The Guardian reports: The Syrian and Russian governments have hailed their recapture of the ancient oasis city of Palmyra from Islamic State, ending a 10-month ordeal that saw the destruction of some of the historic site’s most famed monuments.
The battle for the city is the latest in a string of defeats for Isis, now in retreat across Syria and Iraq, where it once controlled vast tracts of territory: nearly half of Syria and the desert plains of Nineveh and most of Anbar in Iraq.
Palmyra’s reclamation by Assad’s army, after weeks of intense combat, was aided by some of the heaviest Russian airstrikes since Moscow launched its military intervention last autumn. It is also a significant morale boost for the embattled Syrian strongman as well as the Kremlin. [Continue reading…]