Turkish airstrikes against Kurdish forces have partially destroyed a 3,000-year-old temple in northern Syria, according to a monitoring group and the Syrian regime, Telegraph reports.
The neo-Hittite temple of Ain Dara was built in around 1300 BC and is famous for its elaborate images of lions and sphinxes.
The temple was at least 60 per cent destroyed by Turkish forces as they attacked the Kurdish-held area of Afrin, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said.
Pictures posted online by the group appeared to show part of the temple had been reduced to rubble.
The Syrian regime slammed Turkey for the cultural destruction, with the antiquities ministry saying: “This attack reflects the hatred and barbarism of the Turkish regime against the Syrian identity and against the past, present and future of the Syrian people.”
The bombing of the Ain Dara temple is the latest example of an ancient site destroyed by Syria’s seven-year war.
The desert city of Palmyra was devastated by fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, who deliberately destroyed many of its treasures while they were in control of the city.
The Old City of Aleppo was also badly damaged during the siege of the city.