Five mosaics, dating back to 62 BC, have been uncovered in Manbij, reports the Aso News Network. The northern Syrian city has become a hot spot for simmering tension between NATO allies Turkey and the USA, making the discovery all the more remarkable.
Manbij is the operational base of the US military, who are supporting local Kurdish and Arab forces in their fight against Islamic State. Turkey however has stated the city is a target in their fight against the Syrian Kurds. For the Erdoğan government in Ankara, the Kurdish Yekineyen Parastina Gel (YPG) fighters and their political partner, the Democratic Union party (PYD) are synonymous with the PKK, banned in Turkey as a terrorist organisation. The YPG deny an interest in internal Turkish affairs.
The discovery of the mosaics, which are of the Roman pagan period, follow the destruction last week by a Turkish airstrike of the Iron Age Ain Dara archeological site, 85 miles to the west of Manbij. That military offensive destroyed the distinctive carved basalt lions and winged sphinxes of the 3,000-year-old temple.
6 February 2018