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Syria forces retake ancient Palmyra in major victory over IS

Syrian troops gathering around their national flag after they recaptured the ancient city of Palmyra from the control of the Islamic State (IS) group on March 27, 2016Syrian troops recaptured the ancient city of Palmyra from the Islamic State group on Sunday and pledged to build on the win with an advance against other jihadist strongholds. President Bashar al-Assad hailed the victory as an “important achievement” as his Russian counterpart and key backer Vladimir Putin congratulated Damascus for retaking the UNESCO world heritage site. An AFP correspondent inside Palmyra said monuments destroyed by the jihadists — like the iconic Temple of Bel — were in pieces but that much of the ancient city was intact.

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