ISIS militants have struck at another historic monument in the ancient city of Palmyra, according to sources who said the militants destroyed the Arch of Triumph that dates back to the days of the Roman Empire, reported The Guardian
Maamoun Abdulkarim, Syria's chief of antiquities, said that sources within Palmyra told him that militants destroyed the arch as another part of the Islamic State's interpretation of Islam that believes the preservation of artifacts is a sign of idolatry, wrote The Guardian.
This summer, ISIS was accused of destroying the Temple of Bel, another historic building in Palmyra which was once the center of religious life in Palmyra, along with the Temple of Baalshamin, stated The Guardian.
"It's a crime in every sense of the word," Abdulkarim told The Guardian. "All we can do is share the sadness. … Liberating Palmyra is an immediate necessity. The international community must find a solution to liberate it."
The website Syrian Radio &TV
wrote that the arch was nearly 2,000 years old and an example of ISIS continued attack on the city's history since the group seized control of it in May. The website stated that the arch was blown up, but did not state how or with what.
Palmyra is a World Heritage Site designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and is considered one of the top cultural centers of the ancient world, stated The New York Times
"It's as though there is a curse that has befallen this city, and I expect only news that will shock us," Abdulkarim said to the New York Times. "If the city remains in their hands, the city is doomed."
"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," Abdulkarim added.
UNESCO has called the Islamic State's actions of destroying ancient artifacts a war crime and accused the group of trying to cleanse the area of Syria's diverse heritage, wrote the New York Times.
Syrian officials had, according to the newspaper, taken the proactive step of moving hundreds of ancient statues to safe locations before ISIS captured the culturally significant cities.
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