Over 1,230 mines have been defused in Palmyra until now.
On March 27, the Syrian army, backed by militias and Russian Aerospace Force, fully liberated Palmyra, which was under the control of Daesh for about a year, and the Syrian regime forces are struggling to clear thickets of explosive booby traps left by retreating Islamic State fighters in Palmyra.
While Bashar al-Assad’s troops have driven ISIS forces from both the ancient and modern sections of the city, they are now faced with clearing out land mines and explosives left at the airport and key roads.
Laying sophisticated booby traps is their signature tactic. When jihadists retreated from the Iraqi city of Ramadi in December they left behind a trail of improvised explosives. At least 35 Iraqi soldiers and tribal fighters have been killed in the months-long effort to defuse the bombs and make Ramadi city habitable again.
This footage of Palmyra shown on Russian television showed Syrian troops unearthing bombs buried under a road and one apparent explosive system made of rigged-up petrol containers. They explode the explosive devices that are hard to defuse in a controlled environment.
Russia has deployed several groups of specialists and de-mining robots to assist Syrian experts in clearing bombs and land mines left by Daesh militants in their retreat from the historic city. The first group of Russian mine experts arrived at the Hmeimim air facility in Latakia on Thursday.
According to Lt. Qassen Shpib, Daesh terrorists planted bombs at the entrance to Palmyra prior to their retreat. “The terrorists dug up pits in the concrete, placed mines into them, and poured concrete over. We had to detonate all that. There were also mines that the terrorists were setting off remotely,” Shpib said.