The ongoing civil war in Syria has not only taken a toll on the lives of millions of people and the country's economy, it has also taken a part of Syria that cannot be brought back, just like all the lives that were taken during these past five years.
From historical buildings to archaeological locations, including six UNESCO World Heritage Sites, some of the the country's most beautiful sites have been ruined or completely destroyed.
1. Al Madina Souq
Part of the ancient city of Aleppo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1986, Al Madina Souq is the largest covered historic market in the world, stretching about 13 kilometers. Many sections of the souq were destroyed, ruined or burnt as a result of fighting between the Free Syrian Army and the Syrian Armed Forces.
An ancient city, once dubbed the "Bride of the Desert," Palmyra was once a stop for caravans crossing the Syrian desert.
3. Lion of al-Lāt
This ancient statue of a lion in Palmyra was made from limestone ashlars in the early first century AD. In 2015, the statue was demolished after ISIS captured Palmyra.
4. Tower of Elahbel
This sandstone tower tomb near the ancient city of Palmyra was one of several towers built outside the city walls. It was demolished by explosives by ISIS in 2015.
5. The Great Mosque of Aleppo
This World Heritage Site is one of the largest and oldest mosques in the city of Aleppo, located in al-Jalloum district. The mosque was built in the beginning of the 8th century. The minaret was built in 1090 but has been renovated throughout the years. In 2012, the mosque was damaged during clashes between the Free Syrian Army and the Syrian Armed Forces. The minaret was destroyed during the war in April of 2013.
6. Krak des Chevaliers fortress
One of the most important medieval castles in the world, this crusader fortress was first inhabited in the 11th century by Kurdish troops. It was known as "Castle of the Kurds" before it became known as it is now in the 19th century. Since 2006, the castle has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. During the Syrian civil war, it was partially damaged from shelling.
Bosra is a major archaeological site containing ruins from Roman, Byzantine and Islamic periods with its main feature being the Roman theater. Since the end of the French mandate in 1946, social and economic changes have affected Bosra. In 2013, it was reported that the site was used by the army to shell the surrounding town. In 2015, Syrian rebels seized the town, ousting Syrian soldiers after four days of intense fighting.
The acropolis hill is now occupied by the Qalaat al Mudiq ruins. Part of the town is enclosed in an ancient castle situated on a hill and the rest can be found in the plain. Since the ongoing civil war in Syria, the ancient city has been damaged and looted by treasure hunters.
9. Citadel of Aleppo
One of the oldest and largest castles in the world, this large palace in the old city of Aleppo goes way back, having been occupied by many civilizations including the Greeks, Byzantines, Ayyubids and Mamluks. The Citadel was severely damaged in 2012 during the Battle of Aleppo. The external gate of the citadel was damaged after being shelled during a clash between the Free Syrian Army and the Syrian Army. In 2015, a bomb went off in a tunnel under one of the outer walls, causing even further damage.
10. Mar Elian Monastery
The Monastery of St. Elian was a Syrian Catholic monastery located in the Homs area of central Syria. It was destroyed by ISIS in 2015.