Syria's heritage threatened by turmoil
On its towering hilltop perch, the Krak des Chevaliers, one of the world's best preserved Crusader castles, held off a siege by the Muslim warrior Saladin nearly 900 years ago. It was lauded by Lawrence of Arabia for its beauty and has been one of the crown jewels of Syria's tourism.
But it has fallen victim to the chaos of Syria's uprising and the crackdown against it by President Bashar Assad's government. Recently, gunmen broke into the castle, threw out the staff and began excavations to loot the site, says Bassam Jammous, general director of the Antiquities and Museum Department in Damascus....
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