Syria’s Palmyra can be restored ‘in five years’

The old citadel of Palmyra is pictured in the background after forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad recaptured the city, in Homs Governorate on March 27, 2016. (Photo courtesy: SANA)

Syria’s antiquities chief said on Monday that his department would need five years to restore the ancient ruins of Palmyra damaged by ISIS.

“If we have UNESCO’s approval, we will need five years to restore the structures damaged or destroyed by IS,” Maamoun Abdulkarim told AFP, using another name for the militants.

In addition to two historic temples razed by the group just months after taking Palmyra from the regime in May, Syrian state TV aired footage showing damage to the city’s historic castle it said were “deliberate acts of demolition” by ISIS.

The Syria army’s retaking of Palmyra on Sunday has been hailed by President Bashar al-Assad and two of his key allies, Russia and Iran.

Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad walk with their weapons in Palmyra city after they recaptured it, in Homs Governorate on March 27, 2016. (Photo courtesy: SANA)

Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad walk with their weapons in Palmyra city after they recaptured it, in Homs Governorate on March 27, 2016. (Photo courtesy: SANA)

Iran on Monday vowed to continue to support the government of President Bashar al-Assad to fight “terrorism”, media reported.

Ali Shamkhani, secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, sent a message to Assad to congratulate him on Sunday’s “admirable and honourable” win over ISIS.

Iran’s government and its armed forces “will continue to provide Syria with their full support” against the militants, Shamkhani said, according to the official news agency IRNA.

Iran provides financial and military support to Assad through its elite Revolutionary Guards, notably sending “military advisers” and “volunteers” to fight alongside the Syrian army.

Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad flash victory signs while riding on the back of a military truck in Palmyra city, in Homs Governorate on March 27, 2016. (Photo courtesy: SANA)

Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad flash victory signs while riding on the back of a military truck in Palmyra city, in Homs Governorate on March 27, 2016. (Photo courtesy: SANA)

Guards chief Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari said “the situation in Syria is very good” after the recapture of Palmyra, Fars news agency reported.

Foreign ministry spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari also lauded Syria’s victory and said that Tehran will continue to back the Assad regime and other governments battling extremism.

“Iran’s support continues for the fight against terrorism in Syria, Iraq and countries exposed to this threat,” Ansari told Iran’s Arabic-language Al-Alam television.

“Syria will march forward strongly in the fight against terrorism and the terrorists definitely won’t have a place in the future of the region,” he added.

Syrian troops ousted the  militants from the ancient city on Sunday almost a year after they had seized it.


(With AFP)
 

SHOW MORE
Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:50 - GMT 06:50
Top