Syrian troops reach outskirts of Palmyra
Syrian government forces have reached the edge of the ancient city of Palmyra after driving back Islamic State (IS) militants, officials and activists say.
Syria’s state news agency said the army and allied militia had taken control of hills overlooking the city – a Unesco World Heritage site.
IS seized the ruins of Palmyra and the adjoining modern town in May.
It subsequently destroyed two 2,000-year-old temples, an arch and funerary towers, drawing global outrage.
The jihadist group, which has also demolished several world-renowned pre-Islamic sites in neighbouring Iraq, believes that such structures are idolatrous.
Unesco, the UN’s cultural agency, has condemned the destruction as a war crime.
The state news agency, Sana, reported on Wednesday that troops, backed by pro-government militiamen, had seized high ground to the west and south-west of Palmyra and moved towards the “Palmyra Triangle” road junction after “eliminating” IS militants in the area.
One soldier was quoted as saying that the army had cleared about 120 explosive devices from the Palmyra Triangle as it approached the junction from the west.
bit by bit..they are regaining ground from the black flag wavers..
interesting to see the temple of baal is to be replicated in new york this year: