Syria troops drive ISIL out of ancient city
Syrian government troops have pushed the ISIL terrorists back from the remains of Syria’s ancient city of Palmyra in the western province of Homs.
Homs provincial governor, Talal Barazi, said on Sunday that the Syrian army units have recaptured the northern districts of Palmyra, known as Tadmor in Arabic, one day after they fell to Takfiri terrorists.
The Takfiri group’s “attack was foiled, and we ousted them from the northern parts of Tadmur,” Barazi said, adding, “The army is still… combing the streets for bombs.”
The Syrian governor added that the government forces managed to kill “more than 130” Takfiri terrorists in the process of flushing them out of the area.
He said the ISIL terrorist group’s attack on Tadmor has forced a large group of people to flee the area.
“We are taking all necessary precautions, and we are working on securing humanitarian aid quickly in fear of mass fleeing from the city,” he added.
Syria’s antiquities chief, Mamoun Abdulkarim, also said on Sunday that the ancient site has not suffered any damage from the Takfiri’s attacks.
“We have good news today, we feel much better,” Mamoun Abdulkarim said, adding, “There was no damage to the ruins, but this does not mean we should not be afraid.”
On Thursday, the UN cultural agency expressed grave concern over the threats posed by the Takfiri ISIL group to Palmyra.
“The site has already suffered four years of conflict, it suffered from looting and represents an irreplaceable treasure for the Syrian people and for the world,” Irina Bokova, the director general of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), said.
The Takfiri terrorists have razed to the ground a number of mosques in Syria and Iraq, many of them dating back to the early years of the Islamic civilization. The terrorists have also destroyed tombs belonging to revered Shia and Sunni figures.
In April, the ISIL terrorist group released a video showing its members destroying artifacts at Iraq’s northern ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud before blowing up the site.
Also in February, the terrorists smashed ancient statues at the Ninawa museum in Mosul, using sledgehammers and drills.