Ports strikes adding to supply chain headaches – strikes, delay and … – Clyde & Co

With strike action planned and expected to hit both the Ports of Felixstowe and Liverpool in the coming days, the UK supply chain faces the threat of ever-increasing pressure and disruption. Some 1,900 workers at Felixstowe plan to stop all operations between 21 and 29 August 2022 and whilst dates are yet to be confirmed for Liverpool, press reports suggest that up to some 500 workers will strike there to coincide with the Felixstowe walk out. If the strike action goes ahead, this will significantly impact port operations including the arrival of at least 10 vessels at Felixstowe and 5 vessels at Liverpool over the eight-day period. Those arrivals include Evergreen, MSC, OOCL, COSCO and Maersk container vessels alongside a number of bulk and tanker vessels.

Whilst a delay of eight days in the scope of a 30 to 40 day voyage is not exceptional and will not necessarily cause physical damage to all cargo, the knock-on effects, including delay, could last considerably longer.  

With this industrial action and the threat of further industrial action, together with congestion and delay ever increasing across the globe, it is of paramount importance for both cargo interests and their insurers to review their underlying commercial contracts, contracts of carriage and marine cargo policies with a view to managing and limiting potential exposures. In this article we briefly consider whether resulting losses or additional expense may be covered under a marine cargo policy, what the carrier’s obligations and liabilities are when faced with strikes and delays and what they may do with the cargo in the event that they cannot access the intended port of call either within a reasonable period of time or at all.

Policy Coverage 

As a general rule of thumb, and notwithstanding “All Risks” cover often being afforded, Strike Risks are expressly excluded from the vast majority of marine cargo policies, specifically under Clause 7 of the Institute Cargo Clauses (A), (B) and (C) which provides that:

“7. In no case shall this insurance cover loss damage or expense

7.1 caused by strikers, locked-out workmen, or persons taking part in labour disturbances, riots, or civil commotions

7.2 resulting from strikes, lock-outs, labour disturbances, riots or civil commotions”

The only positive cover in relation to damage arising from Strike action may be afforded through the inclusion of the “buy back” Institute Strikes Clauses (Cargo).

It should be noted that Clause 3.7 of the Institute Strikes Clauses (Cargo) sets out a very specific exclusion, that being for:

“loss damage or expense arising from the absence shortage or withholding of labour of any description whatsoever resulting from any strike, lockout, labour disturbance, riot or civil commotion”.

The exclusion of “withholding of labour” means that cargo interests will not be covered for consequential loses which may arise from the strike action alone.

The insurance will only cover physical damage caused to the cargo by the strikers themselves, not damage relating to or resulting from the actual strike action. There is no cover afforded for loss of the adventure, which includes situations where the goods still exist and are neither lost nor damaged but have failed to reach their market.

The risk of delay is also generally excluded from cover unless expressly agreed. The exclusion under Clause 4.5 of the ICC(A) (B) and (C) wordings reads as follows: – 

“4. In no case shall this insurance cover

4.5 loss damage or expense caused by delay, even though the delay be caused by a risk insured against (except expenses payable under Clause 2 above*)

*relates to general average and salvage charges only

In light of the above and in the event that cargo is damaged as a result of the strike action and/or consequential financial losses are suffered as a result of any resulting delay, it is unlikely that a standard marine cargo policy will respond. However, due consideration must be made as to the exact cause of any resulting damage and a review made of any additional policy wording which seeks to change the default cover in the assured’s favour.

Contract of Carriage 

Consideration must also be given to what the carrier’s obligations are when dealing with matters affecting performance such as strike action. Cargo interests and/or subrogated insurers will also want to know whether they have any right of recourse against the carrier if the cargo is delivered to an alternative destination resulting in extra expense and/or is damaged or lost.

As a starting point it should be noted that Article IV of the Hague/Hague Visby Rules stipulates that:

“2. ”Neither the carrier nor the ship shall be responsible for loss or damage arising or resulting from ..

(j) Strike or lockouts or stoppage or restraint of labour from whatever cause, whether partial or general”;

and

(4) “any deviation in saving or attempting to save life or property at sea, or any reasonable deviation shall not be deemed to be an infringement or breach of the Rules or contract of carriage”

It should also be noted that both the Hague and Hague Visby Rules are silent in relation to the carrier’s liability for delay. Under English law it will be a matter of construction of the contract, and consideration must be given to what the reasonable contemplation of the parties was at the time the contract was made.

Shipping lines do need to carefully manage their operations and maintain their voyage schedules as far as possible. As part of this, under a Bill of Lading or contract of affreightment the contractual carrier will seek to incorporate a number of clauses which provide them with flexibility and protect their position in relation to actual or potential breaches of contract if they are unable to deliver the cargo to the port of destination named on that BOL or contract of affreightment either at all or within a reasonable period of time. The carrier will also seek to include a degree of liberty to alter the method and routes of carriage and will seek to exclude and/or limit their liability for any delay in delivering the goods, as against advertised or estimated voyage times.

An example of such a clause is Clause 14(C) of the BIMCO Liner Bill of Lading “Conelinebill 2000” which reads as follows:

“14 (c) Should it appear that epidemics; guarantine; ice; labour troubles, labour obstructions, strikes, lockout (whether onboard or on shore); difficulties in loading or discharging would prevent the vessel from leaving the Port of loading or reaching or entering the Port of discharge or there discharging in the usual manner and departing therefrom, all of which safely and without unreasonable delay, the Master may discharge the cargo at the port of loading or another safe and convenient port.

(d) The discharge, under the provision of this Clause, of any cargo shall be deemed due fulfilment of the contract of carriage.

(e) If in connection with the exercise of any liberty under this Clause any extra expenses are incurred, they shall be paid by the Merchant in addition to the freight, together with return freight, if any, and a reasonable compensation for any extra services rendered to the cargo.”

Issues may arise as to what is to be construed as being “reasonable deviation” and what constitutes a safe and convenient port. Each case will need to be assessed on its own facts. It is conceivable, however, that a safe and convenient port of call for the Felixstowe bound cargo could be a port in mainland Europe. This will inevitably result in increased transhipment/forwarding costs being incurred. Those costs could be considerable, specifically if there is extra demand placed upon already stretched services. Those costs may also be payable under a marine cargo policy, either as sue and labour expenses, if the loss or damage arises from an insured risk, or under bespoke forwarding charge provisions. Again, each policy should be reviewed in light of the specific facts of each case.

It should be noted that under clause 8.3 of the Institute Clauses, cover will remain in force during delay beyond the control of the assured and during any variation of the adventure arising from the exercise of a liberty clause by the carrier. However, if the contract of carriage is terminated, for reasons beyond the control of the assured, cargo interests must give prompt notice to their insurers in order that their insurance is not automatically terminated under Clause 9 of the Institute Clauses.

Conclusion

Port disruption caused by strike is unlikely to frustrate the contract of carriage. If necessary, and should the delay become indefinite or prolonged, the carrier may need to and may have sufficient liberty to divert from the intended voyage and discharge the cargo at an alternative port. The cost of onward shipment will then fall upon the cargo interest, who may or may not be able to recover those costs from their insurers. That will be heavily dependent upon the terms of the specific policy and what additional cover and extensions have been purchased, if any.

In every case, establishing what contractual provisions, liberties and obligations exist under each contract of carriage, is an important consideration, as is a full and proper understanding of what is covered and what is expressly excluded under a marine cargo policy. The delay, inconvenience and extra expense caused by the proposed strike action could be significant and far reaching. Whilst the situation remains fluid and a resolution may be reached, both cargo interests and insurers need to be alive to the potential issues.

If you have any questions about the issues raised in this article, we are happy to discuss these with you.

Civil unrest surges 45% in MENA region last year – Reinsurance News

The number of protests and riots in the MENA (Middle East & North Africa) region has jumped by 45% in the last year, from 19,677 to 28,458 incidents, according to new analysis by specialty re/insurance group Chaucer.

Source: BBC

Chaucer says that the increase in protests in the region has been largely driven by the economic and social stresses caused by Covid.

For example, the collapse in oil & gas prices during the lockdown was a contributing factor to an increase in protests in a number of economies in the region that are dependent on oil & gas revenues. In April 2020, prices reached a low of $25 a barrel.

In the Middle East over the last year, Lebanon alone experienced 2,695 incidences of unrest.

In North Africa there was a 39% rise in protests and riots; Algeria saw an increase of 11%, from 2,250 to 2,490, South Sudan incidents increased from 608 to 844 and Tunisia saw incidents double from 989 to 1,986 with protests over the government’s handling of the Covid crisis largely driving the increase.

The growth in unrest in the region has led to damages to property caused by protests, but Chaucer warns that insurance policies may exclude this kind of damage and some businesses may have experienced difficulty in obtaining cover for protest and riot damage.

Increasingly, companies are turning to specialist SRCC (Strikes, Riots and Civil Commotion) cover, which explicitly insures against damages from this type of event.

“The economic shock of the pandemic has been felt especially hard in certain parts of the MENA region. We are working closely with our clients to ensure they have the right coverage to protect their assets,” said Fawzi Omari, Senior Executive Officer at Chaucer’s Dubai office

“Since the global financial crisis Strikes, Riots and Civil Commotion has been growing as separate area of insurance in order to help deal with the trend for general property insurance policies to exclude the risk. It looks like COVID is going to accelerate that process.”

“Otherwise rising unrest could leave businesses who lack the right insurance exposed.”

With Its New Global Insights Center, The Hartford Aims to Equip … – Workers Comp Forum

The Hartford’s new global research offering is slated to offer a heightened view of global market dynamics and geopolitical risks that will inform international underwriting and business decisions well into the future.

When looking to expand in various countries or regions throughout the globe, businesses and underwriters must assess the specific risk exposure that lives within those borders. Additionally, the globe has borne witness to several debilitating trends that have had a universal impact. These include the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain crises and global inflation, and most recently, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In order to assist businesses and underwriters, The Hartford launched a new Global Specialty Insights Center to share the company’s robust in-house global research with internal and external stakeholders.

“The Global Specialty Insights Center has two mandates,” said Shailesh Kumar, The Hartford’s head of the Global Specialty Insights Center.

“One is to help internal underwriters assess the world, the economic landscape, geopolitical landscape [and] we also are working with clients who have international business exposure to speak to them about what they may be facing or what they could be facing in a lot of the countries in which they operate or in which they may be looking to expand.”

The impetus for the venture was a convergence of disruptive global trends, followed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Once Russia-Ukraine hit, we realized we needed a unit like The Hartford Global Specialty Insights Center, and to do two core missions, which is advise and consult our internal stakeholders — underwriters and business leaders — on those geopolitical and economic issues and drivers of their business and help with overall decision making,” said Adrien Robinson, The Hartford’s head of global specialty. “And what a great opportunity at the same time to extend some of those services to our customers.”

What to Expect from The Center

The Center leverages its vast subject matter expertise to provide thought leadership and white papers.

Shailesh Kumar, head of the Global Specialty Insights Center, The Hartford

“We have a team of economists and analysts who understand credit conditions and economic outlooks as well as geopolitical factors in a lot of these markets to help advise underwriters as they’re undertaking the risk,” Kumar said.

It also leverages an area of expertise particular to insurers.

“As their current or future potential insurer, we are uniquely positioned to work with them to discuss risk, whether it be macroeconomic, geopolitical, global trends, country-risk, or even sectoral concerns,” Kumar said.

“So we can have these very close conversations with them. We can help address a lot of their needs that others may not be positioned to do.”

And, he continued, it is a value-added service. “We are providing this service, and engaging with our policy holders at this level and on these issues, because we feel it’s the best tool they can use to help mitigate their risk on the back of it. We also of course have a massive insurance firm who can then give them the solutions to help mitigate those risks through different products.”

A core element of the Center’s work is a scoring system that uses proprietary models to grade each country on a variety of relevant dimensions.

“These scores help inform underwriters of the potential risk in a country for a given subject, and in some cases also help determine how much risk to take,” Kumar said.

“The risk factors for which we generate scores include the potential for sovereign default, macroeconomic conditions, banking sector stress, the potential for terrorism to occur, or for a rise in strikes, riots, and civil commotion. We also have scores to ascertain the potential for war to occur, or for a government to expropriate assets or make it difficult to repatriate gains.”

Why Now? 

These risk areas are not entirely new, but their causes and impacts may be.

“The current inflationary environment around the world is well socialized at this point, but what may not be fully appreciated is what the fiscal and monetary response could be to that by different countries and how that could affect the risk environment,” Kumar said.

And not every business will be impacted the same way.

“If your business is really driven by the cost of goods such as food or fuel, that’s an inflationary pressure that could abate if a favorable resolution were to come to pass with Russia-Ukraine, and certainly if the supply chain frees up,” Robinson said.

“But if your business has most of its underlying cost in labor, those are likely to be more systemic and permanent, because you can’t really turn back the cost of labor and the freeing up of supply chains doesn’t really help with that.”

Political violence is another risk with a long history.

Adrien Robinson, head of global specialty, The Hartford

“We’re also very much focused on the potential for political violence,” Robinson said. “We’ve written extensively about what we think could drive civil unrest, what economic conditions drive rioting and rebellion, and what are some of the signposts individuals should be looking at as future indicators of potential for increased violence around the world.”

While such violence is nothing new, the contemporary causes and manifestations may be.

“What’s slightly different at the moment is that there’s certain economic pressures building in certain parts of the world,” Kumar said.

“Part of it’s pandemic, part of it’s because of the fiscal response we saw post-pandemic, and part of it is inflation/supply chain-related. But all of those are coming together to create greater potential for political violence in select emerging markets.”

Other global risks have evolved even more.

“There’s essentially a new exposure or an exposure that now has radically heightened awareness, and that is confiscation,” Robinson said.

Companies have long been aware of that risk, especially in countries with authoritarian regimes. But Robinson says that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has heightened that risk considerably.

“There’s obviously the physical war, which propagated a secondary conflict, which is a cyber war, more of a virtual war, which provoked a third dimension, which is an economic war,” Robinson said. “And the economic sanctions were so severe and so globally oriented against Russia, that Russia countered by confiscating various assets including fleets of planes and entire businesses.”

Kumar points out another known risk with a new look.

“Depletion of dollar reserves, and a consequential government or central bank response via capital controls at times makes it harder for investors to get dividends or proceeds out of a country,” he said.

Previously, this was related to economic turmoil.

“What’s changing, or what could change in the future, is the weaponization of capital as a political or foreign policy response, preventing money from leaving a country as retribution for sanctions or military conflict,” Kumar said.

“So, for example, if you’re invested in a country, even if they have ample dollars or they have the ability to repatriate your money, there is the risk — or it could happen in the future — of them making it very hard for you to get your money out as a means of punitive action against investors.”

Another emerging aspect of that risk is sovereign distress.

“For a number of years, we knew sovereign risk or the risk of default in certain parts of the world was there and that businesses should be aware of it,” Kumar said.

“What’s changed slightly is, as capital flows reorient themselves, as the globalization begins to change, as high oil prices persist, and as debt levels rise alongside and increase in the cost to service debt, then the sovereign ability of certain countries could erode. This is a risk that we’re flagging that businesses should be aware of in certain parts of the world.”

Moving Forward

The Center’s experts see a changing world order as the most prominent long-term consequential trend, as the U.S.-led unipolar world, which followed the bi-polar world of the Cold War, is supplanted by something new.

“We are now on the precipice of a multi-polar world, where it’s not going to be the U.S. and China, which has often been looked upon as the next great power, but other powers are likely to emerge also,” Kumar said, citing as examples India, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and perhaps Russia.

“These are all varying powers from the economic lens, but they’re all carving out a power center for themselves around the world. And Russia-Ukraine, in part, has accelerated this shift in dynamic.”

With a changing world order, comes changing global risk.

“The increase in uncertainty, the pickup in turmoil and geopolitical risk, has necessitated an increased awareness for businesses to appreciate that risk and how to analyze that risk,” Kumar said.

“It’s not that geopolitical risk didn’t exist 20 years ago. It did; it was just different.” &

Jon McGoran is a magazine editor based outside of Philadelphia. He can be reached at [email protected]

Ports strikes adding to supply chain headaches – strikes, delay and matters affecting performance – Clyde & Co

With strike action planned and expected to hit both the Ports of Felixstowe and Liverpool in the coming days, the UK supply chain faces the threat of ever-increasing pressure and disruption. Some 1,900 workers at Felixstowe plan to stop all operations between 21 and 29 August 2022 and whilst dates are yet to be confirmed for Liverpool, press reports suggest that up to some 500 workers will strike there to coincide with the Felixstowe walk out. If the strike action goes ahead, this will significantly impact port operations including the arrival of at least 10 vessels at Felixstowe and 5 vessels at Liverpool over the eight-day period. Those arrivals include Evergreen, MSC, OOCL, COSCO and Maersk container vessels alongside a number of bulk and tanker vessels.

Whilst a delay of eight days in the scope of a 30 to 40 day voyage is not exceptional and will not necessarily cause physical damage to all cargo, the knock-on effects, including delay, could last considerably longer.  

With this industrial action and the threat of further industrial action, together with congestion and delay ever increasing across the globe, it is of paramount importance for both cargo interests and their insurers to review their underlying commercial contracts, contracts of carriage and marine cargo policies with a view to managing and limiting potential exposures. In this article we briefly consider whether resulting losses or additional expense may be covered under a marine cargo policy, what the carrier’s obligations and liabilities are when faced with strikes and delays and what they may do with the cargo in the event that they cannot access the intended port of call either within a reasonable period of time or at all.

Policy Coverage 

As a general rule of thumb, and notwithstanding “All Risks” cover often being afforded, Strike Risks are expressly excluded from the vast majority of marine cargo policies, specifically under Clause 7 of the Institute Cargo Clauses (A), (B) and (C) which provides that:

“7. In no case shall this insurance cover loss damage or expense

7.1 caused by strikers, locked-out workmen, or persons taking part in labour disturbances, riots, or civil commotions

7.2 resulting from strikes, lock-outs, labour disturbances, riots or civil commotions”

The only positive cover in relation to damage arising from Strike action may be afforded through the inclusion of the “buy back” Institute Strikes Clauses (Cargo).

It should be noted that Clause 3.7 of the Institute Strikes Clauses (Cargo) sets out a very specific exclusion, that being for:

“loss damage or expense arising from the absence shortage or withholding of labour of any description whatsoever resulting from any strike, lockout, labour disturbance, riot or civil commotion”.

The exclusion of “withholding of labour” means that cargo interests will not be covered for consequential loses which may arise from the strike action alone.

The insurance will only cover physical damage caused to the cargo by the strikers themselves, not damage relating to or resulting from the actual strike action. There is no cover afforded for loss of the adventure, which includes situations where the goods still exist and are neither lost nor damaged but have failed to reach their market.

The risk of delay is also generally excluded from cover unless expressly agreed. The exclusion under Clause 4.5 of the ICC(A) (B) and (C) wordings reads as follows: – 

“4. In no case shall this insurance cover

4.5 loss damage or expense caused by delay, even though the delay be caused by a risk insured against (except expenses payable under Clause 2 above*)

*relates to general average and salvage charges only

In light of the above and in the event that cargo is damaged as a result of the strike action and/or consequential financial losses are suffered as a result of any resulting delay, it is unlikely that a standard marine cargo policy will respond. However, due consideration must be made as to the exact cause of any resulting damage and a review made of any additional policy wording which seeks to change the default cover in the assured’s favour.

Contract of Carriage 

Consideration must also be given to what the carrier’s obligations are when dealing with matters affecting performance such as strike action. Cargo interests and/or subrogated insurers will also want to know whether they have any right of recourse against the carrier if the cargo is delivered to an alternative destination resulting in extra expense and/or is damaged or lost.

As a starting point it should be noted that Article IV of the Hague/Hague Visby Rules stipulates that:

“2. ”Neither the carrier nor the ship shall be responsible for loss or damage arising or resulting from ..

(j) Strike or lockouts or stoppage or restraint of labour from whatever cause, whether partial or general”;

and

(4) “any deviation in saving or attempting to save life or property at sea, or any reasonable deviation shall not be deemed to be an infringement or breach of the Rules or contract of carriage”

It should also be noted that both the Hague and Hague Visby Rules are silent in relation to the carrier’s liability for delay. Under English law it will be a matter of construction of the contract, and consideration must be given to what the reasonable contemplation of the parties was at the time the contract was made.

Shipping lines do need to carefully manage their operations and maintain their voyage schedules as far as possible. As part of this, under a Bill of Lading or contract of affreightment the contractual carrier will seek to incorporate a number of clauses which provide them with flexibility and protect their position in relation to actual or potential breaches of contract if they are unable to deliver the cargo to the port of destination named on that BOL or contract of affreightment either at all or within a reasonable period of time. The carrier will also seek to include a degree of liberty to alter the method and routes of carriage and will seek to exclude and/or limit their liability for any delay in delivering the goods, as against advertised or estimated voyage times.

An example of such a clause is Clause 14(C) of the BIMCO Liner Bill of Lading “Conelinebill 2000” which reads as follows:

“14 (c) Should it appear that epidemics; guarantine; ice; labour troubles, labour obstructions, strikes, lockout (whether onboard or on shore); difficulties in loading or discharging would prevent the vessel from leaving the Port of loading or reaching or entering the Port of discharge or there discharging in the usual manner and departing therefrom, all of which safely and without unreasonable delay, the Master may discharge the cargo at the port of loading or another safe and convenient port.

(d) The discharge, under the provision of this Clause, of any cargo shall be deemed due fulfilment of the contract of carriage.

(e) If in connection with the exercise of any liberty under this Clause any extra expenses are incurred, they shall be paid by the Merchant in addition to the freight, together with return freight, if any, and a reasonable compensation for any extra services rendered to the cargo.”

Issues may arise as to what is to be construed as being “reasonable deviation” and what constitutes a safe and convenient port. Each case will need to be assessed on its own facts. It is conceivable, however, that a safe and convenient port of call for the Felixstowe bound cargo could be a port in mainland Europe. This will inevitably result in increased transhipment/forwarding costs being incurred. Those costs could be considerable, specifically if there is extra demand placed upon already stretched services. Those costs may also be payable under a marine cargo policy, either as sue and labour expenses, if the loss or damage arises from an insured risk, or under bespoke forwarding charge provisions. Again, each policy should be reviewed in light of the specific facts of each case.

It should be noted that under clause 8.3 of the Institute Clauses, cover will remain in force during delay beyond the control of the assured and during any variation of the adventure arising from the exercise of a liberty clause by the carrier. However, if the contract of carriage is terminated, for reasons beyond the control of the assured, cargo interests must give prompt notice to their insurers in order that their insurance is not automatically terminated under Clause 9 of the Institute Clauses.

Conclusion

Port disruption caused by strike is unlikely to frustrate the contract of carriage. If necessary, and should the delay become indefinite or prolonged, the carrier may need to and may have sufficient liberty to divert from the intended voyage and discharge the cargo at an alternative port. The cost of onward shipment will then fall upon the cargo interest, who may or may not be able to recover those costs from their insurers. That will be heavily dependent upon the terms of the specific policy and what additional cover and extensions have been purchased, if any.

In every case, establishing what contractual provisions, liberties and obligations exist under each contract of carriage, is an important consideration, as is a full and proper understanding of what is covered and what is expressly excluded under a marine cargo policy. The delay, inconvenience and extra expense caused by the proposed strike action could be significant and far reaching. Whilst the situation remains fluid and a resolution may be reached, both cargo interests and insurers need to be alive to the potential issues.

If you have any questions about the issues raised in this article, we are happy to discuss these with you.

Insurance Implications For Aircraft Grounded In Russia – Law360

By Rory Jurman, Peter Lewis and Sarah Anderson (September 6, 2022, 6:56 PM EDT) — Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to create new implications for insurance companies….

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Syria: Rome’s “rare” mosaic was discovered in Rastan – BOL News

Rome’s “rare” mosaic was discovered

  • A nearly intact Roman mosaic dating back 1,600 years have been found in central Syria.
  • The mosaic, which is 20 by 6 metres (65.5 x 20 feet), was discovered beneath a structure in Rastan, which was controlled by rebels throughout the civil war until 2018.
  • It is thought to be the most uncommon of its sort and depicts mythical scenes such as the Trojan and Amazon Wars.

A nearly intact Roman mosaic dating back 1,600 years have been found in central Syria.

The mosaic, which is 20 by 6 metres (65.5 x 20 feet), was discovered beneath a structure in Rastan, which was controlled by rebels throughout the civil war until 2018.

It is thought to be the most uncommon of its sort and depicts mythical scenes such as the Trojan and Amazon Wars.

After more than ten years of conflict, many of Syria’s archaeological treasures have suffered damage.

But the most significant archaeological find since the conflict’s inception in 2011, according to the most recent discovery.

According to Hamman Saad, a senior official of Syria’s General Directorate of Museums and Antiquities, “what we have in front of us is a discovery that is unusual on a global scale.”

The mosaic, he continued, was extremely detailed, showing Hercules slaying the Amazon queen Hippolyta as well as the Roman sea god Neptune and 40 of his girlfriends.

Until Syrian government forces took control of Rastan in 2018, it was a rebel stronghold and the scene of fierce fighting.

The Umayyad mosque in Damascus and the ancient city of Palmyra are two of the best-preserved artefacts from ancient civilizations found in Syria, which is regarded as a treasure trove for archaeologists.

But the civil conflict has caused significant destruction and looting. When the Islamic State organization seized control of Palmyra in 2015, the city was left in ruins.

The commotion has also fueled an illicit market for minor goods like statuettes and coins.

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Behind Speaker Among’s moves at EALA elections – Independent

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