MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Syrian Army, supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces, completed the operation to liberate Palmyra from Daesh terrorists earlier in the day.
"At the current stage of the counterterrorism operation in Syria, Palmyra is a strategically important city. It was seriously damaged by hostilities during recent years. The liberation of Palmyra means strengthening the central Syrian authorities and consequently that is a step to ensure peace in Syria in the future," Novikov said.
The Syrian army regained control over Palmyra earlier on Thursday with support of the Russian aircraft operating in Syria.
Daesh seized Palmyra, which was the capital of the Palmyrene Empire and one of the richest cities of the Roman Empire, in May 2015. Terrorists destroyed a number of historic sights designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Arch of Triumph, the Temple of Baalshamin and the Temple of Bel. Jihadists also looted the national museum and the famous Palmyra’s necropolis.
In March 2016, the Syrian army supported by the Russia's Aerospace Forces liberated the city. However, the jihadists succeeded to drive out the Syrian government forces in December 2016 after a large-scale offensive.