ARA News

Urfa, Turkey− Members of al-Qaeda splinter group of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) smashed the archaeological statue of Asad Sheeran (Sheeran Lion) at the entrance of al-Rasheed garden in Raqqa province, central Syria, earlier this week. 

The statues (consisting of two lions) were moved from the Kurdish village of Sheeran to the city of Raqqa in the eighties of the last century by orders of the province governor at that time, Mohammed Salman, after the construction of Tishreen dam, which would most likely have overwhelmed several archeological sites and pieces in the province, among them Sheeran statues.

The Department of Antiquities moved one of the lions to al-Rasheed garden in the center of Raqqa (which is now controlled by ISIL), in April, 1983, placing it on two stones in the western entrance of the garden, after repainting and restoring a large splintered part of it.

It’s known that the early excavation operations in Sheeran village were led by the French archaeological mission under the supervision of F. Thureau Dnagin in 1928. The excavation teams, which was mostly staffed by Kurdish workers, detected the thriving metropolis in the first half of the first millennium BC. 

According to these discoveries, the region was under the control of the Armenians and Assyrians in that period of time.

Notably, numerous reports by residents of Sheeran village show that these monuments and discoveries in the village of Sheeran in the Kurdish area of Kobane, north of Raqqa, had been transferred from their original place, either by the Ottoman Empire or the France mandate on Syria, and finally by the Baathist regime of Assad family, according to archeologists and observers.

Since months, the radical ISIL group is in control over Raqqa city and its environs. According to sources, the archeological sites in the area are currently endangered by members of ISIL. 


Reporting by: Ridwan Bizar

Source: ARA News


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