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Kremlin dilemma: Regain Palmyra or advance on Idlib?

Victories in the war on the Islamic State are tempered by setbacks that call for a careful examination of how to proceed.
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In Russia, joy over the progress of Syrian forces in eastern Aleppo eclipsed bitterness over the loss of Palmyra — but only for a few days.

“[The loss] came as a blow to prestige, including our own prestige,” Gen. Yury Baluyevsky, the former head of Russia's general staff, said in a Dec. 11 interview with Interfax. He said he regards the Islamic State's (IS) recent takeover of Palmyra as a mistake in military planning and a failure to track the accumulation of power in the area.

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