Russia targets ISIS in Palmyra according to Syrian state TV

Russian jets target ISIS positions in ancient Syrian city of Palmyra in Homs Province

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

The historic city of Palmyra, Syria, August 5, 2010.

Syrian state TV said on Tuesday that Russian warplanes attacked ISIS positions in and around the city of Palmyra, citing a military source.

“The Russian air force in coordination with the Syrian air force targeted positions held by [ISIS] in and around the city of Palmyra,” Syrian state television said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a Britain-based monitor, said “the Palmyra strikes were launched overnight and killed at least 15 ISIS fighters and injured dozens more.”

The militant group ISIS seized control of the city of Palmyra in Homs Province in May.

Palmyra is listed as a World Heritage SIte by UNESCO. ISIS has destroyed several ancient parts of the city, including the 2,000-year-old Temple of Bel and two other famed temples.  

On Sunday the group blew up the ancient Arch of Triumph at the site.

Russian jets began bombing territories held by Syrian opposition forces in Hama, Homs and Idlib last Wednesday just hours after Russian lawmakers unanimously approved military action in Syria.

The death toll from the conflict in Syria has reached over 300,000. The refugee flux into European countries from Syria has been described by The UN High Commissioner for Refugees as the biggest in a generation.

The war in Syria started in 2011 in the form of anti-government peaceful demonstrations, but descended into a civil war between five main factions - the regime, the opposition, Al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front, ISIS, and the People's Protection Units (YPG). Now Russia appears to also be taking an active role in the conflict.

Iran has backed the Syrian regime since the beginning of the conflict, along with the Shiite militia Hezbollah which is present mainly in southern Syria close to the Lebanese border.  

TRTWorld and agencies