Son begins quest to bury Islamic State-slain Khaled al-Assaad known as ‘father of Palmyra’

The son of a Syrian archeologist who was beheaded by Islamic State group jihadists in ancient Palmyra is on a mission to give his father a "dignified" burial near the world heritage site. Khaled al-Assaad, known as "the father of Palmyra", was 82 years old when IS fighters executed him on August 18, 2015, three months after the group overran the city known as the "Pearl of the desert". Syrian troops backed by Russian forces recaptured Palmyra on Sunday, after a fierce offensive to rescue the city from jihadists who view the UNESCO-listed site's magnificent ruins as idolatrous. "The jihadists beheaded him and they placed his head on the ground, underneath his body, which hung from an electric pole in the main square of Palmyra," 35-year-old Tareq Khaled al-Assaad told AFP at a museum in Damascus. "Someone took his head and buried it, while two men rescued the body and buried it somewhere else. Our goal is to bring the head and the body

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