WATCH: Drone films ancient Palmyra city after Syrian recapture

Fall of Palmyra represents huge setback for ISIS.

March 28, 2016 12:50
1 minute read.

Drone footage shows ancient Palmyra city after Syrian recapture

Drone footage shows ancient Palmyra city after Syrian recapture

Syrian government forces backed by heavy Russian air support drove Islamic State out of Palmyra on Sunday, inflicting what the army called a mortal blow to militants who seized the city last year and dynamited its ancient temples.

The loss of Palmyra represents one of the biggest setbacks for the ultra-hardline Islamist group since it declared a caliphate in 2014 across large parts of Syria and Iraq.

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Russian state TV channel Rossiya-24 showed recent drone footage of the ancient ruins of Palmyra as Syrian soldiers recaptured the old citadel of the city.

The army general command said that its forces took over the city with support from Russian and Syrian air strikes, opening up the huge expanse of desert leading east to the Islamic State strongholds of Raqqa and Deir al-Zor.

Many of Palmyra's temples and tombs have been dynamited by Islamic State fighters in what the United Nations described as a war crime, although drone footage showed that at least some colonnades and structures including the theatre still standing.

Three heavy attack helicopters have left Moscow's Hmeymim airbase in Syria for Russia, Rossiya-24 reported on Monday (March 28).

Two Mi-24 and one Mi-35 helicopters left the base onboard the heavy Antonov-124 transport airplane, along with some engineers and technical staff.

This month Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the bulk of the Russian military contingent in Syria to be pulled out after five months of air strikes, saying Moscow had achieved most of its objectives. On Sunday, he congratulated Syrian President Bashar Assad on regaining the city of Palmyra.

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