Specialists continue after the liberation from militants of the terrorist group “Islamic state” (IG, DAYSprohibited in Russia) Syrian Palmyra to evaluate the damage to this ancient city. In first reports it was reported that experts were expecting the worst – though some important monuments of Palmyra destroyed, many artifacts survived.
These estimates were confirmed by a more detailed study of ancient ruins, reports the British newspaper The Guardian. Economists had estimated that the fighting during the liberation by the Syrian army of the city from the militants would cause the archaeological complex additional damage, however, their fears were confirmed.
Experts had been watching the fighting in the area of Palmyra. Their concern was due to the fear that the confrontation between the Syrian army and fighters will exacerbate the destruction of the archaeological ruins of Palmyra. However, the first hours of the study of the monuments showed that although the damage is significant – and in many cases irreparable – the worst fears of the workers of culture were not realized.
As reported by the former Director of the museums of Palmyra, an expert on middle East history and anthropology, who currently is a Professor at the State University Shawnee, Ohio (United States) AMR al-AZM, experts feared that the onset of the Syrian troops trying to retake the city from ISIS, will lead to further damage to archaeological values. However, he stated, this did not happen.
According to the scientist, the destruction of monuments for IG is part of the propaganda campaign, which aims to show that the insurgents can operate with impunity and the international community is powerless to stop them. As noted by al-AZM, he and other experts were largely aware of the damage of monuments, since monitored the process of destruction through satellite images of the area and photographs taken secretly by the locals.
Reuters published a survey of the current status of Palmyra, made the drone. They can see the scale of destruction.
As reported, the advancing troops of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad had warned that buildings and roads were booby-trapped. Sappers began to quickly clear the Palmyra of mines and bombs after the army entered the city. Before the process of demining the historical part of the city was completed.
The head of the Agency for the protection of relics and museums, Maamoun Abdulkarim told The Guardian that as soon as will be resolved the question of security, the archaeologists will assess the damage and begin the long process of restoration of monuments, where possible.
International experts will assess the damage to Palmyra
Mamoun Abdulkarim said in an interview with Japanese newspaper Yomiurithat the most famous monuments of Palmyra, including two of her most renowned temple, was subjected to serious destruction. At the same time, he said, the damage to the underlying array of ancient objects was relatively small.
As told the head of the Agency, confirmed the destruction of the symbols of the Palmyra – temple of Bel (I century) and Church Balsamina (II century), arc de Triomphe, the statue of the “lion of Allat”, funeral towers in the so-called Valley of the tombs.
However, virtually untouched was the theatre, built in the era of Roman domination, as well as numerous busts, which, as scientists had feared, the terrorists of the Islamic state could sell on the black market of antiquities. “Damaged statues “Leo Allat” is also minor, it shall be subject to restoration”, – said the head of the Directorate, quoted by TASS.
As reported by Abdulkarim, the Ministry of culture of Syria in the near future will send to the city a group of experts to thoroughly assess the situation with ancient monuments.
In turn the Deputy foreign Minister of Russia Gennady Gatilov told the night before to”Interfax”that the experts, including from Russia, should be sent to Palmyra for damage assessment after the liberation from the IG immediately after clearance of the city. Russia will raise this issue at the forthcoming UNESCO in early April session of the Executive Council of this organization at the beginning of next month, he said.
Other crime fighters in Palmyra flourished trade as sex slaves
After the liberation of the city surfaced and other crimes in addition to vandalism committed by ISIS. Thus, it became clear that Palmyra flourished the market as sex slaves.
In sexual servitude militants were thousands of girls and women, reports The Mirror.
In particular, the Network got a document left by the jihadists who fled the Syrian army. It includes instructions about buying sex slaves.
Palmyra was one of the main points of the ancient silk road, its heyday was in I-III century BC From may 2015 and before the liberation on Sunday Palmyra was in the hands of terrorists who systematically destroyed unique monuments.