"Palmyra's liberation is not only a symbol of new era. This is the beginning of us going further and freeing the entire country," he said. The field commander also expressed hope that Damascus-led forces will prevent Daesh from recapturing the ancient city again.
Turki Bukhammad, who heads another unit, shared these sentiments, saying that keeping the city safe is a priority. "I hope that we will achieve this with the help of our friends from Russia and Iran," he said.
Some of the priceless artifacts on display at a local museum were smashed or defaced.
"These terrorists have nothing to do with Islam since true Muslims would have never done anything like that," Turki Bukhammad said.
The Syrian Arab Army, assisted by Russian warplanes and its allies took Palmyra under control on March 27, 2016, but lost it on December 11. Daesh then destroyed a tetrapylon and part of a Roman theater in the ancient city, using it to carry out mass executions. Damascus-led forces retook Palmyra on March 2.
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