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Russian warplanes in Syria attack militants carrying weapons to Palmyra — source

March 25, 2016, 15:33 UTC+3 MOSCOW MOSCOW March, 25. /TASS

IS militants tried to bring military equipment from Raqqah and Deir ez-Zor

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© Russian Defense Ministry press service/TASS

MOSCOW, March 25. /TASS/. Militants of the Islamic State (terrorist group outlawed in Russia) have tried to bring weapons to Palmyra from Raqqah only to come under attack by Russia’s air group, a reliable source in Damascus has told TASS by telephone.

"The Syrian army is regaining control of the road separating the heights and the center of the historic city," the source said. "IS militants tried to bring military equipment from Raqqah and Deir ez-Zor, but Russian and Syrian planes upset the attempt."

The source also said terrorists have been trying to take their families out of the city.

Russia hopes for successful completion of Syrian army’s operation in Palmyra

According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Moscow hopes for success of the Syrian army’s operation to free Palmyra from the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group.

"We hope that the operation being carried out by the Syria army with the support from Russia’s Aerospace Forces to free Palmyra, will be completed successfully in the nearest future," Lavrov said.

The Islamic State terrorist group (which is banned in Russia) seized Palmyra early in the summer of 2015. The Syrian authorities warned at that time that the unique historical complex could repeat the sad fate of the ancient Iraqi cities of Ashur and Nimrud, which had been fully ruined and eliminated by insurgents. 

SANA news agency reported that militants destroyed the ancient fortress of Emir Fakhr-al-Din on the entrance to Palmyra from the side of Homs. In less than a year of IS control, militants destroyed the famous Arch of Triumph, Temple of Baalshamin and Temple of Ba’al. They also looted the Palmyra Museum and Necropolis.

Most Palmyra residents left the city last May together with the troops. Now there are from 15,000 to 20,000 people there. 

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