3000 year old Ayn Dara temple damaged by Turkish army

The Ayn Dara temple near Afrin’s Ayn Dara village, built before 1300 B.C, has been severely damaged in the TAF air strike.

The ancient Ayn Dara temple near Afrin’s Ayn Dara village to the northwest of Aleppo has been severely damaged in the TAF air strike. Ayn Dara is significant for its resemblance with the Temple of Suleiman, mentioned in the Hebrew Bible as The First Temple, and was built before 1300 B.C. The temple had managed to survive to this day despite all the wars and invasions in the region.

The temple, affiliated with Ishtar or goddess Astarte by some sources and with Ba’al Hadad by others, has been severely damaged after being bombed by fighter jets as part of the Turkish Armed Forces’ operation against Afrin.


Antiquities and Museums Department under the Syrian Ministry of Culture stated that “Turkey targets historic sites too in the air strikes in Afrin, and most recently the Ayn Dara temple has been damaged.” The Department called on all relevant international organizations to “pressure Turkey to prevent the targeting of archaeological and cultural sites”. They condemned Turkey and said the operation is “an attack on the Syrian identity and an attack on the past, present and the future of the Syrian people.”

UK-based war monitor organization Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also stated that the Ayn Dara temple had been damaged severely in Turkey’s operation.

The Syrian civil war broke out in 2011, and many historic sites including UNESCO World Heritage sites Palmyra and Aleppo Ancient City have suffered great damage.