DAMASCUS (Sputnik) – The Syrian army’s offensive on the city of Palmyra to recapture it from Daesh began on Thursday.
"Large parts of the Palmyra city have been liberated with very little damage to memorable sites. The liberation by the Syrian army and its allies was carried out very professionally," Maamoun Abdulkarim said.
Palmyra is considered key for advancing to the Daesh stronghold of Raqqa in eastern Syria.
The town of Palmyra and its historic ruins have been under Daesh control since May 2015. The jihadist group, which is outlawed in many countries, including Russia and the United States, has since destroyed part of the ruins, which are a designated UNESCO World Heritage site.