We reported earlier that the city of Palmyra which contains one of UNESCO most important archaeological site was under threat from the Islamic State terror group, ISIS as they repotedly advanced to capture this ancient city. Click here if you missed it!
After capturing the city of Ramadi in Iraq last week, the ISIS forces have now moved to the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra and managed to gain control of the city on Wednesday, after resistance from Syrian army had collapsed, according to CNN and The Atlantic.
While uncertain fate awaits the inhabitants, what is certain is the fate of one of history’s most important archaeological site which contains the confluence of three ancient civilizations – the Persian, Greek and Roman. The city also lies on the path of the ancient silk road and is the treasure trove for antiquities.
ISIS has made known their plan of cultural cleansing and they have proven it by destroying with dynamites and physical hacking all antiquities they managed to lay their hands on.
In February, after capturing the Iraqi city of Mosul, they videotaped the destruction of ancient shrines, museums and other object of antiquities as part of their cultural cleansing ideology. After the destruction, they attached a video clip of mass beheading.
Many of these object of arts were dated back to the pre-Christian era and can never be replaced once they are destroyed.
“This capture threatens a UNESCO World Heritage Site described as having ‘stood at the crossroads of several civilizations,’ with its art and architecture mixing Greek, Roman and Persian influences, according to that U.N. group,” led CNN, as reported in The Atlantic.
According to Professor Elanor Robson of the Ancient Middle Eastern History Department of the University College London, ISIS’ victory spelled the end to the relics of several thousand years of civilization.
“It took [ISIS] until January, February, and March to focus on antiquities as a propaganda source,”
“The more we obsess about [ISIS destroying relics], the more likely it is to happen,”