Thousands of ISIS militants have recaptured the key Syrian city of Palmyra, according to Russian military sources who say that the Pentagon are doing nothing to help.
4,000 Islamic State terorrists launched an assault on the ancient city, reinforced by tanks and heavy military hardware.
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“IS has dispatched a considerable force to Palmyra from the area of Raqqa, where militants, backed by the US and the international coalition ceased combat action against the terrorists this week,” a Russian military source says.
Russia, Syria’s ally, had launched a flurry of air strikes overnight that reportedly killed 300 ISIL fighters and forced the group to retreat.
#ISIS's al-Amaq agency releases a video of Palmyra, after it claiming to be in full control of the city. #Syria pic.twitter.com/7Ud7EqZrzd
— Michael A. Horowitz (@michaelh992) December 11, 2016
However, later on Sunday, ISIL, also known as ISIS, claimed to be in full control of Palmyra via Amaq, a news agency that supports the group, with government troops forced to retreat to the south of the city.
Talal al-Barazi, the governor of Homs, confirmed to Syrian state TV that ISIL had captured Palmyra, adding that the army was using all of its means to regain control.
ISIL captured Palmyra, also known as Tadmur, in May last year before losing the city 10 months later to much international fanfare.
During that time, it destroyed some ancient sites and artifacts while using others to stage mass executions.
String of defeats
ISIL also destroyed the infamous Tadmur prison, where thousands of government opponents were reported to have been tortured.
ISIL has suffered a string of defeats in both Syria and Iraq in recent months, losing several towns and cities it had captured in 2014.
According to defence analysts at think-tank IHS Jane, ISIL lost about 12 percent of its territory in 2016, and about 14 percent in 2015.