Syrian Ministry of Culture condemns US aggression on historic site
Under international law, the targeting of cultural heritage sites can amount to a war crime.
Syria's Ministry of Culture on Saturday denounced the overnight US strikes which caused damage to a historic site in the eastern Deir Ezzor province of the country, as per local news reports.
In a statement published on X, the Ministry said it condemns "in the strongest terms the barbaric US bombardment of the Al-Rahba fortress" in eastern Syria's Mayadeen area.
The aggression, the ministry says, violated "all international norms and charters that call for the protection and respect for cultural property."
Syrian-based newspaper Al-Watan reported that the bombardment caused cracks to appear on the walls of the fortress.
However, a complete assessment of the damage has yet to be completed, the report noted, citing antiquities chief Nazir Awad.
This comes after the US initiated a series of strikes overnight, targeting entities that the US Central Command (CENTCOM) alleges to be affiliated with the IRGC and its allies.
According to CENTCOM, US forces struck more than 85 targets in Iraq and Syria with numerous aircraft, including long-range bombers that were said to have taken off from the US.
The attack is said to be a response to an operation that targeted a US military base in Jordan earlier this week.
The strikes resulted in the death of 16 individuals and injuries to 25 others in Iraq alone, prompting the Iraqi parliament's Security and Defense Committee to call on the government to expedite the reaching of an agreement on the withdrawal of US troops.
As for Syria, the attacks led to the killing of several civilians and soldiers, injuring others, as well as causing significant material damage, as per a Syrian military statement.
It further pointed out that the targeted area in eastern Syria is the same one in which Syria has been fighting ISIS, emphasizing that the United States is working on reviving ISIS as its field arm in Syria and Iraq by "all dirty means."
The statement also affirmed that the Syrian army will continue to defend Syria's land and people, and strike all terrorist groups, regardless of how much their sponsors and supporters try to obstruct this goal. It added that it is determined to liberate the entire Syrian territory from all terrorism and occupation, including the US occupation which "cannot persist."