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Syrian forces 'enter Palmyra'

Syrian government forces have entered the ancient town of Palmyra seized by Islamic State militants

Baku. 24 March. REPORT.AZ/ Syrian government forces have entered the ancient town of Palmyra seized by Islamic State (IS) militants last year, state TV has said, Report informs citing the BBC.

Officials launched an offensive to retake the city earlier this month, backed by Russian air strikes.

The city is situated in a strategically important area between Damascus and the contested eastern city of Deir al-Zour.

IS seized the ruins of Palmyra, a Unesco World Heritage site, and the adjoining modern town in May. It subsequently destroyed two 2,000-year-old temples, an arch and funerary towers, drawing global outrage.

The jihadist group, which has also demolished several world-renowned pre-Islamic sites in neighbouring Iraq, believes that such structures are idolatrous.

Unesco, the UN's cultural agency, has condemned the destruction as a war crime.

State-run news channel Ikhbariya said government fighters had taken over a hotel district in the west of the city. There has been no independent confirmation of the reports.

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