Syrian Fighting Scorches Historic Market In Aleppo
The souk, one of a half-dozen cultural sites in Syria, suffered the worst damage yet to a UNESCO World Heritage site in the war-torn country. Looters have broken into a historic castle, stolen artifacts from museums and vandalized ruins in the ancient city of Palmyra, officials said.
The Aleppo market, with its stores selling perfume, fabrics and spices, is a major tourist attract in Syria. Amateur video posted Saturday showed burning debris and storefronts engulfed in flames.
The fire erupted late Friday following a battle between the regime and rebels trying to thwart Assad loyalists away from the city of 3 million. Aleppo, once considered a stronghold for Assad, has become the boiling point for the insurgency over the last two months, with rebels controlling about half the city.
The violence in Syria has claimed more than 30,000 lives, according to activists.