Syrian forces entered the ancient city of Palmyra on Thurday, after months of control by ISIS fighters. “We might witness in the next 48 hours an overwhelming victory in Palmyra,” Gov. Talal Barazi told reporters, adding that “the army is advancing in a precise and organized way to protect what is possible of monuments and archaeological sites.” A victory would put an end to the stream of graphic photos of the destruction of Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, that have shocked the world. Also Thursday, an Iraqi spokesman said the Iraqi army, backed by U.S.-led coalition aircraft, had begun an operation to retake the city of Mosul from ISIS control. A spokesman for the Joint Military Command, Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool, said Iraqi troops have retaken several villages outside of the town of Makhmour early Thursday, hoisting the Iraqi flag as a symbol.