Palmyra is an ancient Semitic city located 205 km northeast of Damascus, the present Syrian capital. It is now in the Homs Governorate in Syria. Palmyra was first chronicled in the early second millennium BCE. It is dated to the Neolithic period as per archaeological findings. The city was governed by different empires and in the first century AD, it came under the reign of the Roman Empire.
Palmyra is an oasis surrounded by palms of which there are 20 varieties. It is overlooked by 2 mountain ranges namely, the Northern Palmyrene mountain belt towards the north and by the Southern Palmyrene mountain belt in the southwest. In the south and east, the ancient city is bordered by the Syrian Desert. In March 2017, Palmyra fell to the ISIS forces who destroyed many ancient ruins and heritage sites.