Syria Calls Upon International Community to Protect Threatened Ruins

A Syrian official on Thursday called upon the international community to protect the 2,000-year-old ruins in the ancient city of Palmyra, now threatened by advancing Islamic State militants.
Maamoun Abdulkarim, Syria's director-general of antiquities and museums, told The Associated Press by telephone that the U.S.-led coalition, which has been striking the extremists in Syria since September, should expand its raids to hit militants battling government forces at the gates of Palmyra.
Palmyra is known for its Roman-era ruins, which once attracted thousands of tourists, who came to see its towering colonnades and a temple to the god Baal.
The UNESCO world heritage site in the ancient oasis city is Syria's most famous, and includes other attractions such as a Efqa Spring and the Temple of Baalshamin.
The Islamic State group has destroyed archaeological sites in neighboring Iraq in recent months.