BEIRUT: As fire damaged historic souks in the city of Aleppo over the weekend, UNESCO warned that five of six designated World Heritage sites in Syria have been damaged during the country’s 18-month-old uprising.
UNESCO’s director-general, Irina Bokova, expressed “distress and dismay” over the fire and urged “all forces to do their utmost to spare these monuments to human history that have contributed so much to Syria’s growth and prosperity – and which will undoubtedly prove vital to the country’s reconstruction.”
“The human suffering caused by this situation is already extreme,” Bokova said.
“That the fighting is now destroying cultural heritage that bears witness to the country’s millenary history – valued and admired the world over – makes it even more tragic.”
She said UNESCO would provide “all of its expertise and support for the safeguarding of Aleppo and all of Syria’s extraordinary cultural heritage.”
Below are the five World Heritage sites that have been damaged during the fighting, along with a sixth historical site that has also been the scene of fighting.