Syrian Army recaptured historic city of Palmyra from Islamic State

Mar 28, 2016 14:42 IST

Palmyra: An ancient Semitic World Heritage Site located in Homs Governorate, Syria

Palmyra was in news on 26 March 2016 as the Syrian Army recaptured the historic city from Islamic State (IS) terror group.

The city was captured by the IS in May 2015 and since then the Army of Syria fought for its control with the support of national aviation and Russian Aerospace Forces.

The loss of Palmyra represents one of the biggest setbacks for the Islamic State that declared a caliphate in 2014 across large parts of Syria and Iraq.

About Palmyra

• Palmyra, also known as the Pearl of Desert and Tadmur, is an oasis in the Syrian Desert.

• It is located 215 km to the northeast of the Syrian capital Damascus and was a World Heritage Site because of its architecture.

• The art and architecture of Palmyra dates back to 1st to the 2nd century AD and were built in Graeco-Roman style with local traditions and Persian influences.

• It was one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world standing at the crossroads of several civilizations.

• A grand, colonnaded street of 1100 metres length forms the monumental axis of the city, which together with secondary colonnaded cross streets links the major public monuments of the city.

• Some of the important monuments include the Temple of Ba'al, Diocletian's Camp, the Agora, Theatre, other temples and urban quarters.

• The site was designated a national monument by Syrian government and was protected by the National Antiquities law 222 as amended in 1999.

• A buffer zone was established in 2007 but has not yet been submitted to the World Heritage Committee.

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