Yemeni team to assess damage in Lahij, al-Daleh

By Abu Bakr al-Yamani in Sanaa


Yemeni security forces inspect unexploded ordnance confiscated from al-Qaeda militants in Lahij province on April 29th, 2016. A team of experts will inspect archaeological sites in Lahij and al-Daleh that have been damaged or blown up by al-Qaeda and 'Islamic State of Iraq and Syria' militants. [Saleh al-Obeidi/AFP]

Yemen's Minister of Culture recently announced the formation of a new team that will inspect archaeological sites in Lahij and al-Daleh, conduct an assessment, and draw up plans for urgent repairs and rehabilitation.

The joint team, approved by Minister of Culture Marwan Damaj on Sunday (July 23rd), will comprise members of the University of Aden's Archaeology Department and the General Organisation of Antiquities and Museums (GOAM).

The team will visit a number of archaeological sites in Lahij and al-Daleh to conduct an assessment and will draw up a vision for both urgent and necessary work, Yemeni media reported.

The decision to form the team is part of efforts to implement the Scientific and Cultural Co-operation Agreement between the University of Aden and GOAM.

"Several archaeological sites have been damaged and blown up by al-Qaeda and 'Islamic State of Iraq and Syria' (ISIS) elements, and they need urgent interventions," said GOAM chief Mohannad al-Sayani.

"Three archaeological sites have been fully destroyed in Lahij and al-Daleh," he told Al-Mashareq.

Imam al-Saqqaf Dome in al-Waht, Lahij, which dates back 700 years, was fully destroyed in August 2015, he said. "At the same time, Imam Hasan al-Bahr Dome, located in Tebn area, Lahij province, was 90% destroyed."

Al-Sayyid Hasan Dome, located in al-Daleh, also was blown up on May 7th, 2016, by al-Qaeda and ISIS elements, he added.

"No operations can be done to rescue these archaeological sites and other sites which either have been neglected or destroyed by terrorists or others without a visit by a scientific team to assess the required needs for rescuing and preserving them," al-Sayani said.

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