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Syrian army frees ancient castle in Palmyra — Damascus source

March 25, 16:48 UTC+3
SANA news agency earlier reported that militants had destroyed the ancient fortress of Emir Fakhr-al-Din on the entrance to Palmyra from the side of Homs
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Fahkr ad-Din al-Maani castle

Fahkr ad-Din al-Maani castle

© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, March 25. /TASS/. The Syrian army has freed the ancient Qalaat Fahkr ad-Din al-Maani castle in Palmyra, an informed source in Damascus told TASS on Friday.

"We can confirm that the Qalaat Fahkr ad-Din al-Maani castle was completely freed," the source said.

SANA news agency earlier reported that militants had 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.

Palmyra, a UNESCO world heritage site, was captured by the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group (outlawed in Russia) 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.

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. 

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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