Europe

Russian de-mining experts arrive in Syria

This photo released on Monday March 28, 2016, by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows some damage at the ancient ruins of Palmyra, central Syria. A Syrian antiquities official says demining experts have so far removed 150 bombs planted by the Islamic State group inside the archaeological site in the historic town of Palmyra. Syrian troops captured the town from IS fighters on Sunday after three weeks of intense fighting.(SANA via AP)

This photo released on Monday March 28, 2016, by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows some damage at the ancient ruins of Palmyra, central Syria. A Syrian antiquities official says demining experts have so far removed 150 bombs planted by the Islamic State group inside the archaeological site in the historic town of Palmyra. Syrian troops captured the town from IS fighters on Sunday after three weeks of intense fighting.(SANA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

The Russian defense ministry says Russian demining experts have arrived in Syria to start clearing mines in the ancient town of Palmyra.

The recent recapture of Palmyra by Syrian troops under the cover of Russian airstrikes was an important victory over Islamic State extremists who operated a 10-month reign of terror there.

Russia has pledged to help the Syrian government with clearing the archaeological sites of mines, and the defense ministry said in a statement on Thursday that the first demining group landed early Thursday at Russia's base in Syria. It was not immediately clear when the Russians would get to Palmyra.

The demining is expected to take several months.