The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors developments in the Syrian war , said 26 Islamic State members died in Russian airstrikes in Palmyra and other areas of the central Syrian desert in recent days. Mourners carrying the coffins of Syrian army soldiers in the city of Homs. Islamic State claimed responsibility for a Dec. 30 attack that killed nearly 40 soldiers in Syria. Photo: SANA/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images Islamic State in 2015 captured the ruins of the ancient city of Palmyra and destroyed a series of Roman temples, tombs and other objects. Backed by Russian airstrikes, the Syrian government retook the ruins in 2016. The airstrikes came after Islamic State claimed to have killed two Russian soldiers who attempted to land in a helicopter in Syria‚Äôs Homs province. From hide-outs in the desert in central and eastern Syria, Islamic State militants over the past year have extended their […]