Syria’s army dispatched reinforcements to Palmyra in a bid to push back jihadists who advanced Friday to within touching distance of the ancient city, officials and a monitor said.
“Islamic State group jihadists are now one kilometre (less than a mile) from the archaeological site of Palmyra,” Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told AFP.
“The regime sent reinforcements and the army is bombing the surroundings of Tadmor from the air,” he said, using the Arabic name for Palmyra.
UNESCO describes Palmyra as a heritage site of “outstanding universal value”.
The ancient metropolis stood on a caravan route at the crossroads of several civilisations and its 1st and 2nd century temples and colonnaded streets mark a unique blend of Greco-Roman and Persian influences. Read more.