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Syria army recaptures Palmyra citadel from IS

Smoke rises near Palmyra castle during shelling by Syrian troops on the outskirts of the ancient city of Palmyra on March 24, 2016 (AFP Photo/)

Smoke rises near Palmyra castle during shelling by Syrian troops on the outskirts of the ancient city of Palmyra on March 24, 2016 (AFP Photo/)

The Syrian army recaptured on Friday the citadel of Palmyra from the Islamic State group, nearly a year after the jihadists overran the ancient city, state television said citing a military source.

“Our armed forces, in coordination with the popular defence forces, have taken control of the ancient Palmyra citadel after inflicting many losses in the ranks of the terrorist group Daesh,” the report said, using another name for IS.

The jihadist group, whose takeover of Palmyra raised global concern, had taken over the citadel on May 23 last year and raised its notorious black and white flag over it.

The group has since blown up UNESCO-listed temples and looted relics that dated back thousands of years, and murdered the former antiquities chief in Palmyra, Khaled al-Assaad.

Built in the 13th century, the citadel is Palmyra’s main Islamic-era monument.



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