Syrian government forces advancing toward Palmyra

Russia's Air Force last week performed more than 90 flights to provide air cover for the offensive.

13 February 2017 | 13:29

Source: Associated Press

  • Source: Associated Press
  • Last update: 13 February 2017 | 13:29

In this April 14, 2016 file photo, Russian soldiers stand on a road as smoke rises from a controlled land mine detonation by Russian experts inside the ancient town of Palmyra. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

BEIRUT: Palmyra, home to a UNESCO Heritage site, was recaptured by the Islamic State group in December, nine months after a Russia-backed offensive drove out the militants.

Russia's defense ministry said in an statement on Monday Syrian government troops are about 20 kilometers (12 miles) away from the city and that Russia's Air Force last week performed more than 90 flights to provide air cover for the offensive.

The defense ministry earlier on Monday released drone footage, showing a central section of Palmyra's famous theater lying in ruins after IS militants supposedly blew it up.

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