Syrian government forces have reached the edge of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra after driving back Daesh militants, the BBC quoted officials and activists as saying on Thursday.
Syria's state news agency said the army and allied militia had taken control of hills overlooking the city - a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Daesh seized the ruins of Palmyra and the adjoining modern town in May.
It subsequently destroyed two 2,000-year-old temples, an arch and funerary towers, drawing global outrage.
The jihadist group, which has also demolished several world-renowned pre-Islamic sites in neighboring Iraq, believes that such structures are idolatrous.
UNESCO, the UN's cultural agency, has condemned the destruction as a war crime.