Syrian troops recaptured the desert city of Palymra from Islamic State on Sunday. The news was reported by the State media and a monitoring group. The Syrian troops drove out the Islamic State fighters. They had imposed a brutal occupation there for a part of the year. Syrian government was backed by the Russian government to carry out such operations. This has ended the Islamic fighters terror over the town which was very famous at one point of time that it drew tens and thousands of visitors every year.
For the past three weeks, government forces had been trying their best to recapture the central town. It came under the control of ISIS in May last year. After the recapture, on Sunday, the state media aired celebrity footage and was showing the government soldiers around the archaeological sites. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is a monitoring group, said that fights were going on in few districts of the city. It was described as the ‘significant achievement’ by the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. He also said that the overthrow of ISIS in the historic town offered ‘new evidence of the effectiveness of the strategy espoused by the Syrian army and its allies in the war against terrorism’.
Majority of the fighters of the Islamic State have been killed. The forces are now in a much better position and it marks as the symbolic victory of the government. The IS had driven them last May and then later they had also destroyed some of their best known monuments which also included two large temples. They have also destroyed a number of historical sites. Palmyra’s infamous Tadmur prison has also been destroyed by them.
Syrian culture minister Issam Khalil called this victory as the ‘victory for humanity and right over all projects of darkness’. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, over 400 extremists were killed. Some of the fighters withdrew from Palmyra towards the town of Sukhna and other areas in the Homs province.
Officials say that this is the heaviest loss that ISIS has faced in a single battle till now. Russian airstrikes have given the government the much needed confidence and boost. Recently, Russia and United States also pitched for political settlement in Syria at Moscow.