16:20 GMT +312 November 2019
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    View of the ancient oasis city of Palmyra

    Syrian Army, Desert Falcons Gain Control Over Strategic Height Near Palmyra

    © AFP 2019 / Joseph EID
    Middle East
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    Syrian government forces and Desert Falcons fighters have gained control over a strategically important height near Palmyra in the Homs province, a military source told Sputnik.

    According to the source which participates in the operation aimed at the liberation of Palmyra, the Syrian army has restored control over the Qalaat Fakhr ad-Din al-Maani Castle, also known as the "Palmyra Castle".

    "The infantry of the Syrian army together with allied forces regained control of the entrance to the city Palmyra after a height of Alseriaatal was liberated yesterday and the historic Castle of Palmyra today," the source told Sputnik Arabic.

    Syria's ancient city of Palmyra
    © AFP 2019 / STRINGER
    Syria's ancient city of Palmyra

    According to him, the complete liberation of Palmyra is now a matter of time after a major operation has been launched and a huge advance has been achieved from three sides of the city.

    Earlier in the day, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported that the Syrian army and the Desert Falcons militia commenced an assault on the ancient citadel of Palmyra.

    On Thursday, army and militia consolidated their positions on the territory of the hotel complex in southeastern Palmyra after a joint operation to gain control of strategic heights surrounding the historic city.

    Palmyra has been under Daesh control since May 2015. The terrorist group has since destroyed part of the city, which is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site.

    A brigadier-general told Sputnik on Wednesday that the Syrian army had recaptured a historic part of the city from the militants.


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