ISIS is continuing with their cultural purge, destroying the Iraqi ancient city of Hatra — which contains artifacts that are 2000 years old — one statue at a time. The Islamist extremists uploaded a video (parts shown below), showing them hammering away at the ancient sites.
According to NBC News, one man speaking in Arabic appears on the film to explain they are wrecking these sites because they are being “worshiped instead of god.” Their target, Hatra, has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1987. The ancient fortified city was the capital of the first Arab kingdom and withstood two attacks from the Romans, once in 116 A.D. and again in 198 A.D.
The city is located roughly 68 miles (110 kilometers) from the Mosul.
The group have ruined archaeological sites all across northern Iraq in the name of their extreme ideology.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, ISIS has already took down at least two other ancient cities in Iraq: Khorsabad and Nimrod, along with smashing artifacts in the museum at Mosul. The acts against archaeology earned ISIS the condemnation of U.N. General Secretary Ban Ki Moon, but international forces still cannot prevent further acts of destruction.
This time, UNESCO joined with the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation to issue a statement condemning the most recent cultural attacks.
“With this latest act of barbarism against Hatra, (the IS group) shows the contempt in which it holds the history and heritage of Arab people.”
On the video, one unidentified ISIS member explained, “the Prophet ordered us to get rid of statues and relics, and his companions did the same when they conquered countries after him.”
At the extreme end, ISIS has also called for the demolition of the Great Pyramids in Egypt and the Sphinx.
The Mirror reports that even though the group claims the artifacts need to be smashed to prevent idolatry, many have been sold on the black market to help fund ISIS’ terrorist campaign.
The fight against ISIS will likely persist for some time, and how much of Iraq’s history will remain intact is unclear.
News from the war on ISIS is mixed. Reuters reports Iraqi forces recently retook the city of Tikrit, but unfortunately for the locals, Shi’ite militias backed by Iran played a large part and engaged in looting for days after defeating ISIS. Meanwhile in Syria, ISIS has taken over a Palestinian refugee camp in the ancient capital city of Damascus, putting them in striking distance of toppling Assad and taking Syria.
[Image Credit: Aronzakcommons2/Wikimedia Commons]