DAMASCUS, Syria, Mar 28 The Syrian army’s recapture of Palmyra ends the destruction of the ancient caravan city and saves a civilisation, threatened by the barbaric acts of the Daesh group, the head of the antiquities department said.

“One of the most beautiful icons in the Syrian heritage is returning to Syria,” Maamoun Abdul-Karim said, as the Syrian army fully recaptured the millennia-old oasis city of Palmyra earlier on Sunday, following three weeks of intense battles against the Daesh.

“The military campaign for retaking Palmyra has saved the city from demolition and gave us hope,” Abdul-Karim said.

Meanwhile, Abdul-Karim said, his department, in cooperation with UNESCO, will start the reconstruction of the sites that have been bombed by the Daesh, which had been in control of the city since May of last year.

The head of the antiquities department said, the general panoramic view of the city is still intact, noting that the few affected sites will be restored soon.

“There is no complete destruction in the city…in a few sites only,” Abdul-Karim said, in reference to the areas that was bombed by the Daesh, including the Victory Arch, two temples and 10 tower tombs, as well as some statues.

“We are moving toward restoring the damaged areas, as we have the experience and the capabilities,” he said.

Abdul-Karim noted that, he is in direct contact with UNESCO and other concerned international organisations, for the restoration process in Palmyra.

“We will immediately start the restoration process and will assess the damages directly from the site,” he added.

The ancient city of Palmyra contains monumental ruins of a great city that was once one of the ancient world’s most important cultural centres.

Syria is endowed with several prehistoric Greek, Byzantine and Islamic roots.

Syria used to attract numerous multinational archaeological missions, seeking new clues and investigating historical facts, concerning the development of civilisations before the crisis.

Since occupying Palmyra last May, the Daesh destroyed the city’s military prison along with several Islamic tombs. It also publicly executed soldiers and individuals accused of working for the government.

Three weeks ago, the Syrian army, backed by Russian air force and Shiite fighters started a wide-scale offensive for the recapture of the city.

Earlier in the day, Russian President, Vladimir Putin, congratulated Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, on recovering Palmyra.

“The military campaign for retaking Palmyra has saved the city from demolition and gave us hope,” Abdul-Karim said.

Putin, whose air force played a crucial role in supporting the Syrian army, promised ongoing Russian support to Syria’s army.

Assad said, the Syrian army’s determination and the “efficient” support of Russia’s air force were behind the recovery of Palmyra.

He said earlier that, the military’s recovery of Palmyra demonstrated the Syrian army and its allies’ efficient strategy in the war on terror.

He added that, Syria and Russia’s effective strategy is markedly prominent when compared with the U.S.-led coalition.

The Syrian Army’s General Commander said that, defeating the Daesh in Palmyra is just the beginning of an anticipated domino effect, leading to the militant group’s total collapse.

“Recapturing Palmyra dealt Daesh a strong blow and will most certainly destroy the group’s morale, thereby launching its final collapse,” the Syrian army said in a statement.

The recovery of Palmyra, the statement added, “demonstrated that our army in cooperation with our allies are the main powers capable of eradicating terrorism.”

The military’s statement referred to both the Russian and Syrian air forces’ efficient help in recapturing the ancient city.

Meanwhile, state-run Alekhbaria news agency said, the three-week armed conflict in Palmyra killed over 600 Daesh militants, whereas the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, the troops killed over 400 militants.

Activists added that the campaign killed 180 Syrian soldiers.

A military source said that the Daesh withdrew from the city, under heavy attack and shelling by the Syrian army.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the Daesh retreated towards the town of Sukhneh, east of the central province of Homs.

The source then confirmed that the ancient city of Palmyra is booby-trapped and that bomb squads have started working.

The Syrian Army’s General Commander said, defeating the Daesh in Palmyra is just the beginning of an anticipated domino effect leading to the militant group’s total collapse.

“Recapturing Palmyra dealt the Daesh a strong blow and will most certainly destroy the group’s morale, thereby launching its final collapse,” the Syrian army said in a statement.

The recovery of Palmyra, the statement added, “demonstrated that our army, in cooperation with our allies, are the main powers capable of eradicating terrorism.”

The military’s statement referred to both the Russian and Syrian air forces’ efficient help in recapturing the ancient city.

Meanwhile, state-run Alekhbaria news agency said, the three-week armed conflict in Palmyra killed over 600 militants, whereas the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the troops killed over 400 militants.

Activists added that the campaign killed 180 Syrian soldiers.

A military source said, the Daesh withdrew from the city under heavy attack and shelling by the Syrian army.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the Daesh retreated towards the town of Sukhneh, east of the central province of Homs.

The source then confirmed that the ancient city of Palmyra is booby-trapped and that bomb squads have started working.

Source: Name News Network

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DAMASCUS, Syria, Mar 28 The Syrian army's recapture of Palmyra ends the destruction of the ancient caravan city and saves a civilisation, threatened by the barbaric acts of the Daesh group, the head of the antiquities department said. 'One of the most beautiful icons in the Syrian...