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Six major ancient sites destroyed by ISIS


The Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, are on an iconoclastic demolition mode in various areas under their control with a specific focus on the sites of archaeological importance. They have been continuing their war in Iraq and Syria by attacking archaeological sites with excavators and explosives.

ISIS has released several videos shocking the world over the month of presenting the flaming damage caused by them to local temples and heritage sites.

ISIS controls large sections of Syria, besides western and northern Iraq. It’s difficult to stop these terrorists from despoliation and destroying the sites in their command in an area famous as the cradle of civilisation.

The terrorist group has targeted eminent ancient places and also relatively modern tombs or memorials pertaining to other Muslim sects.

Their intentions come across as more of pragmatic or criminal rather than reflecting their self-proclaimed theological conscience.

The archaeological heritage sites in Iraq and Syria are in dire need to be saved before these culturally rich countries lose them completely.

Numerous UNESCO World Heritage Site have also been destructed in and around the ISIS dominant regions.

Sites destroyed in Syria by the militant group


Palmyra encompasses the monumental remnants of a settlement that was one of the most significant traditional epicentres of the ancient world. The architecture of the city had witnessed the crossroad of exchanges between local traditions and Graeco-Roman techniques.

1,900-year-old Temple was exploded in Baalshamin. It was among the best-preserved monument in the area and it was originally dedicated to a Phoenician Storm God.


This ancient city has been a rich Roman-era commerce hub but, of late, it has become a centre for extortion and illegal trading where antique statues are sold regularly.

These sales of ancient artefacts provide the group with millions of dollars to sponsor their terror operations and remunerations.



The city of Mari thrived during the Bronze Age, and it is said to be in existence between 3000 and 1600 BC. Extensive ancient archives are found here, especially the clay tablets that signify early civilisation in the region. Allegedly, the royal palace in the city is now being looted on a regular basis and in an organised way.

Sites destroyed in Iraq by ISIS


One of the most important sites of the state, Hatra was the capital of an autonomous kingdom on the peripheries of the Roman Empire but what made it important was its prominence as the centre of trading on the Silk Road.

The city was taken over by ISIS in 2014. The group had then released a video destroying sculptures in the most prominent building of the site.



NG Maps. Source: Institute for the Study of War
NG Maps. Source: Institute for the Study of War

The city today, a part of the northern Iraq, was one of the first empires of the state, expanding through the Middle East and regulating massive sections of the ancient world between 900 and 600 BC.

Important sculptures from the city were stored in the Mosul Museum which were damaged during a rampage by the terrorists of ISIS. They smashed the half-human, half animal guardian figures named Lamassus on Nineveh’s ancient Nirgal Gate.


The city was the first capital of Assyrian Empire, detected approximately 3,200 years ago. It very evidently displays the richness of the Assyrian Emperor. It was excavated in the 1840s by British archaeologists.

ISIS is on a rampage to destroy all the remains left behind the Britisher who had sent dozens of its massive stone sculptures to museums around the world, including New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and the British Museum in London.

Next Story

Facebook, Twitter Urged to Do More to Police Hate on Sites

Twitter to soon release Snapchat like feature. VOA
Fake accounts on Twitter are many. VOA

Tech giants Facebook, Twitter and Google are taking steps to police terrorists and hate groups on their sites, but more work needs to be done, the Simon Wiesenthal Center said Tuesday.

The organization released its annual digital terrorism and hate report card and gave a B-plus to Facebook, a B-minus to Twitter and a C-plus to Google.

Facebook spokeswoman Christine Chen said the company had no comment on the report. Representatives for Google and Twitter did not immediately return emails seeking comment.

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Facebook one of the most popular apps in US. Pixabay
Facebook one of the most popular apps in US. Pixabay

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Wiesenthal Center’s associate dean, said Facebook in particular built “a recognition that bad folks might try to use their platform” as its business model. “There is plenty of material they haven’t dealt with to our satisfaction, but overall, especially in terms of hate, there’s zero tolerance,” Cooper said at a New York City news conference.

Rick Eaton, a senior researcher at the Wiesenthal Center, said hateful and violent posts on Instagram, which is part of Facebook, are quickly removed, but not before they can be widely shared.

He pointed to Instagram posts threatening terror attacks at the upcoming World Cup in Moscow. Another post promoted suicide attacks with the message, “You only die once. Why not make it martyrdom.”

Cooper said Twitter used to merit an F rating before it started cracking down on Islamic State tweets in 2016. He said the move came after testimony before a congressional committee revealed that “ISIS was delivering 200,000 tweets a day.”

ALSO READ: Teenagers using Social Media more likely to suffer sleep deprivations: Study

This photo shows Facebook launched on an iPhone, in North Andover, Mass., June 19, 2017. VOA

Cooper and Eaton said that as the big tech companies have gotten more aggressive in shutting down accounts that promote terrorism, racism and anti-Semitism, promoters of terrorism and hate have migrated to other sites such as, a Facebook lookalike that’s based in Russia.

There also are “alt-tech” sites like GoyFundMe, an alternative to GoFundMe, and BitChute, an alternative to Google-owned YouTube, Cooper said.

“If there’s an existing company that will give them a platform without looking too much at the content, they’ll use it,” he said. “But if not, they are attracted to those platforms that have basically no rules.”

The Los Angeles-based Wiesenthal Center is dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism, hate, and terrorism. (VOA)