ISIS blew up ancient temple in Palmyra
IS has blown up the Temple of Baal Shamin, one of the greatest wonders of the ancient Palmyra in Syria, said the country's chief of ancient monuments.
- Daesh placed a large amount of explosives in the Baal Shamin Temple today and blew it up. The explosion caused major damage, said Maamoun Abdulkarim to AFP on Sunday.
Daesh is another name for the extremist group Islamic state (IS), used in Arabic.
- I see Palmyra being destroyed in front of my eyes. May God help us in the coming days, he said to Reuters. The London-based exile group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (Sohren), which oversees the war in Syria, is confirming the destruction of the temple.
The extremist group took control of Palmyra on the 21th of May, which created international concern that the ancient ruins, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, would be completely destroyed.
IS has a fundamentalist religious view and looks at statues and other objects as idolatry.
- Our darkest predictions are unfortunately happening now, says Abdul Karim. Baal Shamin was built in the year 17 AD and was extended during the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, 130 years after Christ.
The destruction of the temple takes place only days after it became known that IS-terrorists had beheaded the famous archaeologist and former head of the antiques in Palmyra through 50 years, the 82 year old Khaled Asaad.
On Sunday, Asaad's family said that IS insurgents had desecrated the corpse of the 82-year-old after having executed him Tuesday.
In June ISIS blew up two ancient shrines in Palmyra, that were not part of the city's Roman ruins, but the group considered them to be pagan. Before the conquest in May, Syrian officials said that they had moved hundreds of the city's ancient statues to safe places for fear that they would be destroyed by the extremist group.