Ancient Syria temple damaged in Turkish raids

Syria’s antiquities department and a war monitor says a 3,000-year-old temple has been damaged in Turkish air strikes on a Kurdish militia in the country’s north.

The Iron Age neo-Hittite temple of Ain Dara dates back to the Aramean era, from around 1300 to 700 BC, and is named after a village located in the Kurdish-held enclave of Afrin.

Turkey launched Operation “Olive Branch” on January 20, against the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Afrin, supporting Syrian opposition fighters with ground troops and air strikes.

The remains of the ancient Ain Dara temple in Syria. (CC BY-SA 3.0, Odilia, Wikipedia)

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said the temple was struck by air strikes on Friday.

“It has been destroyed up to 60 percent,” said Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman.

Syria’s antiquities department, a government agency, confirmed the attack on “one of the most important monuments built by the Arameans in Syria during the first millennium BC”.


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