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Syrian army recaptures Palmyra from ISIL



Syrian government forces, backed by Russian air power, have recaptured the ancient city of Palmyra from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) after days of intense fighting, state media and a monitoring group said.

Syrian state television quoted a military source as saying the army and allied militias had taken “complete control over the city of Palmyra”.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said gunfire could still be heard in the eastern part of the city yesterday morning, but that the bulk of ISIL’s forces had retreated.

The group’s director, Rami Abdulrahman, said that 400 ISIL fighters died in the battle, which he described as the biggest single defeat for the group since it announced its self-declared caliphate in Iraq and Syria nearly two years ago.

President Bashar al-Assad as saying: “This is an important achievement and new evidence of the effectiveness of the strategy followed by the Syrian army and its allies in the war against terrorism”.

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