Sunday, 27 March 2016

Syria Government reclaim the city of Palmyra form Islamic Sate (ISIS)

A view of the central part of modern Palmyra. © Mikhail Voskresenskiy / Sputnik
The Syrian government forces have reclaimed the city of Palmyra from Islamic State (ISIS), a military source told RT

"After heavy fighting during the night, the army is in full control of Palmyra – both the ancient site and the residential neighborhoods," an army source told AFP.

"Army sappers are in the process of defusing dozens of bombs and mines planted inside the ancient site," the source added.

IS fighters have reportedly retreated from Palmyra to the towns of Sukhnah, Raqqa, and Deir Ezzor.

It was previously reported that Syrian Army forces had advanced into the city on Saturday, with support from Russian airstrikes.

Television footage showed explosions taking place inside Palmyra, with smoke rising from buildings. Tanks and armored vehicles fired from the outskirts of the city.

It comes after Russian warplanes carried out 158 airstrikes, hitting terrorist targets in and around the city, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. More than 100 extremists were killed in the bombardment, and several pieces of heavy equipment destroyed.

“Russian Aerospace Forces have carried out 40 sorties in the Palmyra region,” a statement published on the Defense Ministry’s official website read, adding that “as a result...four tanks, three artillery pieces, four ammunition depots and five vehicles were destroyed.”

The recapture of Palmyra marks the biggest reversal for Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) since Russia's intervention into Syria.

The ancient city, seized by IS in May 2015, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is home to dozens of remarkable monuments of antiquity, and a number of historical sites that have been destroyed by IS jihadists since they captured the city, among which were the 2,000-year-old Temple of Bel and the Arch of Triumph.

Just on Saturday, the Syrian government’s head of antiquities, Mamoun Abdelkarim, said the authorities would try to restore the historic sites.

"We will rebuild them with the stones that remain, and with the remaining columns," Abdelkarim told Reuters, adding that his team would "bring life back to Palmyra."

Source- Reuters

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