ISIL seizes northern part of Syria's ancient city of Palmyra
Iran Press TV
Sat May 16, 2015 6:24PM
The ISIL Takfiri terrorists have reportedly taken control of the northern part of Syria's ancient city of Palmyra.
The ISIL militants "advanced and took control of most of northern Palmyra, and there are fierce clashes happening now,' said Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, on Saturday.
He added that 13 ISIL militants were killed in clashes near the Islamic citadel in the city's west.
On Thursday, the UN cultural agency expressed grave concern over the threats posed by the Takfiri ISIL group to Palmyra in Syria's western province of Homs.
"The site has already suffered four years of conflict, it suffered from looting and represents an irreplaceable treasure for the Syrian people and for the world," Irina Bokova, the director general of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), said.
"I appeal to all parties to protect Palmyra and make every effort to prevent its destruction," the UN official added.
Syrian forces are now engaged in fierce clashes with ISIL militants, who have threatened to demolish the UNESCO world heritage site, to prevent the destruction of the site.
Meanwhile, Mamoum Abdulkarim, the head of Syria's antiquities department, also voiced concern for the ancient site, saying that ISIL "will destroy everything,' if they enter the site.
The Takfiri terrorists have ransacked and demolished several ancient sites, including a number of mosques, in Syria and Iraq.
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