Syrian armed forces have successfully established full control over the ancient city of Palmyra in the west-central Homs Province, following days of battles against Daesh militants who have controlled the city since last year.
"After heavy fighting during the night, the army is in full control of Palmyra -- both the ancient site and the residential neighborhoods," an unnamed military source said on Sunday.
"Army sappers are in the process of defusing dozens of bombs and mines planted inside the ancient site," the anonymous military source added.
The major gain came after Syrian army’s advances in the western and northern parts of Palmyra during the past several days and intensive military operations in the south.
The historic city fell to Daesh last May. The Syrian army and allied forces kicked off an assault earlier this month to take Palmyra back with the help of airstrikes and artillery fire.
Daesh militants have reportedly pulled out of the city after the army recaptured it on Sunday and are said to have retreated to the cities of Sukhnah, Raqqah and Deir Ezzor in the east.
The liberation of Palmyra now opens up much of eastern Syria to Assad's forces, dealing a heavy blow to Daesh, who are in control of most of the two provinces of Deir Ezzor and Raqqa.
The fall of Palmyra raised global concern as the terrorists blew up its UNESCO-listed temples and looted relics that dated back thousands of years.
Daesh turned Palmyra's ancient amphitheater into a site for public executions, and militants beheaded the city's 82-year-old former antiquities chief there.
Recent months have seen Daesh losing ground in Syria as forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad have made major gains, backed by Russian airstrikes.
Editor's note: This article has been edited from the source material.
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