Putin’s Victory at Palymra. Stephen F. Cohen. NYU, Princeton. EastWestAccord.com.
03-29-2016 (Photo: March 27, 2016: Destroyed statues at the damaged Palmyra Museum, in Palmyra city) http://JohnBatchelorShow.com/contact http://JohnBatchelorShow.com/schedules http://johnbatchelorshow.com/blog Twitter: @BatchelorShow Putin’s Victory at Palymra. Stephen F. Cohen. NYU, Princeton. EastWestAccord.com. “After ten grueling months of ISIS occupation, the ancient city of Palmyra has been liberated. Syrian government troops, backed by Russian air support, encircled Islamic State militants, forcing them to flee into the interior eastern desert. With the extremists gone, experts have had the opportunity to perform a preliminary assessment of the damage inflicted upon the UNESCO World Heritage site. The news is both good and bad. “According to Syrian archaeologist Maamoun Abdelkarim, 80 percent of the artifacts in Palmyra appear to be largely intact. There is extensive damage—make no mistake—but many of the iconic columns remain upright, along with several key temples and monuments. Speaking to the LA Times, Abdelkarim said that there’s damage to the streets, baths, and some temple fences, but “the panoramic view that tourists know of Palmyra remains.” Encouragingly, he said that a significant portion of the restoration work could take just five years. “Islamic State militants occupied the historic city last May, and they took it upon themselves to destroy some of the city’s most distinctive monuments, including the Arch of Triumph, the Baalshamin Temple, and the Temple of Bel. They chiseled away the faces of statues and reliefs, declaring them blasphemous pagan icons. The militants also beheaded and crucified Khaled Asaad, a prominent Syrian archaeologist. The vandalism inflicted onto Palmyra, an important stop for traders moving between China, India, Persia, and the Roman Empire during the first and second centuries AD, was greeted with global outrage, leading some to declare the actions of ISIS a serious war crime….” http://gizmodo.com/isis-damage-to-ancient-city-of-palmyra-is-enormous-1767711181