Islamic State militants capture Palmyra despite heavy Russian strikes

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From Reuters:

“Islamic State captured the ancient city of Palmyra on Sunday despite dozens of Russian airstrikes to push back the militants a day after they briefly seized the city in eastern Syria, a war monitor and the militants said.

In the government’s first official admission that Palmyra had fallen once again to the militants, state media quoted the governor of the province of Homs, where the city is located, as saying the army had pulled out of the city.

The collapse of the city’s defenses despite the heavy bombing and reinforcements sent by the Syrian army has exposed the limitations of the Russian backing that has turned the tide of the conflict in President Bashar al-Assad’s favor.

“The army is using all means to prevent the terrorists from staying in Palmyra,” Homs Governor Talal Barazi was quoted as saying, hours after IS and a Britain-based monitoring group both said the militants had full control of the city.”

 

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