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ISIS fighters advanced to the gates of ancient Palmyra Thursday, raising fears the Syrian World Heritage Site could face destruction of the kind the jihadis have already wreaked in Iraq.Syria's head of antiquities made an appeal for international action earlier Thursday, saying ISIS was less than 2 kilometers from the remains of one of the most important cultural centers of the ancient world.The army lost 70 men, including six officers. ISIS lost 55 men, including two commanders, one of them the leader of the offensive. The Observatory said that the regime is continuing to suffer significant casualties in Idlib province, where several battles are raging between the two sides.The commander of the regime's Special Forces unit, Lt. Gen. Mohieddine Mansour, was killed in the Jisr al-Shughur battles, the Observatory said, adding that Wednesday's nationwide death toll of 287 people was the second highest of the year – regime troops and paramilitaries accounted for 128 of the fatalities.
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