Damascus, SANA – On Wednesday, terrorist organizations associated with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) destroyed the Shansharah archaeological site, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is located 13 kilometers to the west of Ma’aret al-Nouman city in the southern countryside of Idleb.
Local sources told SANA that large parts of Shansharah archaeological site were destroyed or sabotaged by terrorist organizations.
The sources confirmed that members of terrorist organizations robbed many of the artifacts at the site and smuggled them out of the village.
Director General of Antiquities and Museums Maamoun Abdul-Kareem said that Shansharah is a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2011, explaining that it goes back to the Roman and Byzantine eras.
It is distinguished for the wideness and density of various residential buildings and its frontispieces which are rich in architectural decorations that highlight the urban development that the area witnessed in the fifth and sixth centuries AD, Abdul-Kareem added.
Abdul Kareem pointed out that the site contains ground tombs which are considered one of the most beautiful cemeteries in addition to a bathroom and a church.
Abdul Kareem said that Shansharah village constitutes along with a number of other ancient villages in the same area as al-Bara, Tal Louzeh, sarjalla, Boudeh,Bashla, Btarsa, Rabea and Mourtahoun an archaeological reserve which is located within an archaeological park.
Terrorist organizations have been targeting Syrian ruins especially the Dead Cities in Aleppo and Idleb.
Archaeological villages which number 40 are one of the most important archaeological sites listed on the World Heritage list in addition to Old Damascus, Old City of Aleppo, Krak des Chevaliers and Salaheddin Citadels and the cities of Palmyra and Busra.