Nearly 300 killed near Palmyra as Syrian forces repel ISIL raid: Report

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Middle East
Monday, 18 May 2015

Nearly 300 people have been killed near the ancient city of Palmyra in the central Homs Province since several days ago when Syrian troops staged a fierce resistance against a major offensive by ISIL Takfiri terrorists.

The latest casualty figures were reported Sunday by UK-based so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which further claimed that the death toll includes 115 Takfiri terrorists, 57 civilians and 123 pro-government forces.

According to the observatory, the foreign-backed Takfiri elements also executed “dozens of the civilians” a day after they overran villages in the northern part of Palmyra, a UNESCO world heritage site.

Despite reports of Syrian forces pushing back the Takfiri terrorist in the area, Observatory claimed in its report that ISIL elements were still one kilometer from the archaeological site and its adjacent museum which houses thousands of priceless artifacts.

The development comes as Syrian authorities reported earlier that government troops have pushed back the Takfiri militants from the historic city, which is considered one of the jewels of the country’s heritage.

Homs Provincial Governor Talal Barazi announced on Sunday that Syrian army units recaptured the northern districts of Palmyra, known as Tadmor in Arabic, a day after they fell to intruding ISIL terrorists.

ISIL’s “attack was foiled, and we ousted them from the northern parts of Tadmur.” he said, adding, “The army is still … combing the streets for bombs.”.

The Syrian governor further elaborated that its forces managed to kill “more than 130” Takfiri terrorists in the process of flushing them out of the area, noting that the attack on Tadmor by the foreign-backed militants had forced a large number of residents to flee the area.

“We are taking all necessary precautions, and we are working on securing humanitarian aid quickly in fear of mass fleeing from the city,” he added.

Syria’s antiquities chief, Mamoun Abdulkarim, also said on Sunday that the ancient site has not suffered any damage from the Takfiri’s attacks.

On Thursday, the UN cultural agency expressed grave concern over the threats posed by the Takfiri ISIL group to Palmyra.

“The site has already suffered four years of conflict, it suffered from looting and represents an irreplaceable treasure for the Syrian people and for the world,” Irina Bokova, the director general of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), said.

The Takfiri terrorists have razed to the ground a number of mosques in Syria and Iraq, many of them dating back to the early years of the Islamic civilization. The terrorists have also destroyed tombs belonging to revered Shia and Sunni figures.

In April, the ISIL terrorist group released a video showing its members destroying artifacts at Iraq’s northern ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud before blowing up the site.

Also in February, the terrorists smashed ancient statues at the Ninawa museum in Mosul, using sledgehammers and drills.

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