Click on a label to read posts from that part of the world.
Ancient city of Palmyra under threat from Syrian army
The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Palmyra may become the latest victim of the ongoing violence in Syria, according to a Global Heritage Fund report.
Palmyra, an ancient oasis city in the desert northeast of Damascus, remained untouched by the conflict until last month, when the Syrian army moved in. According to several reports by refugees since then, units from the army have taken up position at the medieval citadel overlooking ancient and modern Palmyra and have been shooting at anything that moves. Both machine guns and tanks are being used. One can imagine what a few tank shells can do to a 2000-year-old city.
Little is known about damage to this or other historic sites in Syria. Given the government's eagerness to level modern cities such as Homs, it's doubtful they're showing any care for their national heritage. Sites in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya have all suffered irreparable damage during recent conflicts.
Are those two guys still alive? Is the hotel still there? Is every single one of my memories of a month's travel going to be blackened by an evil dictator while world leaders dither and make sympathetic noises?
[Photo of citadel courtesy Institute for the Study of the Ancient World. Photo of Roman ruins courtesy Franco Pecchio.]