Monday, March 28, 2016
The Recapture of Palmyra and the Lion of Al-Lat
It seems like the war in Syria has been going on forever. More than 250,000 people have been killed.
And hundreds of thousands of others have been forced to flee their homes, and become refugees.
But now at last the war on ISIS in that shattered country is showing some signs of progress, and this is a big victory.
Syrian government forces backed by Russian air strikes battled Islamic State insurgents around Palmyra on Monday, trying to extend their gains after taking back control of a city whose ancient temples were dynamited by the ultra-radical militants.
The loss of Palmyra on Sunday amounts to one of the biggest setbacks for the jihadist group since it declared a caliphate in 2014 across large parts of Syria and Iraq.
Not just because the ISIS crazies have been driven out of a strategic area.
But also because it's a world heritage city and although great damage has been done, some of its most celebrated ruins are still standing.
As you can see in this drone video.
So although some will say it is a hollow victory.
And that the people who live there are only having one oppressor replaced with another.
The fact is the Syrians and the Russians seem to be achieving more in Syria, than the U.S. and its mighty coalition appear to be achieving in Iraq.
Saving the city known as the Venice of the Sands from further mindless destruction is something to celebrate.
And among the treasures saved is the ancient Lion of al-Lat,
Which is thought to have been destroyed.
But is apparently still standing...
Slightly damaged, but easily repairable.
One can only wonder what it might say if it could speak, after witnessing two thousand years of human folly.
But thank goodness the old lion survived. For it is a treasure of humanity.
And it belongs to all of us...
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