of height was not something that tanks, even anti-tank weapons. Ie it turns out that fought essentially with his bare hands, until the morning of 11 December, killing all. The icing on the cake was the retreat from Palmyra Russian contingent at 17:00 on 10 December. Then came the order to evacuate the city.

At night the enemy has seeped into the residential neighborhoods that it was impossible to block due to lack of personnel. While the enemy is mixed with the Syrian army, disguised in the form of the Syrian army. In the morning, saboteurs added confusion, starting to stop to shoot the army and civilians in the North and North-East of the city. There is evidence that similarly, the enemy was leaked to green on the South-West of the city. According to the records, in the morning the city was already empty, the height of Al-tar fell with defenders. Part of the Syrian troops, including command, escaped from the boiler, with the support of Russian helicopters.
Interestingly, no mention of the legendary fire almost “Calibers”. Perhaps the heavy fire of the Russian aircraft on militants took place only on Twitter the Ministry of Defence.

One thing is clear – the garrison at Palmyra was abandoned impressive – more than 3,5 thousand people on the perimeter 15 of 15 kilometers is more than enough. Palmyra stormed not 300 fighters, and much more, well feeling the defense since at least 8 December. The blow was struck from all sides, the most powerful in the East and South-West of the city. Also reports that the Syrian troops fled, leaving the city to fend for themselves is not quite true. Some of the troops really ran, but half of the garrison to the last defended the city.To blame the Exodus of Syrians is not entirely correct for the background of the retreat from Palmyra of the Russian troops, who had abandoned their camp unharmed.

Thus, the fall of Palmyra led a chain of events that started with the fact that Intel failed to open concentration strike groups of fighters and the readiness of units to the confrontation with the militants. We must also not lose sight of this moment that the defense of Palmyra hangs on the defense of the height of At-tar, which bars the city from the West. The drop height means control over the entire city and locks it defenders. In may 2015, Palmyra fell under the same scheme. Then the remaining defenders were executed in the Amphitheater of the old town.This understanding and expertise has not been added courage to the garrison.

From the Novel Sapojnikova

PS. On the subject of questions about the tank and the explosives.

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The explosion near the Elevator. Shortly after this explosion of “black” broke the defense at the Elevator and took it in the form of trophies, several 122-mm guns, etc.

From myself I will add that this soldier describes what happened to the North of Palmyra and to the East of it in the Elevator. What happened on the line, Julisis-Gazal or South of Palmyra it according to the text did not know and could not know. Regarding the questions where the aircraft operated, from the text it is clear that he worked for the communications of the enemy (where he covered the mechanized column), helicopters with Tiyas at a critical moment provided fire support and allowed the retreating to escape from the operational environment.

Regarding the question whether it was necessary to withdraw remaining Russian military, in those conditions, which describes Syrian soldiers, their presence in Palmyra probably would not have changed the final result and the command has taken measures to rescue personnel. There is likely to complain that not everything had to undermine during the withdrawal.

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