The National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces (SNC) pushed international organizations, particularly UNESCO, to take the necessary precautions to save the cultural and religious heritage of Syria from the ongoing violent clashes, as a reaction to recent attacks by the regime forces of Bashar al Assad on Homs' Khalid bin Walid Mosque destroying the 1,371 year-old tomb. The Syrian Coalition, issuing a written statement, condemned the bombardment of the mausoleum of Khalid Bin Walid and the over 10,000 year-old heritage site. In the statement, the Coalition urged the international community and United Nations Education Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO) to "take all necessary measures to preserve the remaining rich humanitarian, religious, and cultural heritage in Syria." "In a systematic strategy to change the demography of Homs, Assad's militias shelled the mausoleum of Khalid Bin Walid as they launched a fierce offensive against other neighbourhoods in Homs," stressed SNC. The Syrian Coalition previously sent a letter to UNESCO, warning about Assad's targeting ancient and historic buildings, mosques, churches, houses, castles, and other cultural, religious landmarks in an attempt to crush the Syrian Revolution.
"We ask for mercy for our martyrs, health for our wounded, and freedom for our detainees," added the statement.
Syrian Local Coordination Committee (LCC) stated on July 10 that Syrian regime forces attacked Homs' Khalidiya by missiles and mortars, wiping off the Khalid Bin Walid Mosque and Tomb in the suburbs of Khalidiya.
- Who is Khalid bin Walid?
The prominent Muslim commander Khalid bin Walid (592-642), known as the Drawn Sword of Allah, Sayfollah, was from the Meccan tribe of Quraysh.
He played a vital role in the Meccan victory at the Battle of Uhud against the Islamic army of Prophet Muhammad.
Walid converted to Islam, and joined Prophet Muhammad's companions, the Sahabah, after the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah and participated in various expeditions for him, such as the Battle of Mu'tah.
After Muhammad's death, he played a key role in commanding Medinan forces for the Caliphate Abu Bakr in the Ridda wars, conquering central Arabia and subduing Arab tribes.
He captured the Sassanid Arab client Kingdom of Al-Hirah, and defeated the Sassanid Persian forces during his conquest of Iraq (Mesopotamia). He was later transferred to the West to capture Roman Syria and the Byzantine Arab client state of the Ghassanids.
Making history as a unique unbeaten commander, Walid annexed Iraq and Iran to the State of Islam within a short time as 3 years.
Even though the Caliphate Omar later relieved him of high command, he nevertheless remained the effective leader of the forces arrayed against the Byzantines during the early stages of the Byzantine-Arab Wars reaching into Central Anatolia.
Under his command, Damascus was also captured in 634 and the key Arab victory against the Byzantine forces was achieved at the Battle of Yarmouk in 636, which led to the conquest of the Bilad al-Sham (Levant). In 638, at the zenith of his career, he was instead appointed to an administrative position. He died in Homs in 642.