The UN cultural agency’s chief said Friday she is alarmed by developments in Syria, where clashes with Islamic State militants are getting closer to the ancient city of Palmyra – one of the Middle East’s most famous UNESCO world heritage sites. Irina Bokova said Palmyra, famous for its 2,000-year-old ruins, should not become the target of any military activity. She spoke to reporters
in Beirut after meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam. Activist groups such as the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Coordination Committees said that Syrian government warplanes have been attacking positions of the Islamic State group on the eastern edge of Palmyra. There has also been fighting on the ground, the groups said.