Syrian government says Turkish shelling damaged ancient temple


The Syrian government and a war monitor said on Sunday that Turkish shelling of the Kurdish-held Afrin region of Syria had seriously damaged an ancient temple.

Ain Dara is an iron age temple with remains of large carved basalt blocks and wall reliefs. Pictures circulating online, which Reuters could not independently verify, showed an apparent shell crater in the site.

A statement from the Syrian government’s antiquities department carried by Syrian state media called for international pressure on Turkey “to prevent the targeting of archaeological and cultural sites”.

“The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights”, a Britain-based war monitor, said Ain Dara was exposed to Turkish shelling, causing significant damage but no casualties.

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