Syrian army retakes Palmyra from IS

Syria's military said it has fully recaptured the historic town of Palmyra from Islamic State for the second time in a year.

The army statement released on Thursday evening said that government forces are now in control of the town, following a series of military operations and with the help of Russian air cover and in co-operation with "allied and friendly troops" - shorthand for Lebanese Hezbollah fighters.

IS defences of the town had begun to erode on Sunday, with the government troops reaching Palmyra's outskirts on Tuesday.

This is the government's second campaign to retake the desert town.

It seized Palmyra from IS militants last March, only to lose it again 10 months later.

Before the civil war gripped Syria in 2011, Palmyra was a top tourist attraction, drawing tens of thousands of visitors each year.

Syrian forces take up positions during fighting between Government forces and Islamic State group militants in the ancient city of Palmyra yesterday. Pic: AP

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