Broken cities

Picture: courtesy of

With recent reports that ISIS have re-captured the ancient city of Palmyra, it is another reminder of the 2,000 year old temples and other monuments that were left in ruins by the terrorists and the possible danger to other sites.

While development activity in the Middle East has seen some remarkable buildings created in Dubai, news reports detail the destruction visited on some of the great cities of civilisation: Nimrud, Nineveh / Mosul, and Hatra in Iraq, Damascus, Aleppo, Homs and Bosra in Syria. All are extensively bomb damaged, as are the other two UNESCO world heritage sites in Syria – Krak Des chevaliers and Baal Shamin.

There has been an appalling human cost along with significant architectural and cultural loss. However the West - columnist Simon Jenkins wrote in the Guardian recently - has a moral duty to help