Islamic State militants took control of areas of the historic Syrian city of Palmyra from government forces in fierce fighting today, and the Syrian antiquities chief called on the world to save its ancient heritage from the jihadists.
The central city, known as Tadmur in Arabic, is home to a Unesco World Heritage site and is also a strategic military location in central Syria linked by highways to the cities of Homs and Damascus, some 240km to the southwest.
“The news at the moment is very bad. There are small groups that managed to enter the city from certain points,” Syria’s antiquities chief Maamoun Abdulkarim told Reuters.
“There were very fierce clashes.”