Islamic State extremists have blown up a 2,000-year-old
arch in the ancient city of Palmyra as the terror group
continues its campaign to destroy historic sites across Iraq
The Arch of Triumph was one of the most recognisable sites in Palmyra, the central city affectionately known by Syrians as the ‘Bride of the Desert,’ which ISIS seized in May.
The monumental arch sat atop the famed colonnaded
streets of the ancient city, which linked the Roman Empire
to Persia and the East.
However, it was blown up on Sunday evening by extremists, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
An opposition activist who uses the name Khaled al-Homsi
also posted on Twitter on Sunday night that ISIS militants
had destroyed the arch.
Al-Homsi was a nephew of Khaled al-Asaad, the 81-year-old
antiquities scholar and long-time director of the Palmyra
site who relatives and witnesses say was beheaded by ISIS
The militants have carried out a sustained campaign of
destruction against heritage sites in areas under their
control in Syria and Iraq.
Syrian antiquities director Maamun Abdulkarim warned of
impending catastrophe in the UNESCO-listed world heritage site, which the jihadists have been dismantling since capturing the ruins in May.
‘This is a systematic destruction of the city. They want to
raze it completely,’ he said.
‘They want to destroy the amphitheatre, the colonnade. We
now fear for the entire city.’