The top image, which seems to have been taken recently, shows that cladding materials have been stripped from the mehrab (the alcove indicating the direction of Mecca) in al Kabir Mosque in Ma’aret al Numan city in the southern suburbs of Idlib governorate. Both the cladding materials and the ornately carved mehrab itself were looted after the Syrian regime forces seized control over the city on January 28, 2020. Local activists told SNHR that the cladding materials were in a good condition before Syrian regime forces took control of the city, as shown in the bottom image
This image is one of a number of images taken inside the mosque which show the extensive looting of the cladding materials that took place in its interior. This is another reminder that the Syrian regime and its militias don’t limit themselves to only looting residential buildings whose residents have fled as a result of displacement, as documented by SNHR in previous reports, but also ransack vital facilities like mosques, with the Syrian regime first bombing the buildings to displace their residents and leave them destitute then looting what remains of their homes as a multi-stage policy.
Image source: the top image was taken by Zaher al Yousefi, a member of the Syrian parliament on May 30, 2020, and published on his Facebook account to boast about the regime’s control over the mosque. The bottom image was published by the Macro Media Center on June 14, 2018.