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Senior German Archaeologist Urges International Community to Protect Palmyra's Ancient Sites from Terrorists

Senior German archaeologist has urged international community to work on protecting civilized heritage of Palmyra [Tadmor city] and preserving its cultural identity from terrorists.

Professor. Andreas Schmidt-Colinet, who worked as head of the Syrian-German archaeological mission for decades, told the Austrian Profil Magazine that Palmyra has important geographical and historical position besides its ancient sites.

He strongly condemned the international community's inability to protect the historic sites in the city from ISIS terrorists, expressing regret over dereliction of the duty of the UN Security Council, United Nations and UNESCO  in protecting Palmyra's world heritage and in supporting the rehabilitation of sites damaged by terrorists.

 Last July, ISIS terrorists systematically damaged many sites in Palmyra city and turned the National museum of Palmyra into a prison.

On the other hand, the German professor asserted that it is impossible to achieve peace in Syria without President Bashar Al-Assad, who is supported by the majority of Syrian people. "This fact was realized by Russia, which built its stances on it."

"All parties must sit at the dialogue table to discuss not only the issue of ending the war on Syria but also the future of Palmyra, which is one of the most important ancient cities in the world," the senior archaeologist concluded.

Colinet has worked as professor in the Institute of Classical Archaeology in Vienna and has headed the Syrian-German archaeological mission in Palmyra since 1980.

Basma Qaddour