In an surprising development for war-torn Syria, Russia’s famous Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, is giving a concert on Thursday on the stage of Palmyra’s world-famous amphitheater, which until recently was under ISIS control and parts of which had been destroyed.
The orchestra, conducted by world-famous conductor Valery Gergiev, is holding a “Pray for Palmyra. Music Revives Ancient Ruins” concert on the stage of Palmyra’s historic amphitheater. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday during a videoconference with Syria’s city of Palmyra, liberated from Daesh terrorists, that the concert of Russia’s Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra in the historic city is a gratitude to everyone fighting against terrorism.
As reported previously, the Syrian armed forces, backed by militias and Russian forces, recaptured Palmyra from ISIS on March 27, nearly a year after terrorists had taken hold of the city and destroyed much of the UNESCO World Heritage Site’s artifacts. According to preliminary estimates, some 20 percent of ancient Palmyra was destroyed, while many exhibits were looted from museums. It could take around five years to restore the city.
Back in May, ISIS seized the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, a UNESCO world heritage site.
The world immediately began to panic at the prospect of the city’s destruction at the hands of Islamic State. Since then, there have been various reports which indicate ISIS has in fact decimated a few treasures of antiquity and indeed, some of that destruction reportedly involved tying prisoners to ancient columns and then subsequently blowing them up (that “intelligence” comes from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights so one should take it with a grain of salt).
(an image purporting to show the destruction of ancient ruins)
Palmyra is but one key city the Assad regime and its Russian and Iranian allies are attempting to retake. Others include Aleppo, where Hezbollah and IRGC forces are fighting under cover of Moscow’s warplanes to wrest control from a hodgepodge of rebels and militants. Continue reading »
The serious possibility of a nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 is only a few weeks away – on June 30.
So guess what the terminally paranoid House of Saud is up to: Lay their hands on a nuclear bomb to counteract the non-existent “Iranian bomb”, which Tehran, via Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, has consistently abhorred as un-Islamic, and wouldn’t have it anyway because of stringent inspections bound to be part of the final nuclear deal.
The proverbial “former Pentagon official” has leaked to a Rupert Murdoch paper that the House of Saud is bound to buy a ready-made nuclear bomb from Pakistan. The choice of media already offers a clue; Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is one of News Corporation’s leading shareholders.
The “why now?” concerning the leak is pretty obvious. Yet the whodunit is hazier territory. Continue reading »