The Syrian conflict and the use of cultural property for military purposes
Jadranka Petrovic and Rebecca Hughes
Accountability for violations of international humanitarian law : essays in honour of Tim McCormack
New York ; London : Routledge, 2016
Jadranka Petrovic and Rebecca Hughes examine the normative implications of the belligerent use of the World Heritage List sites and other immovable cultural property for military purpose in the present day Syria. They highlight the magnitude of the Syrian cultural disaster, caused, inter alia, by the use of the ancient sites by the military on all side to the conflict and argue that despite the universal value of cultural property, relevant instruments of neither IHL nor ICL adequately address the question of the use of cultural property for military purposes, which in the Syrian context may result in allowing those in control of cultural property, and whose expose it to destruction or damage, to walk away with impunity. Since cultural property is precious, not just locally, but also across borders and across generations, Petrovic and Hughes urge that its protection must be a matter of high priority for the international community and call for the criminalisation of any use of cultural property for military purposes.