UNESCO urges end to Turkish violations on Afrin’s archaeological sites

DAMASCUS, Syria (North Press) – Representatives of UNESCO and Syrian government officials on Monday called for an end to the violations on the archaeological sites in the Afrin region, northwestern Syria, by Turkey and its affiliated factions of the Syrian National Army (SNA).

On Monday in the Syrian capital Damascus, the Syrian government’s Directorate-General of Antiquities and Museums inaugurated a photography exhibition of the ancient temple of Ain Dara. The participants condemned the Turkish bombardment of the site’s monuments over the past years.

Located south of the city of Afrin, Ain Dara is a historical and archaeological temple dating back to the Aramaic period between 1200 and 740 BC. The temple houses ruins, statues, inscriptions, and artifacts.

The exhibition in Damascus featured over 50 photographs taken by Syrian photographers, showcasing the beauty and diversity of the archaeological temple and its artifacts.

Officials from the Syrian Ministry of Culture, representatives of UNESCO, archaeology experts, journalists, and local residents attended the exhibition’s opening.

The attendees condemned the Turkish aggression on Ain Dara which has been severely damaged over the years due to Turkish bombardment.

Mahmoud Hammoud, head of the Directorate-General for Antiquities and Museums, stated that the Turkish aggression has caused the destruction of many important artifacts in Ain Dara, including the Roman theater, Roman baths, the Grand Mosque, and the religious school.

He explained that the artifacts in Ain Dara are part of the world heritage, and their destruction is a great loss to humanity. He expressed his hope that the exhibition would contribute to highlighting the importance of Ain Dara.

During the exhibition, representatives of UNESCO issued an international appeal to stop the Turkish aggression on archaeological sites in Syria.

In a joint statement, the UNESCO representatives stated that the Turkish bombardment has resulted in the destruction of many important archaeological sites in Syria, including Ain Dara, emphasizing that their destruction is a significant loss to humanity and that these artifacts are part of the world heritage.

The UNESCO statement called on the international community to take immediate action to halt the Turkish aggression on archaeological sites in Syria and protect this heritage.

By Nizar al-Hassan