New York, May 29 (IANS/AKI): The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution to protect Iraq's ancient treasures from damage, looting and smuggling.
The resolution was proposed by Germany and Iraq and co-sponsored by Italy on Thursday.
The resolution "Saving the Cultural Heritage of Iraq" condemns the deliberate destruction of cultural treasures, urges nations to step up efforts to protect them and says their desecration may amount to war crimes.
The resolution was approved after Islamic State (IS) militants overran the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra last week and have reportedly vowed to destroy the statues at the Unesco World Heritage site, one of the most important in the Middle East.
IS extremists outraged the world when they demolished the ancient Iraqi cities of Nimrod and Hatra last year, sparking fears that the same fate could await Palmyra.