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Palmyra Victory: Field Commander Explains Why Syrian Army is Here to Stay

© Sputnik / Mikhail Alayeddin /  / Go to the mediabankPalmyra recaptured by Syrian Arab Army backed by Russian Air Force
Palmyra recaptured by Syrian Arab Army backed by Russian Air Force - Sputnik International
The Syrian Arab Army, assisted by the Russian Aerospace Forces and its local allies, has pushed Daesh out of the ancient city of Palmyra, bringing hope that Damascus will now be able to build on this victory and liberate the entire country, Syrian field commander Akhmad Bukhammad told Sputnik.

"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.

Syrian army soldiers stand on the ruins of the Temple of Bel in the historic city of Palmyra, in Homs Governorate (File) - Sputnik International
Liberation of Palmyra: What Lies Ahead for the Ancient City (VIDEO)
Daesh first captured Palmyra in May 2015. In the ten months that followed, the brutal group, notorious for destroying pre-Islamic heritage, leveled the Temple of Bel, the Temple of Baalshamin, the Arch of Triumph and several funerary towers. The militants also used the ruins to stage mass executions.

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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