New photos show damage to urban structure around Aleppo Citadel caused by terrorism

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Damascus, SANA – The Directorate-General for Antiquities and Museums (DGAM) published on its website photos taken during the last week of January 2016, showing the extent of the damage caused by terrorist attacks to the urban structure surrounding Aleppo Citadel.

Director of the World Heritage Sites department at the DGAM Lina Qtaifan told SANA that by reviewing photos provided by the local community and mass media throughout the years of the war imposed in Syria, it becomes clear that 130 real estate properties around Damascus Citadel have sustained damage ranging from partial to full.

Qtaifan said that the southern area opposite the Citadel’s gate was the most damaged, particularly al-Sultaniya Mosque, Carlton Hotel, al-Shouna Inn, and al-Jdaideh area, which is an old antique district located next to the Old City in Aleppo.

She explained that the damage caused to the area around the Citadel was cumulative due to recurring terrorist attacks, particularly by digging tunnels and detonating explosives inside them around the citadel.

Qtaifan said that the Old City is a walled area spread over 335 hectares, containing a traditional urban structure dating back to many ages ago, with some structures like Aleppo Citadel itself dating back to the 12th century while others like schools, inns, and bathhouses date back to the 16th and 17th centuries, which earned the Old City a spot on the World Heritage List since 1986.

She went on to say that there are great concerns over the entirety of the Old City, and it was listed as being endangered among World Heritage List sites, asserting that the DGAM is sending periodic reports to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) documenting the damages.

Hazem Sabbagh

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