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Islamic State seizes Palmyra in Syrian advance

Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 01:27

Islamic State says it has taken full control of UNESCO site Palmyra in Syria, just days after capturing a provincial capital in Iraq, suggesting momentum is building for the ultra-hardline group. Mana Rabiee reports.

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Islamic State fighters say they've taken FULL control of Palmyra in central Syria. They released this video showing their fighters celebrating inside the town's notorious prison, Tadmure, and burning a poster of President Bashar al Assad. IS says it now controls both modern and ancient Palmyra -- including its airport and military bases... ... making this the first time the group has taken a city directly from Assad's forces. And they say, they're far from finished. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MAN SAID TO BE ISLAMIC STATE FIGHTER SAYING: "I swear to God, we are coming to you with men who love death as much as you love life. You will not be safe as long as we are alive, because today, it's a matter of 'to be or not to be' for us." The radical group also released video purporting to show its fighters inside a gas field on Thursday northeast of the strategic city. Palmyra is an ancient World Heritage site; home to famous Roman-era ruins that many fear the Islamists will destroy, as they have done elsewhere. With Ramadi in neighbouring Iraq, also under Islamic State control, the group is believed to be establishing bases for further explansion... and the seizure of even more territory.

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Islamic State seizes Palmyra in Syrian advance

Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 01:27