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 Syrian army is in full control of the highway from Damascus to ancient Palmyra for the first time since 2014 after driving out extremits, a monitor said on Friday.Since troops recaptured Palmyra from ISIS in March, the UNESCO World Heritage site had been accessible via Syria's third city Homs, about 150 kilometres (95 miles) to the west.According to geography expert Fabrice Balanche, Syria's government is steadily chipping away at IS territory and now controls 46 percent of the country, compared with 36 percent in March.Kurdish forces and ISIS each control 21 percent of Syrian territory, with rebels left with just 12 percent, according to Balanche.
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