SYRIA, AFRIN – Official sources and media reports that the Ain Dara temple near the city of Afrin, which dates back thousands of years, destroyed parts of it by the bombing of Turkish forces.
The Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums of the Ministry of Culture, in a statement issued on Saturday, what it described as “the aggression of the Turkish regime on archaeological sites in the northern countryside of Aleppo,” appealing to the international organizations concerned and all interested in the World Heritage to denounce Turkish actions and pressure on Ankara to prevent repeated targeting sites Archaeological and civilization in the area of Afrin.
The Directorate stressed that “this aggression shows” the extent of the hatred, hatred and barbarism of the Turkish regime against the Syrian identity and against the past of the Syrian people and present and future, “without revealing the details of the damage inflicted on the ancient temple features in Syria.
For its part, the electronic version of the Syrian newspaper “Al Watan” quoted local sources as saying that the Turkish aerial bombardment destroyed large parts of the temple, despite the absence of any military targets in its area, asserting that the temple is not the only archaeological site in the area of Afrin which was attacked by the Turkish army.
⭕ أنباء تفيد بأن معبد عين دارا الشهير بالقرب من عفرين في سوريا قد دمر بالكامل تقريباً جراء تعرضه لغارة جوية
News that the famous Ain Dara Temple near Afrin in Syria almost completely destroyed by an airstrikehttps://t.co/uM68HI6q9t pic.twitter.com/0WRfRiEZzj
— Archaeology in Syria (@AinSyria) January 27, 2018
دمار معبد عين دارا، عفرين سوريا بسبب قصف الأتراك pic.twitter.com/zxN7sLad7M
— Fahad althaqafi (@Fahadalthaqafi6) January 27, 2018
In turn, the agency Reuters, quoting activists in the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights opposition, damaged the temple materially without casualties, and photographs and videos of the agency Hawar Kurdish news that the archaeological site was severely damaged.
In addition, the Observatory published photographs showing the extent of damage to the mosque of Salah al-Din and the cemetery of Jondiers south-west of Afrin.
The Ain Dara temple was discovered in 1982 and is characterized by its rare basalt stone, with an area of about 50 hectares, some of which are 12,000 years old, according to experts.