The sad state of Palmyra: victim of Syrian civil war

#1
Really heartbreaking when I saw the news, especially the video

Syria's ancient city of Palmyra on brink of destruction - Alarabiya.net English | Front Page

Syria's ancient city of Palmyra on brink of destruction

As the Syrian crisis enters its third year, an end to the violence in the country is nowhere to be seen. The world has become accustomed to rising death tolls and reports of shelling and destruction. However, another threat looms in Syria, and this time it is targeting its cultural heritage.
Palmyra, one of the oldest cities in the country, has been subjected to intermittent shelling by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.
The ruins of the city, which is one of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites, date back thousands of years. “Bombs and rockets come in all directions,” eyewitnesses said.
Assad forces have struck the Roman Temple of Bel – built in 43 A.C. – and damaged its northern wall, eyewitnesses said, adding portions and stones of the wall have been destroyed.
The Fakhreddine II citadel, Al-Basateen and the Monumental Arch, under which Romans’ Queen Zenobia’s celebrations took place, have also suffered their fair share of destruction.
According to the eyewitnesses, priceless sculptures and statues had been stolen from the ancient city’s museum.
Meanwhile, Palmyra, swarming with tanks, no longer hosts tourists. Its hotels, once full of curious visitors, are now empty only to harbor soldiers on their roofs.
In early March, one of the oldest Synagogues in the worlds was destroyed by regime forces in the Damascus district of Jobar.
Syria’s civil war has caused damage to six World Heritage sites in the country with shelling and open fire between opposition fighters and the regime forces. Numerous historic buildings, archaeological sites and residential areas are being left in ruins.
On 30 March 2012, UNESCO called for the protection of Syria’s cultural heritage sites and expressed “grave concern about possible damage to precious sites.”
 
Mar 2011
845
#2
Thankfully, there are lots of trustworthy jihadists there to safeguard this pagan heritage from the Syrian government. Irony aside, I remember a video from last year with a group of men chanting anti-Assad slogans from within the premises of Krak des Chevaliers. The only reason I can think of someone doing something like that would be to use a historical monument as a shelter against government forces, knowing that government forces would have to think twice before responding to any fire from such a location. I think that a considerable number of opposition fighters, especially foreign mercenaries, would love to see some old pagan Roman temples or Christian crusader castles being destroyed in the process of fighting Assad, and Assad getting all the international blame for it. Or maybe I'm just being overly cynical here?
 
Jan 2010
1,012
Cali
#3
Thankfully, there are lots of trustworthy jihadists there to safeguard this pagan heritage from the Syrian government. Irony aside, I remember a video from last year with a group of men chanting anti-Assad slogans from within the premises of Krak des Chevaliers. The only reason I can think of someone doing something like that would be to use a historical monument as a shelter against government forces, knowing that government forces would have to think twice before responding to any fire from such a location. I think that a considerable number of opposition fighters, especially foreign mercenaries, would love to see some old pagan Roman temples or Christian crusader castles being destroyed in the process of fighting Assad, and Assad getting all the international blame for it. Or maybe I'm just being overly cynical here?
i think it is safe to say that assad has done enough to attract international blame(not that it means anything) and destroying these sites would be the least of those reasons . also i don't think the fighters or islamists or mujahedeens whatever you want to name them are looking to destroy pagan sites, some might not care but i doubt anyone is going there thinking i want to destroy those ancient sites.
as far as people taken shelter in ancient sites, when bombs and bullets are falling around no one would think of anything but survival.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,811
#4
Been to Palmyra not the most impressive site I've visited by appalled by the on going destruction of historical sites in general. (Though I would be the priority on stoping the killing). When I was there (mid 90s) I was pretty appalled anyway, the major intact building was the temple of Baal in order to charge admission to see this remaining building, the Syrians authorities constructed a wall around it so it could not be seen without paying admission. They just run bull dozers around the rest of the the ruins of Palmyra and stuck their ruins/wall together with concrete, yup why to treat historical sites with contempt.

The Krak is one of the great places in the world, I have very fond memories. Would be a sad day it it was damaged or destroyed.

The ongoing madness and killing in Syria makes me sad, when I was in Syria the people were wonderful very welcoming and I enjoyed by brief time there. I really hope the killing can stop soon and some sort of decent society can emerge, while the destruction of important historical sites is sad, the destruction of Syrian society and people is sadder.
 

Salah

Forum Staff
Oct 2009
23,284
Maryland
#6
This is tragic to the point of making me sick to my stomach. Palmyra is one of my most favorite ancient cities.
 

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