The Islamic state (IS) has blown up another important monument in the ancient city of Palmyra - The Triumphal Arch.
- IS has blown up the Triumphal Arch, a major monument in the 2000 year old Roman city of Palmyra. This is a systematic destruction of the city. They want to demolish it completely, says Syria's chief of ancient monuments, Maamoun Abdul.
The information is also confirmed by the exile group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (Sohren), which says the Triumphal Arch was destroyed because of ornamentation on columns that IS regards as idolatrous.
Syrian authorities stated that IS placed bombs at the Triumphal Arch already several weeks ago. Now they fear that there is more destruction ahead in Palmyra.
- They want to destroy the amphitheater and colonnade. We fear for the city, said Maamoun Abdul, and asks the international community to find a way to save Palmyra.
The ancient city of Palmyra is on UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites and is often referred to as the "pearl of the desert".
The city is located 210 kilometers northeast of Damascus, and before the civil war broke out in Syria, it was visited by 150,000 tourists annually.
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