The ancient city of Palmyra in Syria is the seat of one of the most priceless UNESCO World Heritage site, where the ancient ruins of the pre-Christian and pre-Islamic era is located. Palmyra contains the monumental ruins of a great city that was one of the most important cultural centers of the ancient world, according to UNESCO . The ruins dates back to the biblical era and the Roman empire and consist of temples, artifacts and a museum hosting many of the irreplaceable objects of art that is now under threat from ISIS, according to BBC News.
The city is dominated by grand colonnades much like the ancient ruins of Rome or Athens that have been preserved for over 2,000 years as a reminder of the early human civilization and the Islamic group has made no secret of its plan of ‘cultural cleansing.’
Syria’s director of antiquities, Maamoun Abdul Karim, said that if Palmyra were to fall to ISIS, it would be an “international catastrophe.” The site consists of the great temple of Baal, considered one of the most important religious buildings of the 1st Century in the East and of unique design.
BBC News also reported that on last Thursday, ISIS had reached the neighboring city of Tadmar and had blown up several ancient sites there, making known of their campaign to perform cultural cleansing. However their advance is now momentarily being held by the Syrian army.
“It will be a repetition of the barbarism and savagery which we saw in Nimrud, Hatra and Mosul,” he told AFP news agency and reported by BBC News.
The ancient sites in northern Iraq were recently blown up by IS militants, who control swathes of territory on both sides of the Syria-Iraq border.