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    UN found a total of 290 locations inside 18 Syrian cultural heritage areas to have been directly affected during the last three years

    Almost 300 Syrian Cultural Heritage Locations Damaged by Civil War: UN

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    Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises (1881)
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    According to a report released by the UN Institute for Training and Research, 24 cultural heritage locations in Syria were completely destroyed and 104 others severely damaged in the course of the ongoing civil war.

    MOSCOW, December 23 (Sputnik) — A total of 290 cultural heritage sites have become casualties of the ongoing Syrian civil war, due to looting and aerial bombardment, the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) said in a report published Tuesday.

    "UNITAR-UNOSAT [UN Operational Satellite Applications Programme] found a total of 290 locations inside these 18 [cultural heritage areas] to have been directly affected during the last three years," the UN agency said in the paper.

    The report specified that in the 18 large cultural heritage areas, 24 locations were completely destroyed and 104 severely damaged.

    The damaged locations included UNESCO World Heritage properties such over 7,000 year-old buildings in Aleppo, the report stated. Another site in danger is the Crac des Chevaliers, one of the most famous medieval castles in the world. Sites and antiquities in the northern city of Raqqa are also at risk.

    According to the UN report, the war has also rendered impossible traditional methods of gathering information from archaeological sites in the country, leaving satellite imagery as the only other option. "Few independent experts have access to these areas due to ongoing fighting," the report stated.

    Syria's civil war started as anti-government protests in the wake of the Arab Spring in 2011. The government forces are currently fighting a number of militias, including the Islamic State (IS) extremist group. The extremists have seized vast areas across the country, and proclaimed an Islamic caliphate on the territories under its control. Raqqa is one of the heritage-rich cities de-facto controlled by IS.

    Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises (1881)


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