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Liberation of Palmyra: Daesh Decimated, Peace Restored, Raqqa in Sight

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Russia’s vigorous counterterrorism operation in Syria struck a crippling blow to Daesh and gave a second wind to the Syrian Army and popular defense forces. The direction of the war was reversed, and bolstered patriotic forces attacked Daesh with a redoubled zeal. On March 27 the army finally flushed out Daesh jihadists from Palmyra.

© Sputnik / Michael Alaeddin / Go to the photo bankThe town of Palmyra and its historic ruins had been under Daesh control since May 2015.

Above: Desert Falcons militia burn a Daesh flag taken down from the citadel of Palmyra taken over from the terrorists.
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The town of Palmyra and its historic ruins had been under Daesh control since May 2015.

Above: Desert Falcons militia burn a Daesh flag taken down from the citadel of Palmyra taken over from the terrorists.
© AP Photo / SANA The jihadist group committed numerous atrocities in the city and destroyed and looted a large part of its monuments, which are a designated UNESCO World Heritage site.

Above: a Syrian government soldier takes his position inside a damaged palace, at the entrance of Palmyra, central Syria. Syrian government forces recaptured a Mamluk-era citadel in Palmyra.
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The jihadist group committed numerous atrocities in the city and destroyed and looted a large part of its monuments, which are a designated UNESCO World Heritage site.

Above: a Syrian government soldier takes his position inside a damaged palace, at the entrance of Palmyra, central Syria. Syrian government forces recaptured a Mamluk-era citadel in Palmyra.
© Sputnik / Mikhail Voskresenskiy / Go to the photo bankThe final stage of the operation to liberate Palmyra started on March 24.
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The final stage of the operation to liberate Palmyra started on March 24.
© REUTERS / SANA/HandoutSoon, the army and patriotic opposition retook the historic and strategically important Palmyra Castle from the militants.

Above: forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad gesture as one of them carries a Syrian national flag in front of the old citadel of Palmyra in Homs Governorate, March 26, 2016.
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Soon, the army and patriotic opposition retook the historic and strategically important Palmyra Castle from the militants.

Above: forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad gesture as one of them carries a Syrian national flag in front of the old citadel of Palmyra in Homs Governorate, March 26, 2016.
© Sputnik / Mikhail Voskresenskiy / Go to the photo bankThe offensive was supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces which targeted Daesh terrorists who are not a part of the Moscow-Washington ceasefire agreement on Syria.
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The offensive was supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces which targeted Daesh terrorists who are not a part of the Moscow-Washington ceasefire agreement on Syria.
© REUTERS / SANA/HandoutKeeping the city’s cultural importance in mind, the government forces did their best to inflict as little damage on Palmyra’s monuments as possible.
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Keeping the city’s cultural importance in mind, the government forces did their best to inflict as little damage on Palmyra’s monuments as possible.
© Sputnik / Mikhail Voskresenskiy / Go to the photo bank"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," Syria's Directorate-General for Antiquities and Museums told Sputnik.
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"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," Syria's Directorate-General for Antiquities and Museums told Sputnik.
© REUTERS / SANA/HandoutRestoration works are expected to kick off in April. Renovators intend to restore two temples, the 2,000-year-old Roman arch of triumph and funerary towers which were destroyed by the jihadists.
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Restoration works are expected to kick off in April. Renovators intend to restore two temples, the 2,000-year-old Roman arch of triumph and funerary towers which were destroyed by the jihadists.
© REUTERS / SANA/HandoutSappers have begun demining operations to defuse explosives left in the city.
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Sappers have begun demining operations to defuse explosives left in the city.
© Sputnik / Mikhail Voskresenskiy / Go to the photo bankPalmyra is situated 210 kilometers from Damascus, Syria’s capital, and is the key for advancing to the Daesh stronghold of Raqqa in the east of the country.
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Palmyra is situated 210 kilometers from Damascus, Syria’s capital, and is the key for advancing to the Daesh stronghold of Raqqa in the east of the country.
© Sputnik / Mikhail Voskresenskiy / Go to the photo bankAccording to Al-Masdar News, terrorists lost hundreds of fighters, vehicles and weapons in the battle.

Above: Syrian Arab Army soldiers are seen here during mortar shelling of Daesh positions on the fringes of Palmyra.
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According to Al-Masdar News, terrorists lost hundreds of fighters, vehicles and weapons in the battle.

Above: Syrian Arab Army soldiers are seen here during mortar shelling of Daesh positions on the fringes of Palmyra.
© AP Photo / SANAThe liberation of Palmyra may be the turning point in the Syrian Army’s war against terrorists in the country.

Above: Syrian soldiers take up positions during fighting between government forces and Daesh in Palmyra, March 27, 2016.
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The liberation of Palmyra may be the turning point in the Syrian Army’s war against terrorists in the country.

Above: Syrian soldiers take up positions during fighting between government forces and Daesh in Palmyra, March 27, 2016.
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