The Syrian Arab Army and its allies have taken the Palmyra ruins and Tadmor city next to them from the Islamic State. To the chagrin of the U.S. State Department (vid), the Islamic State occupiers pulled back into the eastern desert after losing some 500 men.
The Syrian government can now use the air base in Palmyra and from there regain control of the eastern desert country up to Deir Ezzor and the Syrian/Iraqi border in the east and towards the Jordan border in the south.
Syrian troops recaptured the ancient city of Palmyra from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant on Sunday and pledged to build on the win with an advance against other jihadist strongholds. President Bashar al-Assad hailed the victory as an "important achievement" as his Russian counterpart and key backer Vladimir Putin congratulated Damascus for retaking the UNESCO world heritage site.
These are some of the first pictures to be seen from inside the city after the recapture: