Western response to liberation of Palmyra is,putting it mildly, schizophrenic
As I have pointed out some parts of the media (like the Guardian) cannot even bear to admit its happening. Other parts (like the Telegraph, below) report it from the point-of-view of ISIS.
Watch the body language of the guy from the State Department.
When I went to search for videos on You Tube there was a big round ZERO from western media - RT, Russian and Syrian media, Press TV is all you'l find.
The reported victory comes after fierce fighting over the historic town, which fell under Islamic State control in May last year
Syrian government troops have defeated Islamic State militants to recapture the citadel in the town of Palmyra, according to Syrian state media.
State television quoted a military source as saying: "Our armed forces, in co-ordination with the popular defence forces, have taken control of the ancient Palmyra citadel after inflicting many losses in the ranks of the terrorist group Daesh."
The same report said the army has also cut off the main Palmyra-Deir Ezzor highway leading to the Iraqi border.
Earlier on Friday, the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency had quoted an unnamed military source as saying that a government army unit, in co-operation with the "popular defence groups", had established control over the Syriatel hill, near Palmyra Castle.
Several other hills around the town have also been captured by the government forces.
Monumental Arch in the historical city of PalmyraPlay video "2000-Year-Old Arch Destroyed By IS"
A Syrian military source was quoted by AFP as saying the army had entered Palmyra from the northwest after taking control of part of the Valley of the Tombs.
"The clashes - which are ongoing - are fierce," he said.
Russian aircraft have continued to support the Syrian military in the area despite Moscow pulling some of its forces out of the country.
And Russia's Interfax news agency reported a Russian special forces soldier was killed near Palmyra last week.
The town is the site of UNESCO-listed temples and relics that dated back thousands of years but many of these have been blown up or damaged by IS since it took over in May.
Only about 15,000 civilians remain - from an original population of 70,000. IS urged them on Thursday to flee in advance of the battle.
The recapture of the town would be a major symbolic victory for Syrian president Bashar al Assad.
It would also be strategically helpful as whoever holds the town also controls the vast desert that stretches from central Syria to its border with Iraq.
For those dedicated to the town's historic value, however, the possible victory raises hopes that some of its monuments can be rebuilt.
Syria’s antiquities chief Maamoun Abdel-Karim is one of these people and he spoke during an interview as the Syrian government forces approached the town, saying: "We are determined to bring Palmyra back to life.
"Palmyra is not just Syria’s heritage - it is the world’s heritage and must be shared."
As the army captured the citadel, he said they were also 600 metres from the famous Temple of Bel, but advancing slowly because of mines in the area.
Sky's Diplomatic Editor Dominic Waghorn said that, despite news of the citadel, he had not seen pictures from the centre of the town itself, adding that recapturing the entire town would be "a major strategic blow" for IS, which has lost up to 40% of the territory it had last year.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State John Kerry has agreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin to work towards a political settlement in Syria, but the future of Mr Assad, who is backed by Moscow, remains an obstacle.
There are fears the Syrian opposition could pull out of peace talks in Geneva unless Mr Assad agrees to step down.
UN envoy Staffan de Mistura said he was aiming to restart talks on 9 April.
Islamic State grapples with Assad regime in Palmyra as Iraq begins Mosul offensive
Syrian regime forces advanced into the ancient desert city of Palmyra as Iraqi troops begin what will likely be a long and complex operation to retake country's second largest city
24 March, 2016
Isil was under pressure on two fronts last night as Syrian regime forces fought towards the heart of Palmyra and Iraq's military began its long-awaited attempt to retake Mosul.