Syrian musicians play at the site of the damaged Roman amphitheatre in the ancient city of Palmyra in central Syria. AFP / Louai Beshara
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The 15-year-old's voice floats over the ancient Roman theater, heavily damaged then abandoned by Daesh Thursday as Russian-backed government forces drew near.Daesh first seized Palmyra in May 2015 and began to systematically destroy and loot the site's monuments and temples during a brutal 10-month reign.The militants then recaptured Palmyra in December, blowing up the tetrapylon monument and part of the theater.Palmyra's temples, colonnaded alleys and elaborately decorated tombs – some of the best-preserved classical monuments in the Middle East – attracted more than 150,000 tourists a year before Syria's conflict broke out.After a preliminary assessment, Hafyan said additional destruction is limited to the theater's front including an arched recess behind the stage, as well as the explosion of the tetrapylon. He broke down when he came across the theater and the tetrapylon, once a 16-columned structure that marked one end of Palmyra's colonnade.With international help and UNESCO's support, the engineer says, Palmyra can be restored.
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