Date
16 January 2017
IS militants have destroyed another ancient monument in Palmyra, sparking international outrage. Photo: Reuters
IS militants have destroyed another ancient monument in Palmyra, sparking international outrage. Photo: Reuters

IS militants destroy Roman triumphal arch in Palmyra

Islamic State (IS) militants have blown up the Arch of Triumph, a 2,000-year-old Roman monument in the Syrian city of Palmyra, Syria’s antiquities chief said on Sunday.

Maamoun Abdulkarim told Reuters that sources in Palmyra had confirmed that the ancient monument had been destroyed.

“It’s as though there is a curse that has befallen this city and I expect only news that will shock us. If the city remains in their (IS) hands the city is doomed,” Abdulkarim was quoted as saying.

“It is now wanton destruction … their acts of vengeance are no longer ideologically driven because they are now blowing up buildings with no religious meaning,” he added.

In August, IS blew up the temple of Baal Shamin, then the Temple of Bel, one of the best preserved Roman-era sites.

Earlier this month it was also confirmed the militants had destroyed some of the best preserved of Palmyra’s funeral towers.

Palmyra was one of the most important cultural centers of the ancient world, according to cultural agency UNESCO, which has described it as the crossroads of several civilizations.

IS has declared a caliphate in territory it holds across Syria and Iraq and has destroyed other monuments it says are pagan and sacrilegious.

UNESCO has called such acts war crimes.

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