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8 months ago
Islamic State captures Palmyra castle overlooking ancient Syrian city -Amaq news agency
December 11, 2016 / 11:00 AM / 8 months ago

Islamic State captures Palmyra castle overlooking ancient Syrian city -Amaq news agency

A still image taken on December 11, 2016 from a video released by Islamic State-affiliated Amaq news agency on December 10, 2016, purports to show Islamic State fighters advancing over the Hayan mountain south of Palmyra. Handout via REUTERS TV

AMMAN (Reuters) - Islamic State fighters have captured Palmyra castle overlooking the ancient city in eastern Syria, a news agency affiliated to the militants said on Sunday.

Heavy Russian air strikes had pushed back the militants from inside the city hours after they captured it last Saturday in a surprise multi-pronged offensive, according to a war monitor and rebels familiar with the situation.

The Russian Defence Ministry said on Sunday that its jets carried out 64 air strikes during an operation to drive Islamic State out of the strategic areas around the city that it had secured, killing more than 300 militants.

Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Louise Ireland

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