April 2 - Authorities and anti-government activists say an ancient synagogue in Damascus has been looted and damaged amid fierce fighting. Jessica Gray reports.
The collapsed ceiling of a 2,000-year-old synagogue in the Syrian capital Damascus. On Monday, the Syrian government and opposition activists said the place of worship had been damaged by theft and shelling. This amateur video shot last month, which cannot be verified by Reuters, shows rooms inside the building scattered with rubble and debris. The head of Syria's antiquities department said the synagogue had been looted, with thieves mostly grabbing gold chandeliers and centuries-old icons. Historic monuments like these have increasingly become a casualty of the country's ongoing civil war. Rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad began moving into the synagogue's district last July, with the area suffering heavy shelling from government air strikes and artillery since then.