In Iraq, the Islamic State Jihadists, have taken control of the headquarters in central Ramadi, the capital of the western province of al Anbar, which marks another victory of the Caliphate in a region which alone covers about one-third of the total area of the country. Meanwhile in Syria, where the Jihadists have arrived at the gates of the ancient city of Palmyra, the army has launched an offensive in an attempt to repel the Islamic State combats. “Isis is now less than a kilometre away from Palmyra,” said Rami Abdel Rahmane, Director of the Syrian Observatory for human rights. “The regime has sent reinforcements to the town and the air force bombed the outskirts of Tadmor”, the Arabic name for the city.
On Thursday, during the advance of the terrorists into the archaeological site, ten Syrian soldiers were executed. “If Palmira falls in the hands of the Jihadists, it would be an international catastrophe,” said Maamoun Al Kawari, the Director of Antiquities, emphasising the universal value of the site. Built at the foot of the Euphrates in the 3rd millennium BC, it was initially called Tamdor (literally ‘ palm ‘); in the Bible in the book of Chronicles it is mentioned as a desert city built by Solomon. The site is also famous for its Roman jewels such as via Colonnata, the Arch of Septimius Severus and the baths of Diocletian.
Translation by Marina Stronati