The Strategist

IS seizes control of Palmyra

05/21/2015 - 07:55

Islamic State has seized control of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
According to the group’s head Rami Abdel Rahman Syrian troops have withdrawn from all sectors of the city, with the exception of a prison in the east and a military headquarters in the west. The group noted that the IS has in its control almost all of Palmyra. Earlier the IS militants also seized the city’s northern sector after lot of clashes with government troops. Meanwhile the World Heritage Site has moved hundreds of statues and artefacts to safer locations outside of the state. The city is renowned for a number of historic locations, especially in the Southwest regions.
The IS is infamous for destroying historic tombs and sites of heritage. The group had destroyed antiquities at the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud and the Roman-era city of Hatra. Palymra itself is a city connecting both Syrian capital Damasus and another major city Homs. The UNESCO called on for an immediate ceasefire in the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria, urging the international community to do everything possible in order to protect the population and save the unique cultural heritage in the city.
IS began its assault on Palmyra on 13 May by seizing a nearby town and two gas fields, and killing more than 350 people. The pro-Assad forces evacuated Palmyra’s residence after fierce clashes with the IS group inside and around the city.