Russia is to aid the rebuilding of Palmyra. The ancient Syrian city was badly damaged by ISIS during the Islamist terror group's occupation of the UNESCO World Heritage site over two years from 2015. The State Hermitage Museum and the Institute of the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences have signed an agreement with Syria’s Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums (DGAM) pledging funding and expertise.
Much of the city's destruction was ideologically-led with ISIS propaganda videos released showing its fighters destroying icons and deliberately damaging ruins including the Temple of Bel, the Temple of Baalshamin, and the Arch of Triumph. In August 2015 Khaled al-Asaad, the archeologist who oversaw the first century ruins, was executed by the insurgent regime. In March 2017 the city was retaken by Syrian government forces with air cover provided by Russian fighter jets.
2 December 2019