Syrian Forces Hours Away From Capturing Ancient Palmyra From ISIS

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The Syrian army is 850 meters away from retaking the ancient city of Palmyra in central Syria which has been systematically destroyed by the Islamic State.

The city has become encircled by Syrian troops aided by Russian helicopters targeting armored ISIS vehicles.

China Xinhua reports:

The Syrian force also used motorcycles in their attack on the IS in Palmyra due to the geographical nature of that area.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Syrian forces, backed by Russian airstrikes, have approached the outskirts of Palmyra, following days of intense battles for recapture of the city in eastern countryside of the central province of Homs.

The UK-based watchdog group said intense battles are raging at the southern and southwestern outskirts of Palmyra between the Syrian forces and the IS militants.

It added that the Syrian army is heavily shelling the IS positions inside Palmyra amid heavy airstrikes against the terror group.

The progress came just a day after the Syrian forces captured all hills and highlands surrounding Palmyra, according to pan-Arab al-Mayadeen TV.

The progress secured the Syrian army progress on the western entrance of Palmyra, which was supported by joint Russian-Syrian airstrikes.

Since capturing it last May, the terror-labeled IS group destroyed the city’s notorious military prison and several Islamic tombs.

The IS also put on public executions of government soldiers and people accused of working for the government.

Palmyra contains the monumental ruins of a great city that was one of the most important cultural centers of the ancient world.

Syria has many prehistoric, Greek, Byzantine and Islamic heritages. Before the crisis, Syria had attracted many multinational archaeological missions coming for searching new clues of historical facts on the development of civilizations.

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