Palmyra’s historical sites remain unharmed for now: official

Published May 26th, 2015 - 06:00 GMT

The Syrian government's antiquities chief Maamoun Abdulkarim announced Tuesday that the ancient city of Palmyra has remained unharmed since Daesh took control of it last week, Reuters reports.

"The historic city is fine. There is no damage so far," Abdulkarim told Reuters by phone, citing contacts with people on the ground.

Daesh militants had previously threatened to blow up the ancient ruins.

Known as Tadmur by locals, the World Heritage site was taken by Daesh last week. At least 400 people have been killed since Daesh entered the ancient city.

Syria’s air force conducted at least 15 strikes in and around the Daesh-held city of Palmyra early Monday.

Palmyra represents a key strategic gain on the crossroads between Homs and Damascus.  Daesh’s advancements in both Palmyra and Iraq’s Ramadi last week have been the two biggest victories for the militants since taking Mosul last summer in a major offensive. 

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