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Drone footage shows war toll taken on Palmyra’s ancient center (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

Drone footage shows war toll taken on Palmyra’s ancient center (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)
A drone buzzing over the historic part of Palmyra, Syria shows the damage caused to the World Heritage Site during the war with Islamic State jihadists. The footage was taken just after the city was re-captured by the Syrian Army.

Palmyra fell to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in 2015 and was liberated by Damascus forces in March last year. Several months later, the terrorist group managed to overrun the city again, as a significant part of the Syrian Army was engaged in the Aleppo operation.

Among other things, drone footage provided by Ruptly news agency shows the famous Roman Theater, which was damaged by IS terrorists after they had overrun the city for the second time.

After the city was retaken by Damascus this week, the Syrian antiquities chief, Maamoun Abdulkarim, said the damage to the historic site may be less than earlier feared.

“Really, our hearts had been overwhelmed with fear of a complete explosion of the theater,” he told Reuters.

READ MORE: Liberation of Palmyra planned & conducted under auspice of Russian military advisors – MoD

“We thought the situation would be much worse, that there would be eradication, that they would complete their crimes from the first occupation,” he added.

Among other crimes, Islamic State is known to have destroyed or sold off pre-Islamic artifacts through the black market. The group believes that preserving that legacy contradicts their radical interpretation of Islam.