The historic city center of Aleppo has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1986, but Director of Aleppo's Department of Antiquities Khaled al-Masri told Sputnik that the organization is among those that have failed to deliver on their pledge to help local authorities restore ancient neighborhoods destroyed during the Syrian conflict.
"Representatives of numerous international communities and many organizations, with UNESCO being the most prominent one, came to us. However, they have not provided any assistance thus far," he said, adding that these organizations have failed to meet their commitments.
Khaled al-Masri also mentioned that UNESCO held a meeting in Beirut, with issues relating to restoring the Old City of Aleppo on the agenda. The event "was aimed at reviewing the situation in the historic city center, assessing risks and going through opportunities for assistance on the part of international organizations" he detailed.
The official urged UNESCO to encourage state and private organizations responsible for Syrian artefacts to make every effort to help the Department of Antiquities in its work. He also said that the department "has nearly finished assessing the damage inflicted" on the ancient city of Aleppo.
For its part, UNESCO said that it "remains fully engaged with Syrian antiquities officials and all its partners" when it comes to preserving Syrian heritage, indicating that this process will last for a long period of time. "The situation requires extreme vigilance and constant international cooperation at the highest level for the coming decades," the UN agency said in a press release.
Numerous ancient buildings and quarters in the Old City of Aleppo were ruined between 2012 until late 2016 when the city was partially controlled by foreign-sponsored radical armed groups fighting against President Bashar al-Assad. The Syrian Arab Army, assisted by Russia, Iran and its local allies, liberated the key city in December.
The list of heritage sites that were damaged or destroyed in Aleppo in the last five years include al-Madina Souq, the largest covered historic market in the world, the Great Mosque of Aleppo and the Citadel, deemed to be one of the oldest and largest castles in the world.
The fact of registration and authorization of users on Sputnik websites via users’ account or accounts on social networks indicates acceptance of these rules.
Users are obliged abide by national and international laws. Users are obliged to speak respectfully to the other participants in the discussion, readers and individuals referenced in the posts.
The websites’ administration has the right to delete comments made in languages other than the language of the majority of the websites’ content.
In all language versions of the sputniknews.com websites any comments posted can be edited.
A user comment will be deleted if it:
does not correspond with the subject of the post;
promotes hatred and discrimination on racial, ethnic, sexual, religious or social basis or violates the rights of minorities;
violates the rights of minors, causing them harm in any form, including moral damage;
contains ideas of extremist nature or calls for other illegal activities;
contains insults, threats to other users, individuals or specific organizations, denigrates dignity or undermines business reputations;
contains insults or messages expressing disrespect to Sputnik;
violates privacy, distributes personal data of third parties without their consent or violates privacy of correspondence;
describes or references scenes of violence, cruelty to animals;
contains information about methods of suicide, incites to commit suicide;
pursues commercial objectives, contains improper advertising, unlawful political advertisement or links to other online resources containing such information;
promotes products or services of third parties without proper authorization;
contains offensive language or profanity and its derivatives, as well as hints of the use of lexical items falling within this definition;
contains spam, advertises spamming, mass mailing services and promotes get-rich-quick schemes;
promotes the use of narcotic / psychotropic substances, provides information on their production and use;
contains links to viruses and malicious software;
is part of an organized action involving large volumes of comments with identical or similar content ("flash mob");
“floods” the discussion thread with a large number of incoherent or irrelevant messages;
violates etiquette, exhibiting any form of aggressive, humiliating or abusive behavior ("trolling");
doesn’t follow standard rules of the English language, for example, is typed fully or mostly in capital letters or isn’t broken down into sentences.
The administration has the right to block a user’s access to the page or delete a user’s account without notice if the user is in violation of these rules or if behavior indicating said violation is detected.