"My heart starts pounding faster and faster as the car speeds up. We’re barreling through the desert on our way to Palmyra, the ancient oasis city that had been ruled by the Islamic State group for nearly ten months", writes AFP reporter Maher al-Mounes.
"That morning, my sources had confirmed the Syrian army’s full capture of the city and adjacent 2,000-year-old ruins. The news had spread to every inch of the world and AFP was about to be the first foreign media to report from Palmyra. I was brimming with pride and joy because I got to wake up the Syrian people on March 27, 2016, with news that so many people would be happy to hear. I am fielding phone calls from the Beirut bureau and from my Syrian friends who had fled to Germany, Norway, Lebanon, and Turkey. They all want to know“.