The Saudi-led aggression has destroyed nearly two dozens archeological landmarks in Yemen since the beginning of Riyadh government’s airstrikes on the Arab country, the General Organization of Antiquities and Museums announced on Saturday.
The demolished archeological sites are stretched from capital Sana’a to Ma’rib, Aden, Dhale, Sa’ada, Ta’iz, Hodayda, Shabwa and Hajjah, the organization said.
A sum of six ancient cities, six castles, three museums, two mosques, four palaces and several other archeological sites have been destroyed in Yemen.
Less reported in the Saudi-led bombardments is the damage inflicted on cultural heritage sites in Yemen that have made extraordinary contributions to world civilization.
Director of Yemen’s General Organization of Antiquities and Museums Mohannad al-Sayani said that 23 sites and monuments have been severely damaged or destroyed since the beginning of the conflict.
Sixty thousand years ago, early man walked through Yemen along the Bab al-Mandab, one of the major out-of-Africa routes that Homo sapiens took to colonize Eurasia. Archaeologists have found the remnants of prehistoric cultures that navigated the Red and Arabian Seas 8,000 years ago; these early travelers and traders left behind impressive megaliths.
Then there are the prehistoric walled hilltop towns and massive cities that were ruled by the South Arabia’s kingdoms of the first millennium B.C. Yemen also boasts a rich Islamic heritage that includes some of the oldest, most elaborately decorated mosques in the world.
On June 12, the historic city of Sana’a, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was bombarded by the Saudis. This city, continuously inhabited for over 2,500 years, contains some of the most beautiful traditional architecture in the world. The deliberate targeting of a civilian district of the old city was inexcusable and raises serious questions about Saudi Arabia’s intentions in this conflict.
Ten other sites in Yemen are on the tentative UNESCO World Heritage List. One of these, the old city of Sa’ada, has also suffered extensive damage from air attack.