syrThe director-general of UNESCO has condemned the destruction of the ancient city of Nimrud in Iraq by ISIS militants. “I condemn this mad, destructive act that accentuates the horror of the situation,” Irina Bokova said in a media statement.
The senior UN official pointed out that the archaeological vandalism confirms that the terrorists are not only destroying representations of figures and bas-reliefs. “With their hammers and explosives they are also obliterating the site itself; they are clearly determined to wipe out all traces of the history of Iraq’s people.”
On Monday, a video surfaced online which claimed to show ISIS militants using bulldozers and explosives to destroy the ancient Assyrian city. The UNESCO cultural site near Mosul is one of Iraqi’s greatest archaeological treasures.
“The deliberate destruction of heritage is a war crime,” Bokova explained, stressing that her organisation will do everything possible to fight against this and document it, to ensure that those responsible are identified and brought to justice.
ISIS seized large swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq in June last year and is reported to be waging a campaign to obliterate cultural sites and relics, which they consider to be idolatry.
Another video showed ISIS destroying the 2,000-year-old ruins in the ancient city of Hatra in northern Iraq, 110 kilometres south of Mosul.