The U.N. in its inimitably impotent way, is hoping that by adding six ancient Syrian sites to the U.N.’s endangered World Heritage sites the fighters on both sides of the Syrian conflict will leave the sites untouched. The additions were made by UNESCO at its annual meeting in Cambodia.
Unesco admitted that its information regarding site destruction was “partial” and came from unverified sources. This sources included social media and the Syrian government.
The six sites are: the ancient cities of Damascus, Bosra, and Aleppo, as well as Palmyra, the ancient villages of northern Syria, and the castles of Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Fortress of Saladin), which are regarded as treasures of the 11th-13th Crusades
UNESCO claimed that Aleppo’s old city has “witnessed some of the conflict’s most brutal destruction,” and that the old citadel had been “caught in the line of fire. The immediate, near-term and long-term effect of the crises on the cultural heritage of Aleppo cannot be overstated.”
The minaret of the Umayyad Mosque from the 11th century was destroyed in April.