Syrian army ‘retakes Palmyra’ from IS

Syrian government troops advance towards PalmyraImage copyright

Image caption

Smoke rises over Palmyra as government forces advance to retake the city in image released by state media

Syrian government forces have re-captured the ancient city of Palmyra from so-called Islamic State (IS), say state media and a monitoring group.

The Syrian army had been gaining ground for several days, supported by Russian air strikes. Military sources said the army was now in “full control”.

IS seized the Unesco World Heritage site and modern town in May 2015.

Images released by the Syrian military on Saturday showed helicopters and tanks firing at positions in Palmyra.

The date of the footage could not be independently verified.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group, said there was still gunfire in the eastern part of the city, but the bulk of the IS force had pulled out and retreated further east.

Ancient city of Palmyra

Image copyright

  • Unesco World Heritage site
  • Site contains monumental ruins of great city, once one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world
  • Art and architecture, from the 1st and 2nd centuries, combine Greco-Roman techniques with local traditions and Persian influences
  • More than 1,000 columns, a Roman aqueduct and a formidable necropolis of more than 500 tombs made up the archaeological site
  • More than 150,000 tourists visited Palmyra every year before the Syrian conflict

Palmyra: Blowing ruins to rubble

Why IS destroys ancient sites

comments powered by Disqus