Russian troops to work on demining Palmyra

Russian President Vladimir Putin has instructed the Russian military contingent that remains in Syria to begin demining Palmyra. Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for the Russian president, announced this on March 27.

On the morning of March 27, Syrian armed forces, backed by Russian military personnel, liberated the city of Palmyra from Islamic State militants. According Dmitry Peskov, head of the Russian president’s press service, Vladimir Putin instructed the Russian military contingent in Syria to participate in mine clearance of the rubble at the UNESCO-recognized World Heritage Site.

During the time that this territory was occupied by ISIS, a number of cultural objects of Palmyra had been seriously damaged. The national museum was completely plundered, three funerary towers, erected in the period from 103 to 44 BC were destroyed, as were the ancient temples of Bel and Baalshamin.

According to Mr. Peskov, in the near future, Russia and Syria will take all necessary steps to assess the damage done to the city by the terrorists, and then develop a plan to restore the cultural objects.

In May 2015, ISIS militants took control of the ancient city of Palmyra. Before its capture by the terrorists, the Syrian Army was able evacuate a large part of the population and a number of valuable artefacts from the city’s central museum.

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