Syria’s ancient city of Palmyra evacuated after ISIS control

The ancient city of Palmyra. File photo

ARA News

Urfa, Turkey – Subsequent to the entry of large groups of the Islamic State militants to the city, the Syrian regime forces evacuated the citizens of the ancient city of Palmyra, the Syrian state media announced on Wednesday.

The pro-Assad forces evacuated Palmyra’s residence after fierce clashes with the IS group inside and around the city.

Palmyra is listed as a World Heritage site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The city of Palmyra has a strategic location militarily, as it links between the cities of Homs and Damascus through a vital highway. 

In the meantime, the UNESCO called on for an immediate ceasefire in the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria, urging the international community to do everything possible in order to protect the population and save the unique cultural heritage in the city.

Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO, told reporters that all parties have to take into account the international commitments to the protection of cultural heritage sites in times of war by avoiding direct hits or using them for military purposes.

Commenting on the developments, Kurdish journalist Rezan Hamo told ARA News: “I wish we saw the international community concerned with the lives of thousands of civilians before their fears about the possible damage of an ancient site. Assad’s barrel bombs have killed tens of thousands, but we saw little concern by the world.” 

“The humanity is being destroyed in Syria. History and culture are facing the same fate as civilians in this war-torn country. The international community should be more serious about this catastrophe in Syria,” he argued. 

Observers fear of possible destruction to the monuments by ISIL’s insurgents in the city of Palmyra after their advancement in the city, since they did so in many archeological sites in Syria and Iraq in the past months.


Reporting by: Jan Nasro

Source: ARA News

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  1. paradoxical
    May 21, 2015 at 2:25 am

    Somehow even when talking about ISIS destroying cultural heritage and the Syrian army trying to protect it, you still manage to blame something on Assad. The propaganda ride never ends

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