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Terrorised in Afterlife: ISIS crushes ancient mummies in Palmyra, Syria

The IS decimated the famous Arch of Triumph, the Temple of Baalshamin and the Temple of Bel and left mines and booby traps in much of the ruins

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Palmyra in Syria. Image source: www.nbcnews.com
  • The IS captured the city in May 2015 and began blowing up some of the major landmarks at the Unesco-listed world heritage site
  • Palmyra dates back 4,000 years but most of the ruins date from the Roman period which began around the 27 BC
  • In August 2015, the IS terrorists beheaded Khaled Asaad, 81, the city’s chief archaeologist

A video was released by the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group showed extremists smashing up ancient sculptures and driving a lorry over mummies in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra.

The IS captured the city in May 2015 and began blowing up some of the major landmarks at the Unesco-listed world heritage site, the Daily Mail reported on Friday, July 8.

d bodies IMAGE: The mummies are laid out on the road ready to be destroyed. Image source: thesun.co.uk
The mummies are laid out on the road ready to be destroyed. Image source: thesun.co.uk

Palmyra dates back 4,000 years but most of the ruins date from the Roman period which began around the 27 BC.

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The IS decimated the famous Arch of Triumph, the Temple of Baalshamin and the Temple of Bel and left mines and booby traps in much of the ruins. The group also used the 2,000-year-old Roman amphitheatre to conduct public executions.

The huge wheels of a bulldozer crush the ancient mummified bodies. Image source: thesun.co.uk
The huge wheels of a bulldozer crush the ancient mummified bodies. Image source: thesun.co.uk

They looted the city’s museums and the video showed them vandalising its precious exhibits.

In August 2015, the IS terrorists beheaded Khaled Asaad, 81, the city’s chief archaeologist.

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The IS were finally forced out of the area in March. Russian drone footage, filmed shortly after Palmyra was recaptured, showed some parts of the ruins had escaped destruction.

Many of Palmyra’s temples and tombs were bombed by the IS in what the UN described as a war crime. (IANS)

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  • Aparna Gupta

    I don’t know that what exactly they want. On one hand they are killing people and on the other they are destroying our preserved culture and historical remains.

Next Story

“When I Took Over, It Was A Mess. They Were All Over The Place — All Over Syria and Iraq,” Claims Trump as IS Territory in Syria is Nearly Eliminated

Ciyager Amed, an official with the Kurdish-led SDF, said they were searching for any IS militants hiding in tunnels in a riverside pocket in the village of Baghuz. The SDF has not yet announced a victory over IS. 

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Donald Trump
President Donald Trump speaks at Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima, Ohio, March 20, 2019. VOA

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that the last pocket of the Islamic State’s land in Syria would be liberated by U.S.-backed forces “by tonight.”

Trump previously announced the defeat of the group, but sleeper cells of fighters re-emerged. With no signs of fighting on Wednesday, however, the long-running battle to retake the militants’ last outpost in eastern Syria appeared to have reached its conclusion.

“The caliphate is gone as of tonight,” Trump said in a speech at a factory in Lima, Ohio, where military tanks are assembled.

End of caliphate

The complete fall of Baghuz would mark the end of IS’s self-declared caliphate, which at its height stretched across large parts of Syria and Iraq.

During his speech, Trump held up two maps of Syria — one covered in red representing territory held by the militant group when he was elected president in November 2016 and the other that had only a speck of red.

Donald Trump
Trump previously announced the defeat of the group, but sleeper cells of fighters re-emerged. With no signs of fighting on Wednesday, however, the long-running battle to retake the militants’ last outpost in eastern Syria appeared to have reached its conclusion. VOA

“When I took over, it was a mess. They were all over the place — all over Syria and Iraq,” said Trump, who has said the U.S. will keep 400 troops in Syria indefinitely.

For the past four years, U.S.-led forces have waged a destructive campaign against the group. But even after Baghuz’s fall, IS maintains a scattered presence and sleeper cells that threaten a continuing insurgency.

The militants have been putting up a desperate fight, their propaganda machine working even as their hold on territory has been slipping away. The battle for Baghuz has dragged on for weeks and the encampment had proven to be a major battleground, with tents covering foxholes and underground tunnels.

FILE - A child stands on the back of a truck after being evacuated out of the last territory held by Islamic State militants, outside Baghuz, Syria, March 4, 2019.
A child stands on the back of a truck after being evacuated out of the last territory held by Islamic State militants, outside Baghuz, Syria, March 4, 2019. VOA

Tens of thousands of civilians

The siege has also been slowed by the unexpectedly large number of civilians in Baghuz, most of them families of IS members. Over past weeks they have been flowing out, exhausted, hungry and often wounded. The sheer number who emerged — nearly 30,000 since early January, according to Kurdish officials — took the Syrian Democratic Forces by surprise.

Ciyager Amed, an official with the Kurdish-led SDF, said they were searching for any IS militants hiding in tunnels in a riverside pocket in the village of Baghuz. The SDF has not yet announced a victory over IS.

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Associated Press journalists saw SDF soldiers loading women and children into trailer trucks on the hilltop over Baghuz, a sign that evacuations were still underway Wednesday. Black smoke was rising from the village.

On Tuesday, the SDF seized control of the encampment held by IS after hundreds of militants surrendered overnight, signaling the group’s collapse after months of stiff resistance. (VOA)