Syria, Mesopotamia - the land on which the most ancient states and cultures were formed, the cradle of civilizations. And now, in the second decade of the XNUMXst century historical monuments that have existed for millennia and survived a variety of military and political upheavals - from the Roman conquest to the Arab caliphate, from the Crusaders to the Mongols, from the Seljuk Turks and Ottomans to the First World War and the subsequent European (English and French) occupation, were threatened with total destruction . Moreover, many of them have already been destroyed and cannot be restored. On October 6, it became known that IS militants, continuing the methodical destruction of the world famous Palmyra, an ancient city located on the territory of modern Syria, mined the ancient Roman amphitheater and are ready to blow it up at any time. This, referring to the testimony of local residents, was reported by representatives of the responsible Syrian departments. A day earlier it became known about the destruction of the ancient Arc de Triomphe - perhaps the most famous monument to Palmyra to Russian citizens. This arch is depicted on the cover of the textbook “History of the Ancient World” familiar to every former student of the Soviet and Russian high schools.
In fact, militants operating in the Middle East destroy the history of the many peoples who lived in this ancient land. The Babylonians, the Sumerians, the Assyrians, the Phoenicians - this is not a complete list of the famous peoples who created the cities that built palaces and temples, the remnants of which today were under shelling by extremists. Note that Islam in Syria and Iraq was established over a thousand years ago, but many historical monuments survived - they were not touched by either the caliphs, or the Turkic sultans, or the Arab sheikhs. The request for the total destruction of history came only in the twentieth century, with the advent in the Middle East of the factor of religious extremism, sponsored and supported by Western intelligence agencies. Initially, with the help of controlled radicals, Great Britain and the United States were going to resist Soviet influence in the region, and after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the radicals became an excellent tool for overthrowing secular Arab regimes that retained a certain independence in foreign policy. Destruction of cultural values, historical heritage has long become one of the effective tools, firstly, to demonstrate their radicalism and disregard of the opinion of the world community, and secondly, to blackmail and intimidation from religious extremist organizations. By blowing up historical monuments, militants not only commit symbolic acts of contempt and hatred towards symbols revered by cultural people, but can also pursue more pragmatic political goals. Thus, historical monuments can serve as hostages - as in the case of the seizure of people, terrorists, in exchange for preserving monuments, can demand certain concessions from their opponents. German archaeologist Mirko Nowak, who works at the University of Berlin, emphasizes that there are no such large and large-scale historical and archaeological monuments in European countries. Secondly - Syria and Mesopotamia are the real cradle of human, including European, civilization. Here there was a formation of a settled way of life, the transition to agriculture, the first urban settlements were built, the first writing system developed. Syria and Mesopotamia - the center of the formation and distribution of the most important world religions - Christianity, Islam, Judaism and their modifications. In fact, the historical monuments of Syria and Iraq are a visual aid for the development of human civilization. “If the local antiquities are destroyed, it will also apply to the West. This is understood and militants LIH. We can say that they took Palmyra, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, hostage. They play with our fears that these objects will be irretrievably destroyed, ”underlines archaeologist Mirko Novak (Tsit. by: Plunderers without limits // http://kommersant.ru/projects/palmyra). On the other hand, the destruction of the historical memory of Syria and Mesopotamia is an important ideological move for those who hope to build a totalitarian religious state in the Middle East. Fanatics believe that by wiping out the ancient shrines from the face of the earth, they will be able to achieve the effect of the tabula rasa, after which it will be much easier to assert their ideology as the only correct and universal one.
Taliban - the first blow to history
By the way, the Afghan Taliban were the first in modern history to open and demonstrate the destruction of historical monuments. Before Islamization, a part of the population of modern Afghanistan was Buddhism. Ancient Afghanistan in general was an amazing, unique region. Here converged East and West, the Indo-Buddhist culture of Hindustan and the Hellenistic culture that emerged after the campaigns of Alexander the Macedonian Iranian and Central Asian states. Near the town of Bamiyan, which is 200 km. northwest of Kabul, back in I-IIvv. AD Buddhist monasteries were founded, which became the seat of Buddhism in the central part of modern Afghanistan. They existed until the 8th century, when Buddhism, as a result of Islamization, was ousted from the territory of Afghanistan. More than a thousand years have passed, but the abandoned Buddhist monasteries and the famous giant Buddha statues remained untouched - they were not destroyed by either the Arab conquerors, the local Persian and Pashtun rulers, or the Turks, or the Mongols. The complex of Buddhist monasteries was called “Kafirkala” - “The City of the Unbelievers”, but it was not destroyed. Everything changed at the turn of the XX - XXI centuries. The Afghan Taliban won victory after victory over the forces of the anti-Taliban coalition - also Islamic fundamentalists, but of a more moderate sense. 26 February 2001. Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar issued a message saying: “God is one, and these statues are set up for worship, which is a mistake. They must be destroyed so as not to be an object of worship neither now nor in the future. ” This meant the actual order to destroy the famous architectural complex, which was considered a monument of world cultural heritage. Despite the protests of the world community, the Taliban movement began to destroy the ancient sanctuary. The 2 March 2001 operation began to erase the Bamian statues from the ground. At first, the statues were shot from anti-aircraft guns, but could not be destroyed by artillery fire, because the statues were carved into the rock and it was difficult to destroy them. Then the Taliban decided to bring down the rock fragments on the statues, first laying anti-tank mines on the bottom of the niche. But this measure did not give the expected result. In the end, a group of militants descended the rock in a niche and laid explosives in the holes in the statues. When the explosion thundered, it turned out that the face of one Buddha was never destroyed. According to the statue, a rocket was fired, leaving a hole in the head of the statue.
The action of the Taliban on the destruction of the Bamian statues caused an extremely negative reaction throughout the world. Almost all countries of the world unanimously condemned the Taliban movement for the destruction of a historic monument. Thus, the Indian Foreign Ministry described the actions of the Taliban as an attack on the cultural heritage of all mankind. It is significant that the Taliban condemned even Pakistan, which supports them, and the Iranian media claimed that the movement’s actions cast a shadow on Islam. However, the Bamian statues were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List only in 2003, both destroyed by the Taliban and those lucky enough to survive. In addition, other historical monuments of the Bamiana Valley were also included in the list - remnants of the Gaugale city built during the rule of the Ghaznavid dynasty and two medieval fortresses that served to defend the valley. Initially, the world community hoped that UNESCO, sooner or later, will restore the monuments of Bamian. However, in March 2011, it became known that the international organization refuses restoration work. UNESCO has stated that the organization simply does not have the 8-12 million dollars required for the restoration. In addition, the representative of UNESCO said that the restoration will actually mean the construction of new statues, but the value is not a possible replica, but a genuine monument destroyed by the Taliban and in fact not subject to restoration.
With the beginning of the war in the Middle East, unleashed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant organization (later, simply the Islamic State), the strategy of total destruction of historical and cultural monuments was also implemented in Mesopotamia. Only in Mosul - one of the most ancient cities of Iraq - ISIS militants from June 2014 to February 2015. destroyed 28 religious buildings. The historical treasures stored in them were taken out of Iraq for the purpose of sale — the radicals with the proceeds from the antiquities trade finance their activities. In February, the central library of Mosul was blown up by militants in 2015, killing thousands of books from 8 to 10, including unique ancient manuscripts in philosophy and history. The militants staged a fire from books in the courtyard of the library. Bursting into the museum of Mosul, the militants with sledgehammers and drills destroyed a number of exhibits, which, in their opinion, reminded of the times of "paganism" and therefore were subject to liquidation and oblivion. In March, 2015 IG launched the destruction of the ruins of three ancient cities located in the territory currently controlled by IG. So, 4 March 2015 was destroyed with the help of bulldozers IG destroyed the ruins of houses and statues of Nimrud - the ancient Assyrian city, built in the XIII century. BC. Three days later, March 7 2015, destroyed the remains of the ancient city of Hatra (III century BC), and March 8 2015 - the remains of the city Dur-Sharrukin were partially destroyed (VIII century BC. ). Also the remains of the ancient city of Kalah were destroyed. The long-suffering Kalah was founded in the 13th century BC. er and underwent many invasions and wars. In 612 BC it was destroyed by the Medes. Modern vandals after millennia after the founding of the city systematically erased its remnants from the face of the earth. The world has lost unique archaeological sites that were valuable not only for Iraq and its inhabitants, but also for all of humanity. Assyrian palaces and cities that stood, albeit in the form of ruins for thousands of years, turned out to be defenseless against fanatics, for whom religion became a sign justifying terrorist acts not only against people and modern infrastructure, but also against historical memory.
The tragic death of Palmyra
With the expansion of the activities of the IG to the territory of Syria, the ancient monuments of the Syrian land were under threat of destruction. The whole world with a shudder is watching the tragic fate of Palmyra. The Palmyra Greeks called the Syrian city of Tadmor - "City of Palm Trees", translated from Aramaic, located in 240 km northeast of Damascus. Having emerged as a settlement in an oasis, due to its favorable geographical position on the caravans that followed through the Syrian desert, the city quickly became one of the largest and flourishing in the Antique East. Tadmor / Palmyra was mentioned in the Bible - according to Scripture, the city was founded by King Solomon to protect Israel from the attacks of Aramaic nomads. Later, Tadmor destroyed the army of Nebuchadnezzar II, but the city managed to quickly reanimate and become the key economic center of the region. There was a state of Palmyrene, which managed to maintain political independence for a long time. When the Roman Empire waged a protracted war with the Parthian kingdom, the legions of Rome tried to seize Palmyra. During the reign of Emperor Trajan, the city was destroyed. However, after the Romans managed to take possession of Palmyra, they made a very reasonable decision to restore Palmyra and turn it into the center of their influence in the region. Emperor Adrian rebuilt the city and renamed it Adrianople, while the rulers of Adrianople gained autonomy - the emperor assumed that some independence and privileges would promote loyalty to Rome and stop Palmyra from an alliance with enemy Parthia. Around AD 212 Palmyra became a colony of Rome with the advantages of the Italian colonies. However, Senator Septimius Odenat, a Palmyra native, appointed by the governor of the city, raised a rebellion against Rome. The second son of Septimius Odenate, also called Odenath, received the title of consul from Rome in 258 - this was thanks to the empire for its support in the fight against the Persians. But in 260, Mr. Odenat proclaimed himself "king of kings." However, in 267, the “king of kings” Palmyra was killed by his own nephew Meonius. To rule the city was Zenobia, who turned Palmyra into a prosperous kingdom. The excessive independence of the queen and her desire for virtually complete independence from the Roman Empire caused the indignation of Emperor Aurelian, who in 273 sent troops against Palmyra. The city was again devastated by the Romans, and Zenobia was captured. Despite subsequent attempts to restore Palmyra, she was never able to regain her former glory. In 744, the city of Palmyra was finally destroyed by the Arabs. After that, a small village appeared on the site of the ancient capital.
For a long time nobody touched the ruins of Palmyra. The most majestic monuments of the city’s history remained the temple of the god Bela (Baal), dating from the 1st c. AD, the temple of Baalshamina, dating from the II. AD, Agora III. AD, theater and caravanserai. The interest of Western archaeologists to Palmyra began to appear even in modern times. So, in 1678, the English entrepreneur Halifax discovered the ruins of Palmyra, and in 1751-1753. Robert Wood and James Dawkins first conducted a survey of the ruins and made a description of them. Full archaeological excavations began at the end of the XIX century. and continued until, until Syria did not begin hostilities that affected, including, and Palmyra. In 2008, scientists discovered in Palmyra the foundation of the largest Christian church in Syria, measuring 47 by 27 meters. In fact, the whole territory of Palmyra is one continuous monument. Adjacent to the ruins of the city are the ruins of a necropolis with burial caves and sixty tombs, which are towers of large hewn stones. Palmyra is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Before the war, Palmyra was visited annually by at least 150 thousands of tourists, it was one of the most attractive historical and cultural monuments in the Middle East for foreign tourists.
In June, 2015, the IS militants, under whose control there was a territory on which the ruins of Palmyra are located, set about the targeted destruction of ancient monuments. First, the militants began to destroy the ancient statues. So, on June 27 the statue “Leo Allat” was destroyed. A three-meter, weighing 15 tons, statue of a lion was erected two thousand years ago in honor of the ancient Arabian goddess of sky and rain, Al Lat. Fanatics smashed the statue with sledgehammers. After the destruction of the statues, the IG fighters destroyed two ancient temples, which were among the monuments of world cultural heritage. First, 23 August militants blew up the famous temple of Baalshamin, erected in honor of the Phoenician god of rain in the region of the 1st century AD. AD and considered one of the most significant architectural monuments of late Hellenism. Then, on August 30, the fanatics blew up the temple of Bela, built in honor of the supreme god of the ancient Syrians and also one of the most famous monuments of the mixed Greek-Eastern architecture in the Middle East. In addition to the destruction of ancient ruins, the militants continued to kill people involved in the preservation of the historical memory of the Syrian people. So, 19 August 2015 was killed by the militants the main caretaker of the monument 82-year-old Khaled Asaad. The scientist for many decades collaborated with international scientific organizations, organized archaeological research in Palmyra, and therefore was widely known not only in Syria, but also abroad. After Khaled Asaad was captured by the militants, no one could fully believe that they would venture to kill an elderly innocent archeologist in a brutal way. However, the militants' bloodthirstiness was underestimated. Fanatics murdered the historian as a public execution - an elderly historian who devoted more than fifty years of his life to studying and preserving the remnants of Ancient Palmyra, the fanatics decapitated in the central square of Palmyra. On September 4, the militants destroyed three burial towers built between 103 and 44. BC. Then it was the turn of the famous Arc de Triomphe II. AD - the one that is depicted in the textbook of the history of the ancient world. It was blown up by 5 militants of the Islamic State 2015 in October of October. According to local residents, there was nothing left of the arch after the militants' actions - “they powdered it”. Later it became known that the militants of the IG mined the antique amphitheater, built during the years of Palmyra’s entry into the Roman Empire - said Syrian Deputy Minister of Culture Ali al-Kayyim. He stated that “the IS militants mined the amphitheater. They know that we cannot strike at historical monuments. They can continue to mine the remaining monuments in case they feel threatened or the offensive begins. Their actions are inhuman ”(quoted on: http://lenta.ru/news/2015/10/06/palmyra/). UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova described the actions of the Islamic State militants to destroy Palmyra as a war crime and called on the world community to intensify efforts to combat this radical organization.
Destruction in Bosra and Aleppo
In addition to Palmyra, in the territory of Syria, the city of Bosra, an ancient settlement that during the existence of the Roman Empire served as the administrative center of the Roman province of Arabia, was heavily damaged. Since ancient times in Bosra, a Roman citadel has been preserved, the theater, the construction of which is dated to the 2nd c. AD In the Late Roman period, Bosra became an important center of Syria’s caravan communication with Mecca, trade and culture developed, Christian churches were built. To the credit of the Syrian government forces, they managed to repel Bosra back in March, 2015, but the damage that the militants managed to inflict on the ancient city is enormous. Huge damage was also inflicted on the historical center of Aleppo - perhaps the second most important cultural and political center of Syria after Damascus. Aleppo is one of the oldest inhabited places in the world, where people have been living since ancient times. According to archaeological research conducted in Tel-as-Saud and Tel-al-Ansari, the city was settled at least in the second half of the third millennium BC. Initially, it was the capital of the independent kingdom of Ebla, then it was destroyed by the troops of the Akkadian state. But over time, the city managed to be reborn - already as the capital of the Amorian kingdom Yamhad. After another invasion - this time the Hittites - Aleppo was conquered by the Hurritan state of Mitanni and became part of it. He was later conquered by the Hittites, for whom Aleppo also became an important cultural and religious center - here were the sanctuaries of the god of weather. Following the collapse of the Hittite state, Aleppo became part of the Aramaic kingdom of Arpad, then the Aramaic kingdom of Hatarikka-Luhuti, then became part of the Novo-Assyrian and New Babylonian kingdoms, the Persian empire of the Alexander of Macedon and the Hellenistic state of the Selivites. Seleucus Nicatorus built here the Greek city of Veria, which was later conquered by the Romans. Three centuries of Roman rule in Syria turned this region into a fairly calm and stable politically and economically. The inhabitants of Syria felt safe, developed trade, science and culture. Veria has become a large trading city and cultural center of Roman Syria.
- Citadel in Aleppo, 8 century AD.
After the Arab conquest, Aleppo retained its economic and cultural significance - in particular, the great philosopher and scholar Al-Farabi lived here. The city was part of the Hamdanid emirate, which was for some time dependent on the Byzantine Empire. Then, in Aleppo, the Seljuk Turks, the Ayyubid dynasty, the Mongolian Hulaguid dynasty, and the troops of Tamerlan, "hosted". In the New Age, Aleppo, like the whole of Syria, was part of the Ottoman Empire. For centuries here, though not without conflicts, the Muslim, Christian, and Judean people have lived together. The creation of the state of Israel provoked the growth of anti-Semitism in the Arab world, as a result of which the overwhelming majority of Jews in Arab countries, including Syria, emigrated to Israel. The war, unleashed by religious fanatics on the territory of Syria, led to the flight from Aleppo and the numerous previously Christian population of the city. Before the war, Christians made up 12% of the population of Aleppo. Basically, Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks lived here - followers of the Melkite church. Back in 2012, armed opposition units, capturing Aleppo, began to destroy the cultural and historical monuments of the city. The trade stalls of the al-Madin market, famous throughout the Middle East, were destroyed, the evangelical church in the al-Jadid area, the wall of the Great Mosque, one of the most famous monuments of Syrian Arab Muslim architecture, were plundered, the residence of the Melkite Archbishop Aleppo, the Maronite Archbishop Aleppo, the Christian, the Christian Museum of Maarrat Nachman. In the museum were destroyed icons and archaeological artifacts. The total damage inflicted by the militants on the city was no less than 2,5 billion dollars. In 2013 alone, over 40 thousands of residential buildings, 1000 schools, 52 mosques were destroyed.
Destroyed and churches and mosques
In addition to the monuments of ancient Assyria and Palmyra, which the militants of the "Islamic State" consider pagan, in the occupied territories there is a systematic destruction of Christian churches and monasteries and even mosques. Before the outbreak of the genocide unleashed by the IG, a large Christian population lived in Syria and Iraq - followers of the ancient Eastern churches, who were ethnicly Assyrian, Armenian, and Arabs. After the outbreak of hostilities, most Christians, fearing for their lives, left the territories threatened by ISI militants. However, even in this case, the fanatics found victims for themselves - they were historical monuments associated with the Christian religion. Considering the lands of Iraq and Syria as exclusively Muslim, due to become part of the “caliphate”, the IS militants seek to completely destroy the Christian presence and its reminder in the Syrian and Iraqi cities and villages. Thus, four local churches were burned down by ISIS militants in Mosul. In Syria, militants destroyed the Christian Church of St. Mar Beysho, located in the village of Tel-Shamiran, inhabited by Christian Assyrians. In February, 2015 was completely destroyed by one of the oldest in Syria, the Christian church in Tel Hurmiz. The churches in Tel-Balois and Qabr-Shamiy were also destroyed by militants seeking to destroy any traces of the Christian presence in Syria and Mesopotamia. In August, 2015 with the help of bulldozers militants of the IG destroyed St. Elian's monastery in the city of El Qaryatayn. It was one of the oldest Christian monasteries in Syria. In April 2015, captured by militants of the “Islamic State” Aleppo, the cathedral church of the Beri diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church of the 40 Saints martyrs, built in the 15th century, was destroyed. Militants dug a large hole inside the church and, placing there explosives, undermined the Christian temple. Also, as a result of the militants' actions, a Christian cemetery, located in the Aleppo region inhabited by Armenians, was damaged.
- blown up Armenian church in Aleppo
On the territory of Iraq in 2014, militants destroyed a large number of Shiite mosques (IS does not recognize Shiites as Muslims). In May 2015, IS fighters blew up a historical monument - the Maryam Khatun mosque in the western part of Mosul (Iraq), built in 1821. In addition, the Sultan Vais mosque (built in 1838) and the Al-Hadra mosque were blown up in Mosul. ", Caliph Umar Mosque. Breaking into mosques in the captured cities of Iraq and Syria, militants destroy murals, including medieval ones, which have great artistic and historical value. According to militants, the presence of frescoes in mosques is contrary to the canons of Islam, since religion forbids the depiction of people and animals. Those Muslim clerics who oppose the orders of the IS militants will at least be arrested, and in the worst case, a murder extradited to the death penalty. In addition to Shiite mosques, Sunni mosques are also attacked by militants in Syria and Iraq. After the start of the Russian air operation aviationthat came to the aid of Syria against the militants of the Islamic State, fundamentalist groups prefer to hide in mosques and hide equipment there, as they are aware that Russian aviation will not attack religious shrines and historical and cultural monuments. At the same time, the militants themselves do not have any moral barriers that prevent them from using mosques as shelters or firing at them during military clashes with enemy forces. By the way, IS fighters do not deny the fact that in the future they are going to destroy the greatest shrines of the Islamic world - Mecca and Medina, as well as destroy the Kaaba, which is holy for Muslims.
Russian Islamic scholar Roman Silantyev emphasizes that "Islamic State militants" destroy ancient cultural monuments, libraries and museums, as they are idols and do not correspond to the ideology of a true Islamic culture, dogma where there is a ban on the creation of any sculptures, sculptures and images. This prohibition is based on the fact that a person should not worship anyone except God. You can not create idols. Thus, by destroying ancient cultural and historical monuments, terrorists are trying to arouse fear, defy the entire world community and maintain their authority. This is the whole essence of "Wahhabism" "(quoted in: http://www.kp.ru/daily/26441.5/3312201/). It should be noted that during the reign of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, the historical heritage of the country was not only not destroyed, but was in every possible way preserved and studied. The famous Russian historian Viktor Solkin emphasizes that the archeology and museum work in Iraq of Saddam Hussein was at a very high level (http://www.mk.ru/culture/2015/02/27/uchenyy-o-razrushenii-boevikami-igil- pamyatnikov-v-mosule-vsyo-professionalnoe-soobshhestvo-absolyutno-moralno-paralizovano.html). Without going into an analysis of the political features of the rule of Saddam Hussein, it should be noted that during his tenure as head of the Iraqi state, to preserve the history of the country, including the pre-Islamic period, great efforts were indeed made. Funds were allocated to finance historical research, cadres of local scientists were trained, and access for foreign scientists to Iraqi territory was organized. That is, historical and cultural monuments remained accessible to the world community. Those who undermined the beginning of the XXI century. The foundations of secular Arab regimes in the Middle East are direct participants in the crimes of militants against humanity, including against its historical and cultural heritage. Therefore, when the United States and European countries begin to express outrage over the destruction of historical monuments in Syria and Iraq, first of all this outrage would be worth expressing to ourselves - after all, the aggressive policy of the United States and satellites led to mass terror and vandalism not only possible in the Middle East, but also acquired the character of a global threat.
Smuggling of values. The sad fate of artifacts
Under the guise of ideology, IG fighters not only defiantly destroy cultural heritage sites, but also steal artifacts with a view to their subsequent smuggling and sale on the black market to private collections - including the United States and Europe. According to the Syrian authorities, militants stole 527 artifacts that Syria has lost only from a national museum in the city of Rakka — the criminals took cultural property out of the country. Moreover, according to the director of historical museums and cultural heritage of Syria, Maamun Abdel-Karim, the abduction of historical treasures in the country began long before the activation of the “Islamic state” - representatives of other armed groups belonging to the so-called “opposition” opposing President Bashar al-Assad. The director of museums believes that the kidnapping of historical valuables is coordinated by international criminal communities with which militants work closely, as well as by Syrian criminals. Smuggling routes have long been established and value thefts are carried out everywhere where the central Syrian government is weak or the administration of the IG and other formations of the radical opposition operates. Western media have repeatedly reported that the militants of the IS expelled from Palmyra, Nineveh and other Syrian and Iraqi ancient cities historical artifacts, which are then sold in the United States, Britain and other Western countries. Only in the United States were sold artifacts worth at least 1,5 million. dollars. According to the New-York Times, the total income of the "Islamic State" from the sale of captured historical artifacts reaches hundreds of millions of US dollars. Smugglers offer everyone to purchase historical artifacts on one of the Internet sites specializing in the trade of valuables. It may seem to an uninformed person that exporting Syrian and Iraqi artifacts to Europe or the United States is still better than simply turning them into dust as a result of explosions and shelling from artillery shells. But professionals - historians subject this rather widespread position to reasoned criticism. Thus, according to historian Viktor Solkin, a clear distinction should be made between the export of values in the 19th and the first half of the 20th centuries, which was carried out by English, French, German, American researchers, and the current situation. Back then, historians and archaeologists did not just export valuable artifacts to Europe, but fixed them in context, describe them, place them either in state museums or in private, but well-known collections. But now the situation is radically different, says Victor Solkin: “what is happening now is not just valuables sold to Europe, but it’s a sawn-off head of the statue, a cut fragment of a cuneiform text, that is, all this is not only without context, but also passed through the hands of the vandals. And, getting into private collections, these things — naturally, obviously illegal ones — will never be able to participate in exhibitions, they cannot be published, because after that a trial will begin in the same States. All of this has been irretrievably lost from the cultural context ... "(Quoted from. by: Smirnitsky, I. A scientist about destruction by ISIL fighters of monuments in Mosul: “The whole professional community is absolutely morally paralyzed” // http://www.mk.ru/culture/2015/02/27/uchenyy-o-razrushenii-boevikami-igil-pamyatnikov-v -mosule-vsyo-professionalnoe-soobshhestvo-absolyutno-moralno-paralizovano.html). The war does not even allow creating a complete list of damaged, destroyed or stolen historical and cultural monuments and historical artifacts, which causes irreparable damage to the world cultural heritage.
It should not be forgotten that those world forces that are interested in the constant destabilization of the situation in the Middle East are very beneficial not only to support the flames of civil wars and conflicts in Syria and Iraq, but also to destroy the infrastructure of these countries, which creates the preconditions for their economic and cultural development. Monuments of history and culture are the second after oil (and the first can be real for humanity, for the world as a whole) the wealth of the countries of the Middle East. Its destruction will entail not only a cultural catastrophe, but also a huge economic and political damage.