The Russian military is constructing a new army base in the central Syrian town of Palmyra, within the protected zone that holds the archaeological site listed by UNESCO as a world heritage site and without asking for permission from relevant authorities, an American heritage organization and a top Syrian archaeologist said Tuesday.
The American School of Oriental Research’s Cultural Heritage Initiative posted pictures from the satellite imagery and analytics company DigitalGlobe that show the construction on the edge of the ancient site that was damaged by the Islamic State group, which held Palmyra for 10 months.
Syrian troops backed by Russian airstrikes captured Palmyra in March and fighting continues miles away until this day.
Russian demining experts have detonated hundreds of bombs left behind by the extremists at and near the site since the town was captured. A top Syrian archaeologist said the presence of Syrian and Russian troops in Palmyra is important to prevent ISIS from coming back.
Maamoun Abdulkarim, head of the Antiquities and Museums Department in Damascus, told The Associated Press that the Russians are building small barracks that includes offices and clinics.
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Image courtesy of AP
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