War-torn Syrian sites of Palmyra, Aleppo "part of their identity"

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UNITAR-UNOSAT : Palmyra Roman Tetrapylon and Theatre damage assessment
© DigitalGlobe

Newly-identified destruction of the World Heritage Site of Palmyra is an "immense loss" to both the Syrian people and humanity overall, according to the UN Cultural Organization, UNESCO.

The ancient First and Second Century site is one of the world's architectural jewels, marrying Greco-Roman buildings with local and Persian influences.

ISIL terrorist fighters gained control of the site and the town of Palmyra in 2015 and it was recaptured by government forces last year, but then ceded again to the extremists.

On Thursday, UNESCO also gave its first assessment on the damage to Aleppo's ancient citadel, estimating that 30 per cent of it has been totally destroyed by conflict.

Matthew Wells spoke to Mechtild Rössler, head of UNESCO's Heritage Division, who also led the organization's mission to Palmyra last year, when it was liberated from ISIL, or Daesh, control.

 

Duration: 5'49"

 

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