Liberated Palmyra: a photo essay by Prof. Tim Anderson

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“Palmyra’s citadel. The Syrian Army and Russian air power made great efforts to avoid historic sites, but the citadel did suffer some damage in the fierce fighting,, as DAESH tried to seize that higher ground.” -Professor Tim Anderson

April 16, 2016, Professor Tim Anderson

[see: Why Palmyra, Recently Liberated, Is a Historical Treasure]

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“We were one of several busloads of journalists and writers who got a Syrian Army escort to Palmyra (Tadmur) in the past ten days, our trip was on 14 April 2016.”

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Our army escort.

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“Soldier and tank, on the road between Homs city and Palmyra.”

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One of many destroyed vehicles on the western side of Palmyra. DAESH would send suicide bombers to the army posts, in vehicles packed with furniture, refrigerators etc, to pretend they were fleeing civilians.

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Mountains 20km north of Palmyra, where ISIS/DAESH are still hiding.”

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Army checkpoints are everywhere.

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Syrian soldiers, risking their lives to defend their country, against murderous, western-backed fanatics.

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Soldier at a checkpoint, not high-tech, just dedication.

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A Syrian general briefed us on the seizure of Palmyra in May last year, and its liberation on 27 March 2016. With US, Saudi, Israeli and Turkish supplies, they came in from Raqqa, Deir eZorr, western Iraq and also Homs.

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At this time, although about 2,000 people have returned to their homes in the former city of 100,000, Palmyra is mainly occupied by Syrian security forces and some Russian forces, especially those engaged in anti-mining.

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This fountain was converted into a public execution site by DAESH, funded and armed by the US and its close allies, Saudis, Turkey, Qatar and Israel.

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Victims (unbelievers or pro-government people) were crucified and then decapitated, hung upside down so that their blood drained into this metal an wire contraption, which still bears the DAESH flag, in metallic form.

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A row of craters from exploded mines, left by DAESH throughout Palmyra.

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The bizarre execution cage, with the citadel in the background. DAESH graffiti elsewhere boasts ‘we have come to slaughter’.”

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A bucket which had been filled with explosives, as one of many types of improvised mine, to booby-trap the entire city and the historic areas.

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Wherever there was a statue with a head, DAESH removed or damaged the head.

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Journalists looking at the destruction, near the museum.

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The museum, which was thoroughly vandalised.”

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Palmyra at the time of our visit was being cleaned up, of mines and debris. — with Reme Sakr.

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Our guide explaining damage in and around the museum.

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Vandalism at the museum is being documented.

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Another street scene.

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Russian armoured vehicles block off the historic areas, as de-mining goes on. It was open to journalists several days back, but many new mines were found and it was closed again.

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The kilometre long Great Colonnade, in the distance. Most of these columns date from the second century AD.

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Citadel and ruined buildings below.

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Reme Sakr , happy to see the Russian presence – anti-mining soldiers behind her.”

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Journalists at the armoured vehicle which currently blocks access to the historic areas, previously a great tourist attraction.

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Tim and Reme at the entrance to the historic site area.

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Just after a group photo.

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As this journalist was having his story filmed, two mines were detonated in the city behind him. See the two columns of smoke on the right. We heard about 30 such explosions in two hours, after we had been told that Syrian and Russian forces had already defused or exploded over 3,000 mines in the previous 18 days. The de-mining process is ongoing, with tremendous Russian assistance.

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Syrian soldier.”

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The English on these three columns, at the entrance to the historic site, say: ‘Thank you for your visit’.

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Cleanup is underway, but reconstruction will take some time. The surviving western-backed, saudi-mentality zombies left great destruction, damaging the city’s water supply and stealing hospital and all manner of other equipment, before retreating in their US Hummers to Raqqa.

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Landscape around Palmyra.”

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The citadel.”

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Heading back west, to Homs. DAESH mercenaries still lurk in these mountains, 20km north of Palmyra.

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Mountains to the north of Palmyra still hold small DAESH groups, who move at night.

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Intel-communications centre, between Homs and Palmyra.”

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Syrian comms surveillance.

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Wheat fields east of Homs.

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5 comments

  1. Thanks for this post!!! These pics are so much more telling than just reading/hearing peoples’ opinions. Photos with descriptions and details have added a greater understanding of the true extent of destruction and the bravery of SAA once again 🙂

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