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Russian fighter jets strike Daesh positions in Syria’s Palmyra

Russian bomber aircraft have targeted the positions of Daesh terrorists near the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra in the central province of Homs.

“Su-25 jets hit a fortified IS position in the Tadmur area of Homs province,” Russian Defense Ministry said in a Monday statement, using another acronym for Daesh and the Arabic name for Palmyra.

“As a result of a direct strike, a fortification, an underground bunker and anti-aircraft artillery were destroyed,” the statement added.

The ministry has recently reported a number of attacks on Daesh positions near Palmyra, always insisting that the airstrikes are carried out without causing damage to the historic site.

Moscow began an aerial military campaign against Daesh and other terrorist groups in Syria in late September upon a request from the Damascus government.

The Daesh Takfiri group, which controls parts of Syria and neighboring Iraq, overran Palmyra in May. Since then, the terrorists have blown up a number of temples and mined other monuments.

The whole city of Palmyra has been listed as a world heritage site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) since 1980.

A file picture taken on March 14, 2014 shows the famous Arch of Triumph (front) and a partial view of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra. (AFP)

Daesh extremists have ransacked and demolished several ancient sites, shrines, and manuscripts as well as mosques in Syria and Iraq.

Gruesome violence and the destruction of priceless artifacts have become hallmarks of the group.

UN envoy in Syria

On Sunday, UN Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura met Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem in the capital Damascus to discuss international talks held on the Syrian crisis in the Austrian capital Vienna on October 30.

De Mistura also called for the involvement of all belligerent sides in the process of finding a solution to the conflict.

The UN envoy further said he was trying to establish working groups in Syria which can help with curbing the violence.

The Syrian foreign minister, for his part, said the country is ready to cooperate with the UN in the fight against terrorism and the establishment of dialogue between the government and the opposition.

His remarks came two days after foreign ministers from 17 countries attended the Vienna talks in a bid to come up with a solution to over four years of conflict in Syria.

Representatives from Iran, the United States, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Italy, Egypt, Russia, Jordan, Britain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Lebanon, China and Oman participated in the negotiations. Envoys from the UN and the European Union were also present at the meeting.

The participants agreed on respecting Syria’s unity and sovereignty. However, they remained at loggerheads over the role President Bashar al-Assad would play in Syria’s political process.

The foreign-backed militancy in Syria, which flared in March 2011, has so far claimed the lives of over 250,000 people and displaced nearly half of the country’s population within or out of its borders.

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