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ISIS Has Taken Control of Part of an Ancient Syrian Town

After a series of “heavy clashes” with government forces in Syria, ISIS militants have reportedly seized as much as a third of the Syrian town of Palmyra. Palmyra, situated in central part of the country, is a known for its ancient ruins, which are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Thousands of years ago, Palmyra was an important caravan stop for travelers. According to UNESCO, “From the 1st to the 2nd century, the art and architecture of Palmyra, standing at the crossroads of several civilizations, married Graeco-Roman techniques with local traditions and Persian influences.” ISIS has been known to destroy ancient artifacts and historical sites as part of the group’s goal to create a unified Muslim caliphate in Iraq and Syria. Just a few days ago, ISIS militants took control of Ramadi—the capital city of Anbar province in Iraq—displacing thousands of civilians. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Syrian government forces are still fighting ISIS for control of the rest of Palmyra …

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