BEIRUT – At least 26 people were killed east of the Islamic State-held city of Palmyra on Tuesday, a war monitor said, as Syrian troops backed by Russian air strikes staged attacks near the town a day after Russia started a military withdrawal from Syria. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the Syrian conflict through a network of sources on the ground,
said the casualties occurred during air strikes along the road between the historic city of Palmyra, called Tadmur in Arabic, and a town to its east, al-Sukhna. Syrian government forces also made major gains to the west of Palmyra, the Lebanon-based Shi’ite group Hezbollah’s al-Manar television station reported. It said the Syrian troops were supported by “heavy air cover from Russian jets”.