The secret libraries of history

At least 40 people have been killed after twin blasts near holy shrines in the Syrian capital Damascus. Most of the victims are Iraqi Shia pilgrims, according to Syrian and Iraqi officials. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks. Islamic State militants have carried out similar attacks before against Shiite shrines in the Syrian capital and elsewhere. Extremist Sunni groups, such as IS, view Shiites as apostates and consider shrines a form of idolatry. At least 40 people have been killed in twin blasts in the Sryian capital, Damascus. A bus is pictured here, completely blown out Syrian State TV aired footage from the scene showing blood-soaked streets and several damaged buses in a parking lot, apparently where the explosions went off near Bab al-Saghir cemetery. The cemetery is one of Damascus’ most ancient and is where several prominent religious figures are buried. Interior Minister Mohammed al-Shaar visited the wounded in local hospitals. He said 40 were killed and were wounded.

Working in Syria

Sources for this state come from texts that can be divided into three categories: Assyrian annals, Aramaean texts, and the Hebrew Bible. The largest portion of the textual sources come from Assyria. There are, however, often several copies of the same texts. Aramaean royal inscriptions are rare, and only one royal stele from Aram-Damascus proper has been identified — the Tel Dan Stele.

Other sources in Aramaic that shed light on the history of Aram-Damascus include two “booty inscriptions” from Eretria and Samos , and the Zakkur stele of the king Zakkur.

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Nigerian Dating Scam – I’ve been there by Catherine Sheffield, UK I am a widow and after just over two years my friends told me to try internet dating. As I was in my 40’s I thought I would join a site for over plus dating which you pay a subscription for and I thought would be safe. I started chatting to a guy who said he was english born but his father was american. He was working for the united nations as an orthapedic surgeon which I thought was a bit of a story but I went along with it.

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Syria Population 18, , Syria , a Middle Eastern country, has a population that’s difficult to determine due to instability; the Syrian situation is among the largest humanitarian crises worldwide. Approximately 5, flee Syria every day. In , the country had a population estimated at 22, , , and this number dropped to an estimated population of 22, , as of September

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Guide to the Syrian opposition June – Turkey changes rules of engagement after Syria shoots down a Turkish plane, declaring that if Syrian troops approach Turkey’s borders they will be seen as a military threat. Arab League stops short of full recognition. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The conflict in Syria displaced millions of people, many of whom sought refuge in camps in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon January – Syria accuses Israel of bombing military base near Damascus, where Hezbollah was suspected of assembling a convoy of anti-aircraft missiles bound for Lebanon.

Chemical arms claims Government forces have faced – and denied – repeated allegations of chemical weapons use Rise of Islamists September – UN weapons inspectors conclude that chemical weapons were used in an attack on the Ghouta area of Damascus in August that killed about people, but do not allocate responsibility. Government allows UN to destroy chemical weapons stocks, process complete by June Jaish al-Fatah Army of Conquest Islamist rebel alliance takes control of Idlib Province, putting pressure on government’s coastal stronghold of Latakia.

Russian intervention September – Russia carries out its first air strikes in Syria, saying they target the Islamic State group, but the West and Syrian opposition say it overwhelmingly targets anti-Assad rebels. US intervenes April – US President Donald Trump orders a missile attack on an airbase from which Syrian government planes allegedly staged a chemical weapons attack on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun.

These fight alongside the main opposition Syrian Democratic Forces, which captures the important Tabqa dam from Islamic State.

Middle East

Find out what’s happening in the world as it unfolds. The ancient oasis city of Palmyra, Syria, in March April 17, – Independence is declared after French troops leave the country. September 28, – Syria secedes from the United Arab Republic. November 13, – Minister of Defense Hafez al-Assad stages a bloodless coup. June 10, – Hafez al-Assad dies.

Located in south-western Syria, Damascus is the centre of a large metropolitan area of million people (). Geographically embedded on the eastern foothills of the Anti-Lebanon mountain range 80 kilometres (50 mi) inland from the eastern shore of the Mediterranean on a plateau metres (2, ft) above sea level, Damascus experiences a semi-arid climate because of the rain shadow effect.

Share by Email Beneath the streets of a suburb of Damascus, rows of shelves hold books that have been rescued from bombed-out buildings. Over the past four years, during the siege of Darayya, volunteers have collected 14, books from shell-damaged homes. They are held in a location kept secret amid fears that it would be targeted by government and pro-Assad forces, and visitors have to dodge shells and bullets to reach the underground reading space.

In , Taoist monk Wang Yuanlu — an unofficial guardian of the caves — discovered the hidden door that led to a chamber filled with manuscripts dating from the fourth to the 11th Centuries. Provincial authorities showed little interest in the documents after Wang contacted them; but news of the cave spread, and Hungarian-born explorer Aurel Stein persuaded him to sell about 10, manuscripts. Delegations from France, Russia and Japan followed, and most of the ancient texts left the cave.

Chinese scholar Rong Xinjiang has suggested that the cave was closed off amid fears of an invasion by Islamic Karakhanids, which never occurred.

Dozens killed as twin bomb attack targets Shia pilgrims in Damascus

The field duty stations of UN organisations are based in the capital, Damascus. The country has a km border with Iraq, a 76km border with Israel, a km border with Jordan, a km border with Lebanon and an km border with Turkey. Its Mediterranean coastline is km long. Syria is primarily semi-arid and a desert plateau. Climate The coastal region has a Mediterranean climate.

The heat is never excessive and there is usually some breeze and humidity.

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In fact, it is this juxtaposition of the old and the new that makes Damascus so compelling. Damascus is a city with a storied history, but still full of life, where street vendors flaunt their wares whilst men in business suits walk past. The older portions of the city are particularly enthralling with their labyrinth of narrow alleys and alluringly secretive doors that open out into lush courtyards and rather blank-faced houses.

Many of the traditional hotels in Damascus are amongst these alleys and make for great places to stay in Damascus. Among the great highlights and things to see and do in Damascus, the Barada River and the Ghouta Oasis are not to be missed. Also worth visiting are the Biblical sites, the historical Roman gates and walls, the enormous Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, the reputed Damascus University and the Damascus International Airport. The city of Damascus is a significant site for Christianity.

Syria Fast Facts

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Dayfa Khatun bint al-Adil Muhammad fem. AH CE. Medal; but rotated as shown. Hexagram type Dirham with posthumous dates Struck during It is identical in style and alloy to the lifetime Dirhams of al-Zahir Ghazi citing Caliph al-Nasir and the overload al-Adil Abu Bakr even after their deaths. There are numerous subtypes of this coin, some naming a Seljuq or Ayyubid overload, however this coin is citing Caliph Al Musta’sim B’Allah. Common Type – Crusader imitation. Some Dirhams and Half Dirhams of this ruler are now believed to be Crusader imitations, theoretically distinguished by style, alloy and fabric, occasionally by inscription.

However, the criteria for separating them have not yet been established.

Date Unknown – Two 9K79 Tochka Missiles Launched by Assad’s Forces Near Douma, Damascus, Syria

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