The Syrian opposition claimed Sunday that the Russian army is currently establishing a military base in the historic city of Palmyra, liberated from ISIS at the end of March.
The Syrian Revolution Coordinator group in Palmyra claimed on its Facebook page that "Assad and ISIS allow Russia to conquer and vandalize Palmyra and its culture."
According to the statement, "since the regime recaptured the city at the end of March, it has become fairly clear that Assad the criminal has granted to Russia and its army in Palmyra great authority, so they can display their abilities to our city, its residents and its archaeological ruins."
"After Palmyra's citizens fled from their city under the bombardment of Russia and Assad on the one hand, and the thuggery of ISIS fighters who coerced them to leave the city on the other hand, today Assad, with international supervision, allows Russia and its mercenaries to do whatever they wish in Palmyra," the Syrian opposition stated.
"The Russian mercenaries seized citizens' houses and property, actively participated in the campaign to clear the mines ISIS planted in the city and enjoyed supporting coverage by their propaganda machine."
"After all of this, the Russians are now establishing in Palmyra their second military base in the heart of Syria, in the archeological compound of the city, challenging the entire world" the statement read.
"This is a clear violation of the honor of the place, which the Russians carry out under the guise of safeguarding it," the Syrian opposition said.
The Palmyra Coordinator group concluded the statement saying: "Hence, we call on the international community to put an end to this occupation that sows devastation in our nation."
On Thursday, amid ongoing bombardment of the northern city of Aleppo, the Russian army celebrated the liberation of Palmyra with a performance of a Russian orchestra in the ancient theater of the city, where only several months ago, ISIS showcased mass beheadings of "traitors."