Islamic State Destroys Ancient Monastery In Central Syria

From the Times of Israel:
DAMASCUS, Syria — A priest and activists say the Islamic State group has demolished an ancient monastery in central Syria.

The extremist group posted photos on social media showing bulldozers destroying the Saint Eliane Monastery Friday near the town of Qaryatain, which IS captured in early August.

The extremist group posted photos on social media showing bulldozers destroying the Saint Eliane Monastery Friday near the town of Qaryatain, which IS captured in early August.

A Christian clergyman told The Associated Press in Damascus that IS militants also wrecked a church inside the monastery that dates back to the first Christian centuries. The priest, who spoke Friday on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals, said the monastery included an Assyrian Catholic church.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks Syria’s conflict, also reported the destruction of the monastery.

Since capturing parts of Syria and Iraq, IS fighters have destroyed mosques, churches and archaeological sites.

The brutal terror group has made it a policy to destroy all archaeological artifacts that testify to the existence in Syria and Iraq of cultures that subscribe to beliefs other than the group’s radical interpretation of Sunni Islam.

Earlier this week, Islamic State militants beheaded one of Syria’s most prominent antiquities scholars in the ancient town of Palmyra, then strapped his body from one of the town’s Roman columns.

According to Syrian state news agency SANA and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Khaled al-Asaad, 81, was beheaded on Tuesday in a square outside the town’s museum. The Observatory, which has a network of activists on the ground in Syria, said dozens of people gathered to witness the killing. Al-Asaad had been held by the IS for about a month, it added.

His body was then taken to Palmyra’s archaeological site and hung from one of the Roman columns, Maamoun Abdulkarim, the head of the Antiquities and Museums Department in Damascus, told SANA.

In February, IS fighters destroyed priceless artifacts from the Mosul Museum in Iraq. The museum was a treasury of sculptures and architectural elements that served as evidence to the achievements of the Assyrians and other pre-Islamic Mesopotamian cultures.

Western analysts see the terror group’s destruction of ancient artifacts is an attempt to erase historical memory and forge a new Islamist identity.

0 comments. Leave a comment below.:

Post a Comment

Spam and abuse will not be published. You can use some HTML tags in your comments.

Thank you for reading and commenting.