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Several archeological sites damaged in Syria after earthquake, agency says

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Aleppo’s ancient citadel is seen damaged following the earthquake on Monday. (AFP via Getty Images)

Several archeological sites in Syria were damaged following the powerful earthquake that shook the region on Monday morning, according to Syria’s Directorate-General for Antiquities and Museums (DGAM).

The 13th century Aleppo Citadel “suffered minor and moderate damage in which parts of the Ottoman mill fell, [there is] cracking and falling of parts of the northeast defensive fences. Large parts of the dome of the lighthouse of the Ayubi Mosque also fell, the entrances to the castle were damaged, and parts of the stone, including the entrance of the royal defense tower, and the front of the Ottoman refuge were damaged”, DGAM said in a Facebook post.

Syria’s once-storied, ancient city of Aleppo in the country’s northwest was seriously damaged in the ongoing civil war, but reopened in 2018 after reconstruction work DGAM says that artifacts inside the National Museum in Aleppo were damaged in Monday’s earthquake.

DGAM also reports damage to historical buildings and mosques in the Hama Governorate in western-central Syria, such as cracks in the structure and collapsed walls in the Imam Ismail Mosque and the Shmemis Castle.

The Al-Marqab Castle, a Crusader fortress near Baniyas, in Northwest Syria, also suffered damage, including the collapse of a block from one of its circular towers. “The tremor also led to the fall of the rock cliff in the vicinity of the Qadous Castle and the collapse of some residential buildings situated in the castle’s campus,” DGAM said.

Experts are still studying the full extent of the damage to the historical sites and surrounding historical buildings and neighborhoods. DGAM says it has not received “accurate information” about damage in the city of Homs.

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