Ancient city again at the mercy of ISIS vandals who had once been pushed out by a Russian-Syrian offensive
ISIS are nihilists who will blow up ancient heritage to grab headlines and draw attention to themselves as if they were more than a gang of sadistic saddos with teenage angst.
Nonetheless they are also the gang which took back the ancient town of Palmyra in Syria last month after they had lost it to a Syrian-Russian offensive earlier in the year.
When ISIS counter-attacked the Russians were long gone and did not participate in the fighting except via airstrikes. Also the vast cultural heritage in Palmyra is not Russian, it is Syrian.
Also there is precious little that any outsiders besides the Russians did to try and save the vast cultural treasure of Palmyra from ISIS destruction.
All that said the fact remains that Russia helped Syria take back Palmyra and celebrated and advertised that feat. But that later on ISIS ended up retaking the town, and is now again destroying its ancient monuments seemingly for no other reason than to rub its victory in the face of Assad, Russia and really the entire world.
Russia is no responsible for Palmyra's preservation. Nontheless that ISIS is now again able to unleash its vandalism against it is an embarrassment for it.
Actually with Palmyra back in ISIS hands there are precious few areas on the map one can point to Syrians since the Russian intervention have been able to take back from ISIS. All permanent Syrian-Russian victories have been against al-Qaeda-led rebels instead.
That said the fight against al-Qaeda-led rebels was really the more crucial fight which needed Russia more since a.) nobody else (except Iran) was fighting them, b.) they were recipients of huge outside support and c.) they threatened the very heart of Syria.