BEIRUT – Islamic State has planted mines and bombs in the ancient part of the central Syrian city of Palmyra, home to Roman-era ruins, a group monitoring the war said on Sunday.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it was not immediately clear whether the group was preparing to destroy the ancient ruins or planted the mines to deter government forces from advancing towards the city, also known as Tadmur. “They have planted it yesterday. They also planted some around the Roman theatre, we still do not know the real reason,” Rami Abdulrahman, the head of the Observatory, told Reuters. Maamoun Abdulkarim, Syria’s head of antiquities, told Reuters that the reports of Islamic State planting bombs in Palmyra “seems true”. “The city is a hostage in their hands, the situation is dangerous.”