Russians building army base at Syria’s Palmyra site

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Russian base seen in satellite photo. Photo: ASOR/DigiGlobe

 

Beirut: The Russian military is constructing a new army base in the central Syrian town of Palmyra, within the protected zone that holds the archaeological site listed by UNESCO as a world heritage site and without asking for permission from relevant authorities, an American heritage organisation and a top Syrian archaeologist said Tuesday.

The American School of Oriental Research’s Cultural Heritage Initiative posted pictures from the satellite imagery and analytics company DigitalGlobe that show the construction on the edge of the ancient site that was damaged by the Islamic State group, which held Palmyra for 10 months.

A UNESCO official said it was unclear whether the encampment was in a buffer zone to the archaeological site but said it does not form a threat to the historic area. Continue reading