Retaken Areas In Syria Reveal Vandalism By Terrorists In Ancient City Of Apamea - Reports

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Retaken Areas in Syria Reveal Vandalism by Terrorists in Ancient City of Apamea - Reports

Terrorist groups have systematically attacked and vandalized the ancient Syrian city of Apamea in areas recently retaken from them by government forces, local media reported on Tuesday, citing the head the Department of Antiquities and Museums of Hama, Abdul Qader Farzat

DAMASCUS (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 28th May, 2019) Terrorist groups have systematically attacked and vandalized the ancient Syrian city of Apamea in areas recently retaken from them by government forces, local media reported on Tuesday, citing the head the Department of Antiquities and Museums of Hama, Abdul Qader Farzat.

On May 6, the Syrian army regained control over several regions in the Hama province, including the strategic locations of Kafr Nabudah and Qalaat al-Maddiq. The latter is home to the ancient Hellenistic-era city of Apamea, which has been recommended for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.

The terrorists illegally excavated with heavy machinery in the hopes of discovering archaeological treasures and smuggling them into Turkey, Farzat told the Syrian SANA news agency.

According to Farzat, the worst acts of vandalism occurred along Great Colonnade Street, which before its destruction included 1,200 uniquely designed columns from the ancient Roman Empire.

The terrorists also sabotaged the museum, theater, church and other buildings of Apamea.

He added that the Department of Antiquities and Museums had asked the Syrian government for intercession in protecting Syria's archaeological heritage in Hama and other conflict-affected areas.

Since 2011, Syria has been engulfed in an armed conflict between the government and various opposition groups, including terrorist organizations. Now that Damascus has regained control over most of the country's territory, it now strives to restore Syria's historic monuments that have been damaged or destroyed.

All six UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Syria Palmyra, the Krak des Chevaliers castle, Dead Cities between Aleppo and Idlib, Bosra, medieval buildings in Aleppo, and the ancient city of Damascus have suffered significant damage during the conflict. Russia is actively helping Syria in restoring its cultural heritage sites.

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