Civilians evacuated from the rebel-held areas of Aleppo wait to be sent to temporary shelters, in the Old City of Aleppo, northen Syria, on Dec. 9, 2016. (Xinhua/Yang Zhen)
DAMASCUS, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian military's recapture of the rebel-held part of Aleppo city could be the trigger behind the Islamic State (IS) recapture of the ancient city of Palmyra, analysts say.
Aleppo, the strategic city in northern Syria, has grabbed the headlines recently, as well as the attention and efforts of the Western countries and Russia.
In cooperation with Moscow, the Syrian government forces have almost dislodged the rebels from the eastern part of Aleppo, local media said Monday.
This comes after a month of intense battles, and negotiations between Moscow and Washington, the later wanted the Syrian army to halt its attacks in Aleppo and establish a ceasefire.
UN Special Envoy to Syria Staffan De Mistura recently proposed allowing the rebels in eastern Aleppo to maintain a local administration, in tandem with establishing a ceasefire in the city and the entry of aid to the besieged part of Aleppo.
The envoy's proposition was declined by Damascus, whose officials said the decision to retake all of Aleppo had been taken.
Afterwards, Russia and China vetoed a resolution proposed by the Western country at the UN Security Council about a truce in Aleppo.
Damascus, while tanking both countries for the veto, said that the resolution for a truce aims to give the rebels a chance to regroup and empower themselves against the military offensive of the Syrian army.
The Syrian government has offered the rebels in eastern Aleppo several chances to hand over their weapons and leave the city, but in vain.
And now, as the Syrian army is close to declare the city of Aleppo clear of rebels, the ancient oasis city of Palmyra in central Syria has jumped to the headlines again.
The IS has waged a major offensive on Thursday, succeeding to capture Palmyra on Sunday.
The IS entry is the second to Palmyra, as the group had captured the city in 2015 and lost to the Syrian army in March 2016.
Maher Ihsan, a political analyst and journalist, told Xinhua that the United States hasn't done much to prevent IS from reaching Palmyra again.
"I think they (the U.S.-led anti-terror coalition) wanted to distract the Syrian army from the battles in Aleppo by luring it into sending reinforcement to Palmyra. They also wanted to strip the government of the victory euphoria in Aleppo," he said.
Ahmad Ashkar, another analyst, said the wide-scale attack by the IS on Palmyra is the result of a U.S.-Turkish push to limit the effects of the Syrian military's victory in Aleppo.
"But I think that the major turnaround in Aleppo indicates that the Syrian army has the possibility to quickly retrieve Palmyra," he said.
For his part, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the IS attack on Palmyra could be "orchestrated" to divert the attention of Syrian government forces from Aleppo and spare the militants entrenched in the city.
The fact that IS militants launched their offensive on Palmyra from Iraq and "apparently from Mosul" and marched through "the territories patrolled by the aircraft of the U.S.-led coalition makes one think that -- and I really hope to be wrong here - that it was orchestrated and coordinated to give a respite to those thugs, who are entrenched in eastern Aleppo," Lavrov said, according to Russia Today.
Lavrov also charged that Washington deals in double standards with the issue of the terrorist groups in Syria.