ISIS Destroys Roman Landmarks in Syria’s Ancient War-torn Palmyra
The extremists tear down facade of second-century theater and monument after recapturing the town from government troops.
ed note–no one should make the mistake of thinking that this was/is being done due to any ‘Islamic’ angle.
Islam has been in the region for 1,400 years, and all the monuments to former civilizations–Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Persian, Byzantine, etc, have been left untouched, unbothered, unmolested, etc.
But there is one entity in the region who has an absolutely IMPLACABLE hatred for the aforelisted former cultures/civilizations, and it is the Jewish state. The Jews hate the Egyptians because of their biblical lore surrounding their ‘400 years of enslavement’, doubtless just as much a myth as their precious Hollerco$t. They hate the Persians because of the biblical lore surrounding the story of Esther and the narrative they have constructed around it of having single-handedly slaughtered 75,000 people dwelling within one of the most powerful empires in history, and with nothing untoward coming their way as a result of having done so–RIGHT. They hate the Greeks for the simple reason that of all the civilizations with which Judaism came into contact, it was the Greek that posed the most danger, as many Jews found it much more enlightening, liberating of the mind, heart, and soul and much more conducive to personal and collective happiness than the insular, backwards and benighted Judaism which they had been forced to follow.
And then, there were the Romans, who were, in many ways, a continuation of Greek Hellenism paired with order and progress, and everyone knows what happened when the Jews decided they were going to put their god Yahweh and his personal favoritism towards them to the test by going to war against Rome.
One must assume that ISIS would find many if not all of what has transpired since 1948 and the resurrection of the Jewish state to be objectionable to Islam as well, but we have yet to see a single instance of this seemingly unstoppable group attacking Israel in any fashion.
Islamic State militants destroyed a landmark ancient Roman monument and parts of the theater in Syria’s historic town of Palmyra, the government and opposition monitoring groups said Friday.
Maamoun Abdulkarim, the head of Syria’s antiquities department, said the militants destroyed the facade of the second-century theater along with the tetrapylon, a cubic-shaped ancient Roman monument that sits in the middle of the colonnade road that leads to the theater.
Abdulkarim told The Associated Press that reports of the destruction first trickled out of the ISIS-held town late in December. But satellite images of the damage were only available late Thursday, confirming the destruction.
The imagery, provided by the U.S.-based American Schools of Oriental Research, shows significant damage to the tetrapylon and the theater. The ASOR said the damage is likely caused by intentional destruction from ISIS but they were unable to verify the exact cause. Abdulkarim said only two of the 16 columns of the tetrapylon remain standing. The stage backdrop has sustained damage, according to ASOR.
State-run news agency SANA reported the damage Friday and Syrian opposition monitors also confirmed but gave no immediate details.
The extremists recaptured the ancient town in December from government troops — nine months after ISIS was expelled in a Russia-backed offensive.
During their first stay, from May 2015 until May 2016, ISIS destroyed ancient temples including the Temple of Bel, which dated back to 32 C.E., and the Temple of Baalshamin, a structure of stone blocks several stories high fronted by six towering columns. The militants also blew up the Arch of Triumph, which had been built under Roman emperor Septimius Severus between 193 and 211 C.E.
A UNESCO world heritage site, Palmyra boasts 2,000-year-old towering Roman-era colonnades and priceless artifacts. Syrians affectionately refer to it as the “Bride of the Desert.”
The extremists have destroyed ancient sites across their self-styled Islamic caliphate in Syria and Iraq, viewing them as monuments to idolatry.
A desert oasis surrounded by palm trees in central Syria, Palmyra is also a strategic crossroads linking the Syrian capital, Damascus, with the country’s east and neighboring Iraq. Located 215 kilometers east of Damascus, the city was home to 65,000 people before the Syrian civil war began. However, most Palmyra residents did not return after it was retaken by the government. Activists estimated the city is now home to a few hundred families. Many of them tried to flee as ISIS recaptured the city in December.
On Thursday, reports emerged the militant group killed 12 captives it held in Palmyra, some of them beheaded in the Roman theater.
ISIS Militants Blow Up Ancient Arch of Triumph in Syria’s Palmyra
The arch, a jewel in the exquisite collection of 2,000-year-old ruins in the oasis city, is the latest monument to be destroyed by ISIS.
Islamic State militants have blown up the Arch of Triumph, a major monument in the 2,000-year-old Roman city of Palmyra, Syria’s antiquities chief said on Sunday, after they destroyed two ancient temples at the central Syrian site in recent months.
Maamoun Abdulkarim told Reuters that sources in Palmyra had confirmed that the Arch of Triumph, a jewel in the exquisite collection of ruins in the oasis city, had been blown up.
Islamic State militants have blown up temples at the Roman-era UNESCO World Heritage site, which it has controlled since capturing Palmyra from Syrian government forces in May and mined other monuments and historic buildings. The group considers the buildings sacrilegious.
“It’s as though there is a curse that has befallen this city and I expect only news that will shock us. If the city remains in their hands the city is doomed,” Abdulkarim told Reuters.
“It is now wanton destruction … their acts of vengeance are no longer ideologically driven because they are now blowing up buildings with no religious meaning,” he added.
In August, the Sunni Muslim militants blew up the temple of Baal Shamin, then the Temple of Bel, one of the best preserved Roman-era sites.
Earlier this month it was also confirmed the militants had destroyed some of the best preserved of Palmyra’s funeral towers, sandstone constructions built to hold the remains of the ancient city’s richest families.
Palmyra was one of the most important cultural centers of the ancient world, according to cultural agency UNESCO, which has described it as the crossroads of several civilizations.
Islamic State has declared a caliphate in territory it holds across Syria and Iraq and has destroyed other monuments it says are pagan and sacrilegious.
UNESCO has called such acts war crimes and says Islamic State seeks to wipe out evidence of Syria’s diverse heritage.
Before the capture of the city, Syrian officials said they had moved hundreds of ancient statues to safe locations.
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