The ancient Syrian city is a UNESCO World Heritage site – one of the Middle East’s most treasured ones.
UNESCO calls it one of “outstanding universal value, (an) oasis in the Syria desert” northeast of Damascus.
“From the 1st to the 2nd century, the art and architecture of Palmyra, standing at the crossroads of several civilizations, married Greco-Roman techniques with local traditions and Persian influences.”
According to UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova, its ancient ruins “already suffered four years of conflict. It suffered from looting and represents an irreplaceable treasure for the Syrian people an for the world.”
She appealed to “all parties” to prevent its destruction. Short of immediate military intervention if Security Council authorized, ancient treasures appear lost.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich expressed grave concern saying “(w)e’d consider (the) destruction (of Palmyra’s architectural treasures) an unpardonable act of vandalism, encroachment on general human values, and an insult to civilization.”
“The activity of the so-called anti-ISIS coalition led by the United States has failed to produce results…and has not affected the ability of the Islamic State to expand.”
Obama bears full responsibility. Washington recruits, trains, funds, arms and directs IS/ISIS/ISIL Daish terrorists and likeminded ones – using them as proxy foot soldiers against independent governments like Syria it wants toppled.
Last week, the UN said a third of Palmyra’s population of 200,000 fled. US-supported Takfiri terrorists control large parts of Syria’s north and east.
Syrian state TV said government forces withdrew from the city. On Wednesday, its director of antiquities, Maamoun Abdulkarim, said:
“Hundreds and hundreds of statues we were worried would be smashed and sold are all now in safe places.”
“The fear is for the museum and the large monuments that cannot be moved. This is the entire world’s battle.”
IS control of Palmyra is “an international catastrophe. It will be a repetition of the barbarism and savagery (seen) in Nimrud, Hatra and Mosul,” Iraq.
UNESCO calls this type wanton destruction a “war crime.” IS terrorism is well-known. The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported the following:
“Reliable local sources inside the city…said ISIS terrorists slaughtered and mutilated at least 400 civilians, including children, women and elderly people.”
Individuals targeted were alleged government loyalists or employees as well as others apparently unwilling to accept IS rule.
Palmyra’s National Hospital nursing department head was murdered along with her family members.
Thousands of city residents are trapped. They’re prevented from leaving. IS confiscated their property. According to SANA:
“These and other ISIS atrocities are being perpetrated amid shameful international silence, with the Security Council only expressing ‘concern’ without taking any practical deterrent measures on the ground.”
In mid-May, US special forces entered Syria covertly. White House national security council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said Obama authorized the operation to kill or capture “ISIL senior leader known as Abu Sayyaf and his wife Umm.”
She’s in US military custody in Iraq, said Meehan. Abu Sayyaf was killed, she added. SANA reported the raid. Was it a Syrian operation, not a US one?
Why would Washington want one of its IS commanders killed? SANA reported Syrian forces killed IS “oil minister” Abu Taym Saudi on the same day. Was he Abu Sayyaf? Arabic names are often interchangeable.
Meehan claims the operation was conducted “with the full consent of Iraqi authorities…consistent with domestic and international law,” she added.
Syria is Obama’s war – naked aggression by any standard using IS and other takfiri terrorists as US proxy foot soldiers.
Reports indicate IS terrorists seized the Syrian/Iraqi Al-Tanaf border crossing, the last one Damascus controlled. It’s 150 miles from Palmyra.
Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halaqi blamed Washington, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, Israel, and other countries backing its war for atrocities committed in Palmyra.
He called on responsible international leaders and human rights organizations to denounce their support for terrorism.
Obama’s war is in its fifth year. Syria is being systematically raped – ravaged and destroyed in plain sight, a testimony to US viciousness.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com. His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”. www.claritypress.com/Lendman.html Visit his blog site at www.sjlendman.blogspot.com.