Syrian Troops Enter Palymra, Clash With ISIS on Outskirts

After Weeks of Fighting, Troops Finally Reach Ancient City

After weeks of fighting in the area, Syrian ground troops finally entered the ancient city of Palmyra, engaging in fighting with ISIS forces around the town’s outskirts, with Russian air support.

ISIS seized Palmyra in May of last year, along with the adjoining city of Tadmur. Palmyra itself is sparsely populated, mostly a historic landmark which has sustained heavy damage in the ISIS takeover, and even more damage as ISIS destroyed ancient objects considered sacrilegious.

Syria’s military has recovered territory in several areas around the country, with Russian support, and Russia has presented the push into Palmyra as the end of that, pushing the Assad government to instead work toward a negotiated settlement.

The peace talks have been slow going, but the ceasefire in Syria has largely held over the past several weeks. Neither ISIS nor al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front is included in the ceasefire, and thus they are both free to be attacked by all the other groups.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.