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The Islamic State Blows Up Another of Palmyra's 2,000-Year-Old Monuments

Syrian antiquities chief Maamoun Abdulkarim said that sources in Palmyra had confirmed the destruction of the iconic Arch of Triumph, provoking international outrage.
Foto via EPA

As part of the so-called Islamic State terror insurgency's effort to destroy Syria's remaining antiquities and provoke anger from pretty much everyone, militants from the group have blown up the Arch of Triumph, a major Roman monument in the ancient city of Palmyra.

Syrian antiquities chief Maamoun Abdulkarim said on Sunday that sources in Palmyra had confirmed the arch's destruction, which followed the demolition in recent months of two ancient temples in the city, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.


Related: Photos Emerge of the Islamic State's Destruction of Palmyra Temple

Islamic State (IS) militants blew up the Temple Bel and the Baal Shamin Temple after capturing Palmyra from Syrian government forces in May. The militant group has also pillaged and defaced other monuments and historic buildings, which they consider to be idolatry and thus sacrilegious.

UNOSAT satellite analysis confirms Temple of — UNOSAT (@UNOSAT)August 31, 2015

Satellite analysis confirms Baal Shamin temple in Syria razed to the ground. — UNOSAT (@UNOSAT)August 31, 2015

IS published photos of members taking sledgehammers to statues and other antiquities from Palmyra in July.

The insurgency's destruction of ancient sites routinely incites international outrage. UNESCO Director Irina Bokova condemned the latest attack in Palmyra on Monday, saying that the destruction "embodies an expression of pure hatred and ignorance."

Related: Looting and Destruction Feared as Islamic State Seizes Syria's Ancient City of Palmyra

Last month, UNESCO launched a global initiative to protect World Heritage sites in coordination with representatives from the United Nations, the European Union, and leaders of Jordan and Italy.

"Culture is on the frontline of conflict — we must place it at the heart of peacebuilding," Bokova remarked last week.