PARIS, March 25 /TASS/. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has welcomed the liberation of Palmyra’s antique monuments from the Islamic State militants by Syrian government troops, UNESCO’s Director-General Irina Bokova said in a statement released on Thursday.
"I welcome the liberation of the archaeological zone in Palmyra, a martyr city, which is included in UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage List and embodies the memory of the Syrian people and the values of cultural diversity, tolerance and openness, which made that region a cradle of civilization," Bokova said.
A well-informed source in Damascus told TASS by telephone Thursday that the Syrian troops were storming the last Islamic State stronghold near Palmyra in Syria.
"The army has regained control over a very large part of the territory. The government troops are storming the last militant-held height near Palmyra," the source said.
Militants from 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 wiped out by insurgents.