Credit: Bernard Gagnon/Wiki Commons
The Islamic State fighters have destroyed yet another historical icon in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, continuing their drive of demolishing ancient monuments in areas under their control. According to media reports, the Islamic group blew off the Arch of Triumph, a second-century structure, that stood at the entrance to the UNESCO world heritage site on Sunday.
The Islamic State group, also known as ISIS or ISIL, reportedly “booby-trapped” the three structures, which were erected by Romans to celebrate their win over Persians 2000 years ago. The structures bore ancient inscriptions and were a tourist attraction in the historical city of Palmyra.
Palmyra was captured by ISIS last May. Since then the group has been demolishing its beautiful and ancient monuments. The city, which is one among world’s well-known archaeological sites, had several beautiful buildings and structures that belonged to the Roman and Persian era. The Group had earlier demolished the 2,000-year-old Temple of Bel, Baal-Shamim and other smaller temples in Palmyra.
ISIS believes that monuments and structures that predate Islam promote idolatry and has been systematically destroying them. However, the triumphal arches were not a religious structure, and anti-ISIS activists point out that the demolition by Islamic groups is no longer driven by ideology.