ISIS militants take control of Syria’s ancient city of Palmyra
Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants have taken complete control of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra. The city is a UNESCO designated World Heritage site and home to some of the world’s most magnificent ancient ruins.
With the seizure of entire ancient city, there are fears that the militants will destroy the ancient ruins as there is no presence of government troops who had entirely withdrawn from the city following an IS advance.
It should be noted that the ancient ruins are situated in a strategically important area on the road between Syria’s capital Damascus and the contested eastern city of Deir al-Zour.
From the oil and gas fields located in Deir al-Zour, Syrian government uses it to generate electricity for areas under its control in the west of the country.
Earlier in March 2015, the militants had demolished several ancient sites that pre-date Islam in Iraq, including UNESCO World Heritage Sites Hatra and Nimrud.
- Ancient ruins of Palmyra dates back to the first and second Century when it was under Roman rule.
- Palmyra was once a Silk Road hub and one of the cultural centres of the ancient world.
- The city occupies mythological status in Syria and is home to some of the most beautiful and well-preserved ruins of antiquity, including the Temple of Bel, built in 1st century.