Jan 28 2018

Turkish shelling hit mosque, ancient temple, Syrian government says

Turkish shelling of the Kurdish-held Afrin region of Syria had seriously damaged an ancient temple, a mosque, a cemetery, and houses, the Syrian government said on Sunday.

Ain Dara, an iron age temple in the region, was exposed to Turkish shelling, causing significant damage but no casualties, Reuters quoted the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, as saying.

Turkey’s operation against the Syrian Kurdish militia in northwestern Afrin region began a week ago and has included heavy bombardment but limited advances by its army or allied Syrian rebel groups, Reuters said.

Turkish shelling destroyed Salahuddin al-Ayyubi Mosque, houses, and the cemetery in Jandairis town, in the southwestern countryside of Afrin, Syrian state news agency SANA reported.

Syrian Ministry of Culture called for international pressure on Turkey “to prevent the targeting of archaeological and cultural sites,” SANA said.