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The UNESCO protected city of Palmyra has been taken by Syrian state forces and is back in the hands of Bashar al Assad. His forces, backed by Russian airstrikes, have inflicted the biggest defeat yet on the Islamic State group. As the media reports of Palmyra’s “liberation” some warn that while the world-famous Roman ruins may now be saved from further destruction, it does not signal the end of the bloodshed for the people. Has ousting Assad now been swept aside in the name of political expediency?

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