Video footage has been released from inside the abandoned headquarters of Isis (Daesh) in Palmyra, after the Islamist militant group were driven out of the city by the Syrian Army on 27 March.
The video, released by a pro-Syrian government media channel on 29 March, shows the building that has been the centre of operations for Daesh in Palmyra ever since they initially seized the city in May 2015. The striking footage shows the clothes, documents and office equipment left behind by the jihadists as they fled the city, even showing the lockers and cabinets members of the group held in the building.
Palmyra is famed for its Greco-Roman monumental ruins and is one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world, according to Unesco. Daesh caused global outrage by demolishing two 2,000-year-old temples and other pre-Islamic sites after capturing the city in May 2015, and used its Roman theatre as a place to carry out executions.The jihadist group believes such structures are idolatrous.
The loss of Palmyra represents one of the biggest setbacks for the ultra-hardline Islamist group since it declared a caliphate in 2014 across large parts of Syria and Iraq.
The army general command said that its forces took over the city with support from Russian and Syrian air strikes, opening up the huge expanse of desert leading east to the Islamic State strongholds of Raqqa and Deir al-Zor.
Palmyra would become "a launchpad to expand military operations" against the group in those two provinces, it said, promising to "tighten the noose on the terrorist group and cut supply routes ... ahead of their complete recapture".