THE LEGAL ROLE OF GOVERNMENT IN PROTECTING CULTURAL HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES IN THE WAR-AFFECTED COUNTRIES: THE CASE OF IRAQ AND SYRIA
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Conserving cultural heritage and archaeological sites have become a serious national concern in the Middle East for the war-affected countries, including Iraq and Syria. Because looting and violence have caused massive destruction of cultural heritage and archaeological sites, this study aimed to analyze the legal background concerning the protection of cultural heritage and archaeological sites in the context of Iraq and Syria during 2014 with the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). This study used the content analysis method and cross-country analyses for Iraq and Syria. The study is guided by two main questions: What is the government's legal role in protecting cultural heritage and archaeological sites? Are there any legal authorities in Iraq and Syria to protect cultural heritage and archaeological sites during war and conflict? In the end, this paper suggests that protecting cultural heritage is the legal responsibility of government which is supposed to be enforced in the legal foundation of the state as a national sovereign power.
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