Syrian army deals ISIS 'its biggest defeat since founding of caliphate'
ByREUTERS
27 March 2016 09:36
Syrian television quoted a military source saying the army and its militia allies took "complete control over the city of Palmyra."
(Syrian army advances on ancient city of Palmyra)

BEIRUT - Syrian government forces recaptured Palmyra on Sunday, state media and a monitoring group said, inflicting a significant defeat on the Islamic State group which had controlled the desert city since May last year.

Syrian television quoted a military source saying the army and its militia allies took "complete control over the city of Palmyra".



Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.



The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said there was still gunfire in the eastern part of the city on Sunday morning but the bulk of the Islamic State force had pulled out and retreated east, leaving Palmyra under President Bashar Assad's control.

For government forces, the recapture of Palmyra, following a three-week campaign by Syrian government forces backed by intensive Russian air strikes, opens up much of Syria's eastern desert stretching to the Iraqi border to the south and Islamic State heartland of Deir al-Zor and Raqqa to the east.


(Photo: Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar Assad drive under a road sign that shows the direction to the historic city of Palmyra in this picture provided by SANA on March 24, 2016. Credit: Reuters)

Observatory director Rami Abdulrahman said 400 Islamic State fighters died in the battle for Palmyra, which he described as the biggest single defeat for the group since it declared a caliphate in areas of Syria and Iraq under its control in 2014.

Palmyra is also home to some of the most extensive ruins of the Roman empire. Islamic State militants dynamited several monuments last year, but Syria's antiquities chief told Reuters on Saturday that other ancient landmarks were still standing.


(Photo: A general view shows the old citadel of Palmyra in Homs Governorate overlooking the city's ancient ruins, after forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar Assad recaptured it. Credit: Reuters)



Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin

Tags:
  • syria fighting
  • isis news
  • Syrian Civil War
  • Prev Article
    An eye for an eye: Iran's Supreme Court orders removal of man's eye
    A patient goes through free eye surgery at the Phyo charity clinic in Yangon
    Kuwaiti political analyst Abdullah Al-Nafisi
    Iran and Israel face the same strategic dilemma, Kuwaiti political analyst says
    Next Article
    Share this article via
    from around the web
    Related Content
    Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses during an attempted coup in Istanbul, Turkey July 16, 201
    21 January 2017
    Turkish parliament approves presidential system, paving way for referendum

    By REUTERS

    Top Stories
    Israel Weather
    • 8 - 18
      Beer Sheva
      10 - 16
      Tel Aviv - Yafo
    • 6 - 12
      Jerusalem
      9 - 15
      Haifa
    • 10 - 20
      Elat
      8 - 17
      Tiberias