Sunday, December 11, 2016

ISIS Recaptures Palmyra from Syrian Govt.Troops; Outwits Syrians and Russians for Focus on Aleppo

Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants today (December 11, 2016) recaptured Palmyra, taking the ancient central Syrian city from government troops in a major advance after a year of setbacks in Syria and neighboring Iraq, the CBS News website reports.

In retaking Palmyra, the extremist group appeared to be taking advantage of the Syrian and Russian preoccupation with Aleppo, timing the attack to coincide with a massive government offensive to capture the last remaining opposition-held neighborhoods in the northern Syrian city.

Palmyra -- with its towering 2,000-year-old ruins -- holds mostly symbolic meaning in the wider Syrian civil war, although its location in central Syria gives it some strategic significance as well.

ISIS militants re-entered the city yesterday for the first time since they were expelled by Syrian and Russian forces nine months ago.

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