Middle East

Syria opposition urges U.N. to protect heritage

BEIRUT: A Syrian opposition group on Friday called on the United Nations to "act immediately" to protect the country's historic sites which it charged were being destroyed by the regime's armed forces.

In a statement seen by AFP, the National Change Current called on the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to "act immediately to protect Syrian historic sites that have been attacked by forces" of the regime.

"Bashar Assad's savage regime is destroying human lives as well as cultural heritage dating back more than 6,000 years by bombarding mosques, churches, castles and ancient dwellings," it said.

As examples, it cited the centuries-old Omar mosque in the southern city of Daraa, cradle of the revolt that began more than a year ago with peaceful protests, and the St Elian al-Homsi church in the central city of Homs.

Syria is home to important archaeological sites. The capital Damascus is itself one of the world's oldest cities.

Monitors say that more than 9,100 people have been killed in Syria since mid-March 2011.





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