ISIL mines ancient ruins in Syria's Palmyra
Iran Press TV
Sun Jun 21, 2015 1:38PM
The Takfiri ISIL group has planted landmines at the site of the ancient ruins in the Syrian city of Palmyra in the central Homs Province, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says.
The UK-based group said on Sunday that the Takfiri group laid explosives at the site of the Roman ruins in the city the day before.
Rami Abdel Rahman, the director of the London-based rights group, said the motive of the terrorist group from laying the mines is not known yet, adding, 'But it is not known if the purpose is to blow up the ruins or to prevent" Syrian forces from advancing into the town.
The director of the group added that the situation on the ground suggests that Syrian government forces are preparing to conduct a major operation to liberate the ancient city.
Syrian forces are positioned "to the west outside the city, and in recent days they have brought in reinforcements suggesting they may be planning an operation to retake Palmyra,' he added.
The ancient city, which is home to extensive and well-preserved Greco-Roman ruins, fell to the Takfiri terrorists on May 21. Since then, they have been committing heinous crimes, including executions, in the city while Syrian forces are fighting to recapture the city.
Syrian media say that since the terrorists seized the city, they have killed more than 400 civilians, mostly women and children. On May 27, the ISIL Takfiri group executed as many as 20 people in the ancient Syrian city.
On May 21, Federica Mogherini, the European Union's foreign policy chief, warned about the prospect of war crimes by the terrorist group in Palmyra, adding that thousands of people "risk to be exposed to arbitrary violent actions and more destructions of cultural sites might be perpetrated."
On the same day, the UN cultural agency, UNESCO, warned that ISIL's demolition of the world heritage site would be an 'enormous loss to humanity.'
'Palmyra is an extraordinary World Heritage site in the desert and any destruction to Palmyra [would be] not just a war crime but ... an enormous loss to humanity,' said UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova.
Syria has been beset by a deadly crisis that has reportedly claimed the lives of over 230,000 people Since March 2011.
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