Heritage Sites Damaged During the Syrian Civil War

Unfortunately, the Syrian Civil War led to much destruction both for the community and richness in the region. The area used to be one of the crossroads of many civilizations throughout history. However, these days, things are not okay for Syria.

The country is struggling with numerous problems and the civil war is one of the biggest challenges among all. The heritage sites in Syria received a great deal of damage and many museums are looted. As a result, we lost a great deal of history including all the six UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Syria.

In this article, we are going to provide detailed information about all the heritage sites that were destroyed during the Syrian Civil War.

Shelled UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Syria

As we noted before, all the six UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Syria were destroyed. Unfortunately, the damage cannot be reversed anymore, and we have lost all these sites. Here are shelled UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Syria:

  • Krak des Chevaliers
  • Northern Syria Archaeological Villages
  • Bosra
  • Palmyra
  • Old City of Damascus
  • Ancient City of Aleppo Medieval Buildings

Shelled Heritage Sites in Syria

Of course, UNESCO World Heritage Sites were not the only sites that we have lost during the Syrian Civil War. Unfortunately, nineteen heritage sites were also shelled during the war. These heritage sites include the following:

  • Beit Ghazaleh – the Museum of Aleppo City
  • Ancient Temple of Ain Dara at Afrin
  • Mosque al-Umary in Daraa
  • Sites and Monuments in the Daraa District
  • Tomb of Sheikh Dahur al-Muhammad in Rityan
  • Homs (Large Parts)
  • Hama (Large Parts)
  • Assyrian Temple at Tell Sheikh Hamad
  • Citadel of Aleppo
  • Monastery of Saint James the Mutilated
  • Our Lady of Seydnaya Monastery
  • Mosque al-Herak
  • Monastery of St. Elian
  • Grand Mosque of Al-Qusaayr
  • Mosque of al-Tekkiyeh Ariha
  • Mosque of Idlib Sermin
  • Apamea and Al-Madiq Castle Towers
  • Great Mosque of Aleppo
  • Al-Madina Souq in Aleppo

Looted Heritage Sites in Syria

One of the biggest problems of the Syrian Civil War is looting. Unfortunately, many natural and historical beauties of Syria were looted during the war and most parts are still missing. According to the records, seven important museums and inventories in Syria were looted and these are:

  • Beit Ghazaleh Museum of the city of Aleppo
  • The Maarat al-Numan Museum
  • The Museum of Deir ez-Zor
  • The main road in Apamea and colonnade of Decumanus
  • Roman mosaics in Apamea
  • The Raqqa Museum
  • The Museum of Hama

Destruction of Heritage Sites in Syria

Starting from 2014, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant destroyed plenty of heritage sites in Syria as well. These destructions were deliberately performed by these two groups. In total, 10 heritage and historical sites were destroyed by these groups, and these are:

  • Monastery of St. Elian
  • Virgin Mary Church
  • Armenian Genocide Memorial Church
  • Monumental Arch
  • Tower of Elahbel
  • Temple of Baalshamin
  • Temple of Bel
  • Mohammed bin Ali Tomb
  • Nizar Abu Bahaaeddine Tomb
  • Lion of Al-lāt

Just like every war, the Syrian Civil War also led to much destruction. While some of these were performed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, some of them were performed by other forces that deploy their troops in the country.

Extremist groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant did the damage and destruction deliberately, while other forces such as American, Russian, and Turkish forces caused damage in the area as a mistake.

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