Cultural Heritage Sites Suffer Damages from Ongoing War in Syria - UN

World | December 23, 2014, Tuesday // 21:02|  views

Local residents watching smoke from an explosion rising over the Syrian city of Kobane. Photo: EPA

The United Nations (UN( revealed on Tuesday the scale of destruction cultural heritage sites have suffered due to the ongoing war in Syria.

The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) issued a report, following detailed analysis of satellite images of cultural heritage sites in Syria.

The document reveals the large-scale destruction of cultural heritage sites, including UNESCO World Heritage Properties, that has been caused by the ravaging war.

Areas such as Aleppo, where settlements have existed for more than 7000 years, Damascus, Crac des Chevaliers, Raqqa and Palmyra have all suffered major damages.

The causes of destruction include looting, aerial bombardment, other explosions and construction of infrastructure at cultural heritage sites.

The damage has been carried by all the parties to the conflict – supporters of President Bashar al-Assad, anti-government rebels, jihadists from Islamic State (IS) and even desperate residents.

The preservation of the cultural heritage sites for future generations has been severely threatened.

The number of cultural heritage areas that were studied using satellite images was 18, with UNITAR finding 290 locations within these areas that were directly affected in the past three years.

According to the report, 24 sites have been destroyed, 104 were severely damaged, 85 were moderately damaged, while 77 were possibly damaged.

UNITAR has called for the increase of national and international efforts on the protection of Syria's vast cultural heritage.

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Tags: Syria, UN, UNITAR, UNESCO, satellite image, cultural heritage sites, war, conflict, Destruction, damage, IS


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