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MOSCOW, March 24. /TASS/. First Deputy Chairman of the Russian Federation Council upper house Defense and Security Committee Franz Klintsevich has said that the complete liberation of Palmyra by the Syrian army will show the entire world who really confronts the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group (outlawed in Russia) in Syria.
Syrian television earlier reported that government troops had entered the territory of the Palmyra historical and archaeological site.
"The complete liberation of Palmyra will be a very serious success of the Syrian army," the senator told reporters.According to Klintsevich, this victory "will not only boost their morale but will also show the entire world who really confronts ISIS [former name of Islamic State] in Syria." "One of the best-known late antique monuments is returned to humanity, but, much to our regret, completely destroyed and looted by terrorists," he said.
"I believe it is the historical uniqueness of the city as Syria’s calling card of sorts rather than its military and strategic importance that makes it possible to single out this victory of the government forces," the parliamentarian noted.
Palmyra was captured by the Islamic State terrorist group at the beginning of last summer. The Syrian authorities said at that time that the unique historical site could share the sad fate of the Iraqi cities of Ashur, Nimrud and Hatra (al-Hadr) destroyed by militants.
Most Palmyra residents left the city last May together with the troops. Now there are from 15,000 to 20,000 people there.