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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Syrian Conflict - MES: Cultural Heritage and the Conflict

This guide provides information and resources on the Syrian Conflict (2011-Present).

The Destruction of Cultural Heritage Sites

The conflict in Syria has led to the destruction of a significant amount of Syria's cultural heritage sites. Warfare, artillery bombardment, and bombings destroyed numerous ancient monuments, relics, and sites. In addition to the heritage destroyed as collateral damage of warfare, many millennia old historical and archeological sites and relics have been deliberately targeted by ISIS. Most of Syria's World Heritage sites (such as the ancient city of Palmyra) and several of the countries greatest mosques (such as the Umayyad Mosque of Aleppo and the al-Omari mosque of Daraa) have been severely damaged.

Below are a series of resources cataloging this destruction and further explaining its significance. Within these resources, one can find numerous maps and pictures showcasing the immense damage caused to Syria's cultural heritage throughout this long conflict. 

Videos Showing Damage to Syrian Cultural Heritage

AP's video of damage to the Umayyad Mosque of Aleppo (Dec. 2016)

CNN's "Ancient city of Aleppo: Before and after" (Feb. 2016)

AFP's video on the damage to Palmyra's Museum (Apr. 2016)

AP's video showing the damage to Crac des Chevaliers (Aug. 2015)

CNN's report on ISIS's destruction of the ancient city of Nimrud (Apr. 2015)

UNESCO PSA on Cultural Heritage Destruction in Syria (Mar. 2014)