UPDATE Palmyra: New photographs detail damage to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Palmyra | Read the Update
On March 2, 2017 SARG and pro-regime allies, backed by Russian airstrikes, recaptured the UNESCO World Heritage site of Palmyra from ISIL. ISIL had previously recaptured the area in December 2016. Photographs and video footage released confirm the damage to the Roman Theater and Tetrapylon first reported by ASOR CHI in January 2017. It is reasonable to expect that the renewed fighting has also impacted the Citadel. According to some reports, ISIL militants may have mined much of the ancient site as they retreated from the city.
New Damage in Palmyra Uncovered | Read the Update
On January 19, 2017, ASOR CHI obtained DigitalGlobe satellite imagery that revealed new damage to the ISIL-occupied UNESCO World Heritage site of Palmyra. ASOR CHI can confirm that that damage occurred between December 26, 2016 and January 10, 2017. The imagery showed significant damage to the Tetrapylon and the Roman Theater, likely the result of of destruction by ISIL; however, ASOR CHI has thus far not been able to verify the exact cause. Both sites were previously left unharmed by the group, who controlled Palmyra from May 2015 to March 2016. The Tetrapylon appears to have been intentionally destroyed using explosives, possibly in a similar manner to how ISIL militants destroyed the Temple of Bel, the Baalshamin Temple, the Triumphal Arch, and several tower tombs located within the Valley of the Tombs.