Thursday 21 May 2015

IS Seizes Control Of Ancient City Of Palmyra

Islamic State has claimed complete control of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, including military sites and its historic ruins.

The militant group said it had taken over the city's air base and notorious prison after pro-government forces withdrew.
In a statement issued on Twitter, IS said it took Palmyra "after the collapse of the Nasseri regime's forces and their retreat, leaving behind them large numbers of dead that have filled the battle grounds".
At least 462 people have been killed since IS started its offensive on the city, including 71 civilians, 241 regime forces, and 150 jihadists, according to the British-based monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
There are fears the UNESCO World Heritage Site, which includes 2,000-year-old temples and colonnaded streets, could be destroyed but no damage has been reported so far.
Hundreds of statues and artefacts were taken to safer locations ahead of the IS offensive but many larger items, such as stone tombs, could not be moved.
Syrian antiquities director Maamoun Abdulkarim had warned that IS fighters would "destroy everything" if they seized Palmyra and urged the international community to help save the site.
"If IS succeeds, it will not be a victory against Syrian people (but) one against America, China, France, Britain and Russia and all permanent members in the Security Council as well as the international community," he said.
"They must, at least, prevent the advance of any reinforcements to the groups that have already crept into the city."
The director-general of UNESCO appealed for an immediate ceasefire in and around Palmyra.

No comments:

Post a Comment