Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | Syria | syria | palmyra | isis | behead | khaled asaad

ISIS Beheaded Syrian Archaeologist for Refusing to Disclose Treasures

ISIS Beheaded Syrian Archaeologist for Refusing to Disclose Treasures
Syrian archaeologist Khaled Assad. (AP)

By    |   Thursday, 20 August 2015 11:41 AM

His allegiance to the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, a world heritage site, is ultimately what cost renowned archaeologist Khaled Asaad his life, the Huffington Post reports.

The 83-year-old, according to reports, was beheaded by Islamic State (ISIS) militants on Tuesday after he refused to reveal the whereabouts of valuable artifacts — some dating back 2,000 years — that had been moved for safekeeping before ISIS seized the city last spring.

In a show of anger, ISIS militants, after beheading "Mr. Palmyra" — a nickname for Asaad widely used by friends and family — hung his bloodied body from a Roman column in a central square at the historic site, the Post reports.

"I begged him two months ago to leave the town and come to Damascus with his family, but he refused," Ahmad Ferzat Taraqji, an antiquities expert and friend of Asaad's, told the AP. "He believed in destiny. He told me, 'I was born in Palmyra and will stay in Palmyra and will not leave even if costs me my blood.'"

It is reported that Asaad moved hundreds of artifacts in an attempt to secure and save Palmyra's cultural heritage before ISIS insurgents could destroy them. In turn, this made Asaad a key target for the jihadi group.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said this week that the U.S. "condemns in the strongest possible terms this murder ... of a man who dedicated his life to preserving Syria's cultural treasures."

"[Asaad's] life and extraordinary work stand in stark contrast to that of his barbaric killers. These attempts to erase Syria's rich history will ultimately fail," Kirby said.

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His allegiance to the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, a world heritage site, is ultimately what cost renowned archaeologist Khaled Asaad his life, the Huffington Post reports. The 83-year-old, according to reports, was beheaded by Islamic State (ISIS) militants on Tuesday...
syria, palmyra, isis, behead, khaled asaad, artifacts
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2015-41-20
Thursday, 20 August 2015 11:41 AM
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