Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Famed Syria Crusader castle survives fierce battles  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - AFP - 21/03/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN - AFP) Columns are blackened with soot and vaults have crumbled in one of the courtyards of Syria's the Krak des Chevaliers, a Crusader castle that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and victim of the country's three-year civil war.The army seized the medieval fortress on Thursday after fierce fighting in the nearby village of Al-Hosn in central Syria, routing rebels who had captured it in July 2011.Journalists, including an AFP reporter, toured there Friday on a visit organised by the army.Most of the 11th century fortress and its external walls appear intact but the damage is inside, in the lower courtyard.Fires, apparently set by the rebels who were entrenched inside the fortress, have ravaged ancient pillars, while some archways and vaults have collapsed.Huge blocs of grey stone litter the ground but it is not clear if the damage was caused during Thursday's capture of the fortress or in earlier bombardments.

The only bullet holes that can be seen are on a metal plate that once was inscribed with information for tourists who visited the Krak des Chevaliers, or Fortress of the Knights."We acted in a way to preserve the Krak, to make sure it would not be damaged," said a colonel who escorted the journalists on their tour.In July 2011, four months after the Syrian conflict erupted, Sunni villagers from the village of Al-Hosn seized the Krak and were soon joined by allied rebels, including Lebanese fighters.Islamist fighters also occupied the Krak, including jihadists from Al-Nusra Front, Al-Qaeda's Syria affiliate, and from the Jund al-Sham group.- Leftover food -

The fighters were routed after fierce fighting Thursday, part of an offensive to sever rebel supply lines from neighbouring Lebanon.They left behind all sorts of supplies.A pot of leftover meat and rice stew can be seen in a room that rebels apparently used as a command centre and living quarters.Rugs cover the hard ston floors, there are cot beds and, on one side of a room that apparently served as the kitchen, there is a cupboard that contains rice and a tin of vegetable shortening.
Curtains are strung across loopholes to keep the daylight out and men's clothing is strewn across the room.Nearby are the women's quarters, said the colonel, adding that 700 rebels lived in the Krak.The decor is spartan, mattresses on the floor and a small desk, religious books and bottles of henna. Women's clothes can be seen.The room reeks of incense.The rebels even left behind their washing, soaking in the courtyard .Weapons and mortar rounds are in another room.In the village of Al-Hosn, the damage is greater.Shop windows are shattered, shards of glass carpet the streets and buildings have been bombarded.Three dead donkeys lie on the side of a road.The colonel says the army took the rebels by surprise on Thursday and seized the Krak after an operation that lasted 12 hours.The Krak ranks as one of the best preserved examples of medieval fortresses from the times of the Crusaders, according to UNESCO.

Like other Crusader castles in the Middle East, it sits atop a hill that dominates the landscape as far as the eye can see.Initially Abbassid Muslims built a fortress on the hill in 1031 but the bulk of the existing fortress was built by the Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, which was given the castle in 1142.There were further fortifications built towards the end of the 13th century by the Mamluks, who swept in and seized it from the Crusaders.The Krak was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 2006, one of six Syrian sites to get the label.In 2013, UNESCO decided to add all six of Syria's World Heritage sites to its World Heritage in Danger list, including the Old Cities of Damascus and Aleppo, Palmyra and Qalat Salaheddin fortress.The move reflected growing concern that serious damage was being inflicted on these sites, as the war that erupted in Syria in March 2011 raged on.

 


AFP




  MENA News Headlines
 Sep 26 2016 - Qatar, Indonesia USD1b joint fund to start operationMENAFN
(MENAFN) USD1bn mutual investment fund launched by Qatar and Indonesia in its finishing stages and will fund main infrastructure and energy projects.Additionally, Indonesia"s 15pct share of the fund ...

 Sep 26 2016 - Abu Dhabi's Dh4b Medical City to be ready by 2017MENAFN
(MENAFN) Work on Dh4bn Shaikh Shakhbut Medical City will be completed by the beginning of Q4 of 2017.Accordingly, Abu Dhabi General Services Co. (Musanada) exposed that 87 percent of the works has ...

 Sep 26 2016 - Four Rums for right now!MENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Four Rums for right now! These four rums are perfect to beat the end of summer and beginning of the fall.— Forrest Cokely SEATTLE, CA, USA, September 23, 2016 ...

 Sep 26 2016 - New Interview Released with the Environment Agency in run-up to Energy from Waste 2016MENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) New Interview Released with the Environment Agency in run-up to Energy from Waste 2016 An Interview with the Environment Agency Energy from Waste 2016 Quick Fire Q & A released ...

 Sep 26 2016 - Jordan- Moderate weather conditions forecast over next two daysJordan News Agency
(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency) Amman, Sept.26 (Petra) -- A slight drop in temperatures is expected on Monday, but moderate weather conditions started early this week will continue to prevail across ...

 Sep 26 2016 - Egypt petrol subsidy drops by 29pctMENAFN
(MENAFN) Egypt's spending on petroleum subsidies declined by 29 percent in the 2015-16 financial years compared to one year earlier.Accordingly, the subsidies fell by 23 percent, to USD71.36bn for ...

 Sep 26 2016 - Saudi Arabia to inject 20b riyals for fiscal stabilityMENAFN
(MENAFN) Saudi Arabia proclaimed that it would inject almost 20bn riyals at commercial banks and introduce two new money market instruments to avoid a surge in market rates.Moreover, it will also ...

 Sep 26 2016 - Volume of UAE, South Korea trade stood at AED122.7 billionEmirates News Agency (WAM)
(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM)) ABU DHABI, 25th September, 2016 (WAM)--The total value of trade between the UAE and South Korea reached AED122.7 billion from 2010 - 2015, of which AED115.8 ...

 Sep 26 2016 - UAE- Abdullah bin Zayed host reception in New YorkEmirates News Agency (WAM)
(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM)) NEW YORK, 25th September 2016 (WAM) - H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, hosted a ...

 Sep 26 2016 - Mohammed bin Rashid visits Bloomberg HQ in Dubai, meets chairmanEmirates News Agency (WAM)
(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM)) DUBAI, 25th September, 2016 (WAM)--Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has stressed ...

more...


 





Google

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help