The four-year civil war has killed more than 150,000 people and forced millions more to flee their homes. It is also, as documented by the BBC, destroying some of the world’s most important art, buildings and monuments.
The fact is, if the rebels win, especially if it is ISIS or even slightly more moderate elements of al Quaida and the Taliban, they will make a point of destroying all the antiquities that are not destroyed in the war. There have already been reports of their desire to blow up the pyramids in Egypt if they ever get the chance. They have already destroyed the massive and ancient statues of the Buddha in Afghanistan. Their goal is to wipe the slate clean and usher in their own system on a clear and very barren field.