Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

REVISITED

After key battle, Syrian town of Kobane looks to the future

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'War is not an option,' says former FARC guerrilla leader

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Madagascar political crisis: top court orders formation of unity government

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Ireland's abortion referendum

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Weinstein in court; Ireland abortion vote; Italy's populist takeover

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

Sugar and spice: The flavours of the French Caribbean

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

The French are so rude! Or are they?

Read more

ENCORE!

The writing's on the wall: Revolutionary posters from May 68

Read more

REPORTERS

'We heard there might be a civil war': May 68 seen from abroad

Read more

Middle East

Syrian army recaptures key historic site Palmyra from Islamic State group

© STR / AFP | Syrian regime fighters take position as they advance to retake the ancient city of Palmyra, from Islamic State group fighters on March 2, 2017.

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2017-03-03

The Syrian army said on Thursday it had recaptured the ancient city of Palmyra from Islamic State for the second time in a year, with help from allied forces and Russian warplanes.

Islamic State seized Palmyra in a surprise advance in December, after having been driven out eight months before.

"With backing from the Syrian and Russian air forces, units of our armed forces recaptured the city of Palmyra, in cooperation with the allies," the military said in a statement.

The army and Iranian-backed militia advanced inside Palmyra on Thursday as Islamic State withdrew completely, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said.

Islamic State militants retreated to areas in the east, the Observatory reported. Government forces took control of swathes of Palmyra and conducted combing operations to clear mines on Thursday, it said.

During Islamic State's first occupation which ended in March last year, the ultra-hardline jihadist group destroyed some of Palmyra's priceless archaeological heritage. It is believed to have razed other parts of the historical ruins after regaining control in December.

The Syrian army is also fighting Islamic State east of Aleppo city, where it is pushing to reach the Euphrates river, and in the city of Deir al-Zor, where it controls an enclave besieged by the militants.

Islamic State is on the back foot in Syria after losing territory in the north to an alliance of U.S.-backed, Kurdish-led militias, and to Turkey-backed Syrian rebel groups.

Government and opposition delegations are attending U.N.-sponsored peace talks in Geneva, where the government's chief negotiator hailed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for keeping his promise to retake Palmyra.

The Syrian opposition however declined to congratulate Assad on capturing Palmyra and suggested the sight of the city changing hands again was risible.

(REUTERS)
 

Date created : 2017-03-03

  • IRAQ

    Video: Street-to-street fighting as Iraqi forces battle to free Mosul

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Scores of Syrian civilians killed in attack near recaptured town of Al-Bab

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Turkey-backed rebels retake Syrian town of al-Bab from IS group

    Read more

COMMENT(S)