Syrian regime forces backed by Russian air raids enter IS-held Palmyra

Syrian army soldiers stand on the ruins of the Temple of Bel in the historic city of Palmyra, in Homs Governorate, Syria April 1, 2016.(REUTERS File Photo)

BBC – Syrian government forces have entered the ancient city of Palmyra, pushing back militants from so-called Islamic State (IS), activists say.

The troops and their allies, backed by Russian air strikes, have reportedly seized part of a neighbourhood in the west of the city.

The jihadists recaptured the Unesco-listed archaeological site in December from government forces.

Parts of the ancient city have been destroyed by the militants.

There were clashes and heavy shelling across the historic city as the offensive unfolded, the UK-based monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

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