Syria's UNESCO Historical Sites Put On Danger List

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A picture taken on April 25, 2013 shows the rubble of the minaret of Aleppo's ancient Umayyad mosque, in the UNESCO-listed northern Syrian city, after it was blown up the previous day. The iconic mosque in Aleppo's labyrinthine Old City has been a key battleground since last July, with rebels seeking the ouster of Bashar al-Assad's regime laying siege twice but each time managing only to keep control for less than 48 hours. AFP PHOTO/JALAL AL-HALABI (Photo credit should read JALAL AL-HALA | Getty

PARIS -- The U.N. cultural agency says six historical sites in Syria are in imminent danger because of the country's civil war and is urging international support to protect them.

UNESCO said in a statement Thursday that its World Heritage Committee says the sites are "of outstanding universal value for humanity as a whole."

Some significant mosques, citadels and souks have gotten caught in the crossfire between regime forces and rebels, and illicit trade in Syria's rich archaeological heritage has flourished during the two-year war.

The sites on the UNESCO committee's danger list include the historical centers of Damascus, Bosra and Aleppo, as well as the desert oasis of Palmyra, a cultural center of the ancient world.

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