Syrian troops enter ISIL-held Palmyra: State TV
March 24, Damascus: Syrian state TV has broadcast video of government troops inside the historic city of Palmyra, which has been under the control of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group since May last year.
The footage published on Thursday shows Syrian army vehicles and soldiers moving around areas of the city with some of its famed ruins clearly visible.
The advances, if verified, come amid a government offensive to capture the city that began earlier this month with support from Russian fighter jets.
Fighting was still ongoing outside the city on Thursday, after a rapid advance the day before brought the army and its allies right up to its outskirts, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
ISIL captured the city, also known as Tadmur, in May last year and began a campaign of destroying some ancient sites and using others to stage mass executions, reports said.
Syria is in the midst of cessation of hostilities between government forces and opposition rebel factions, which has significantly reduced violence in the country.
The uprising that turned into a civil war in Syria began five years ago. More than 270,000 people have since been killed and millions of people have fled to neighbouring countries and Europe.
The group has held on to most its gains but has lost areas in northern Syria to Kurdish groups backed by US-airstrikes and Syrian forces backed by Russia.
The Oslo Times