Russian military are building a new military base in Palmyra, reports AP. The Agency refers to these Initiatives for the protection of cultural heritage at the American school of Oriental research, according to which the base is located in the protective area of the archaeological monument under UNESCO protection.
On the organization’s website published photos of the American company DigitalGlobe, which distributes satellite data. They are traces of the construction work, which, according to the company, are manufactured on the outskirts of the archaeological site. The site also has photos of the opposition “coordinating Committee of the Palmyra,” and news agencies, which, they claim, shows a Russian military base in Palmyra.
The head of the Syrian Directorate General of antiquities and museums Maamoun Abulkasim AP confirmed that the Russian military erected a small barracks complex, including control centers and medical facilities. According to him, construction permits his office has not given. He stressed that he would not give such approval, neither the Syrian nor Russian army, as “that would be a violation of the law on archaeology”.
Abdulkarim at the same time stated that the presence of the Russian and the Syrian military is a guarantee that the ruins of the ancient city remain in the hands of government, since terrorists from ISIS (the group “Islamic state” banned in Russia) are still far from Palmyra.
“During the war, the archaeological authorities sometimes do not give the words, as decisions are dictated by security reasons,” explained Abdulkarim by phone from Damascus. He added that “when the situation will improve and peace will be established, then we publically demand to remove the” barracks.
Opposition activist from Palmyra Osama al-Khatib, currently living in Turkey, told AP that the Russian military set of prefabricated buildings and tents on the Northern edge of the archaeological site next to the historic graves. He noted that the base is located a few hundred meters from the ancient temples and triumphal arches.
Syrian troops liberated the captured terrorists from ISIS Palmyra in March with the support of Russian aviation. Mine-the city and the archaeological site was carried out by Russian sappers, who found and destroyed a large Arsenal left by the militants.
ISIS captured Palmyra in the summer of 2015. Terrorists have destroyed churches and Bela Balsamina, and a triumphal arch erected by the Roman Emperor Septimius North at the turn of the II—III centuries of our era.
asked the defense Ministry to comment on reports about the appearance of Russian bases in Palmyra.
Russian armed forces are engaged in operation against terrorists in Syria from 30 September 2015. In March began the withdrawal of most Russian forces from the country in connection. “I think the tasks set before the Ministry of defence, has generally been implemented”, — said the President of Russia Vladimir Putin, in announcing the withdrawal of troops. According to him, the locations in the port of Tartous on the base Hamim “will function in a former mode”.