The Syrian army said on Thursday it had recaptured the ancient city of Palmyra from Daesh (ISIL or ISIS) for the second time in a year, with help from allied forces and Russian warplanes.
“With backing from the Syrian and Russian air forces, units of our armed forces recaptured the city of Palmyra, in cooperation with the allies,” the military said in a statement, Reuters reported.
Daesh seized Palmyra in a surprise advance in December, after having been driven out eight months before.
The army and its allies advanced inside Palmyra on Thursday as the foreign-backed militants withdrew completely, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said.
Daesh militants retreated to areas in the east, the Observatory reported. Government forces took control of swathes of Palmyra and conducted combing operations to clear mines on Thursday, it said.
Syria has been gripped by civil war since March 2011 with various terrorist groups, including Daesh (also known as ISIS or ISIL), currently controlling parts of it.
According to a report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.