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    A Syrian national flag flutters as the ruins of the historic city of Palmyra are seen in the background, in Homs Governorate, Syria April 1, 2016.

    External Players Should 'Cleanse Syria of Terrorist Filth' and Liberate Palmyra

    © REUTERS / Omar Sanadiki
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    Sides should join efforts in order to cleanse Syria of terrorism and liberate Palmyra, the Russian adviser to the UN special envoy for the Middle Eastern country said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — External players must unite efforts to liberate the city of Palmyra and Syria in general from terrorists, Vitaly Naumkin, Russia's adviser to UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, said Monday.

    "This requires serious efforts, unification of forces of all actors who are at odds with each other in the vision of Syria's future, but who should unite efforts to liberate the city and not only the city, but cleanse Syria of terrorist filth," Naumkin told reporters.

    Naumkin also said it was too early to speak of quick liberation of Palmyra yet.

    "We should not give in to the dangerous illusions that appeared some time ago that Palmyra has been freed and all is okay and let's forget about terrorism. We won't be able to forget. This is a long-term threat and [the liberation of Palmyra] will require serious joint efforts of the regional forces, probably, not only the Syrian army, but the units that will want to join it," Naumkin stressed.

    Naumkin, who also heads the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, expressed regret over the interruption of cooperation between Russian and Syrian archaeologists after the terrorists recaptured the city.

    In December 2016, the Syrian government’s forces had to abandon Palmyra after Daesh stormed the city. The terrorists then moved for approximately 90 kilometers toward the city of Homs, taking key heights and several villages near Palmyra. They attempted to storm the T-4 airbase as well, which is the main obstacle on their way to Homs, but were stopped by the government’s forces.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin commented on the Daesh offensive on Palmyra. According to the Russian leader, the situation in Palmyra was a result of discordant actions of different players in Syria.


    Since 2011, Syria has been engulfed in a civil war, with government forces fighting against numerous opposition and terrorist groups, including al-Nusra Front and Daesh, banned in a range of countries, including Russia.



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