PARIS — Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development of France Laurent Fabius has condemned the destruction of the Church of the Holy Martyrs in Deir ez-Zor.

His statement reads, in particular:

“I condemn the destruction of the Church of the Holy Martyrs in Deir Ez -Zor, a highly symbolic place for the Armenian community.

“France welcomes the commitment of religious leaders of all faiths, despite the attacks and threats, in their fight for tolerance and respect for places of worship.

“Syrian and Iraqi heritage, including religious, is at risk. The failure to protect cultural heritage constitutes a war crime, and those responsible are amenable to the international criminal court. In cooperation with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), France is mobilized to ensure that the conventions on the protection of cultural heritage are implemented, especially in situations of armed conflict.”

The St. Martyrs Armenian Church of Deir ez-Zor, holding the relics of the victims of the Armenian Genocide, was exploded by the terrorist group of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant on September 21 at 11:30.

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