DAMASCUS, March 2 (Xinhua) -- The victory of the Syrian army and allied fighters with the help of the Russians in Palmyra city against the Islamic State (IS) group proves that the government forces are capable of dealing defeats to the terror-labeled group in other areas in Syria.
The Syrian army backed by Russian air force and ground forces of the Lebanese Hezbollah group wrested back control over the ancient city of Palmyra in central Syria, as part of a series of victories the military forces have recently achieved against IS.
In a statement, the army said "This importance of this achievement emanates from the cultural and historic value of Palmyra," adding that the victory in Palmyra against IS also coincides with the victories of the Syrian army in the eastern countryside of Aleppo against IS.
"These victories deal a big blow to the terrorist group, which has started to retreat under the strikes of the Syrian army and allied forces," it said.
Capturing Palmyra constitutes a base for expanding the campaign against IS on many fronts and also helps suffocate the group's supply lines, it said.
"The Syrian army and its allies are today more determined to continue the operations against IS and the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front as well as other likeminded groups until restoring security and stability to every inch of the homeland," the statement concluded.
Observers believe that recapturing Palmyra is a big military and political achievement to the Syrian army, and gives a message that the Syrian army is ready to fight more battles against the IS group, including in al-Raqqa, the de facto capital of IS.
"While all the reports are speaking about the Kurdish and Turkish race to attack al-Raqqa, the Syrian army gave a message today that it could be the force taking that city from IS," Maher Ihsan, a political analyst and journalist, told Xinhua.
He said the army proved that it's the reliable force capable of making gains on ground, "particularly that it's the legitimate force to retake areas from IS, because it's Syria, and it's common sense that the Syrian army should be the one retaking those areas, not the Turkish forces, or any other rebel group."
Ahmad al-Ashqar, another analyst, said that this victory also empowers the stance of the Syrian army in the currently-underway Geneva talks, which has been ongoing since last week with no tangible outcome.
"It's a political victory too... the Syrian delegation there can negotiate from a power point after the victories against IS in different area, especially that the government delegation there spoke of the need to prioritize countering terrorism as a prelude for political settlement," he said.
The victory in Palmyra completes other victories by the army against IS, mainly in the eastern countryside of Aleppo province in northern Syria.
The Syrian army has captured large swathes of territories from IS in eastern Aleppo countryside, reaching areas under the control of the Kurdish-backed rebel and continuing its progress against IS in that part of the country.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said that the Syrian army captured 11 new towns on Thursday in the eastern countryside of Aleppo.
It added that the IS control in eastern Aleppo countryside is shrinking as a result of the Syrian military operation, which is backed by the Russians and Hezbollah.
The UK-based watchdog group said that Syrian forces are moving toward stripping IS of the town of Khafseh, on the western bank of the Euphrates River. It said the town feeds Aleppo city with water.
Meanwhile, the Observatory said that explosions are still being heard in Palmyra as the army is sweeping the city to clean the city of explosive devices and roadside bombs left by IS there.