Video shows ISIS destroying ancient city


Photo courtesy: MCT

The ancient walls of Nimrud, in northern Iraq, show Assyrian rituals and gods. The city was built in 883 B.C., and remained the capital until 721 B. C., the beginning Sargon II’s reign. Iraq’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said in a statement, “Letting these lost gangs go without punishment will encourage them to destroy humanity’s civilization, the Mesopotamian civilization, inflicting irreversible priceless damages and losses.”

Adhiti Chundur, Staff Writer

The Islamic State has recently released a video online showing ISIS militants destroying the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud located in present-day Iraq. The city was founded in 13 century B.C.E., and lies southeast of Mosul, currently the largest city controlled by ISIS.

Reports of the city’s destruction surfaced last March, but the actual video showing the explosion was recently released.

The video shows militants using sledgehammers and bulldozers to destroy statues and carvings and later laying explosives. The end of the video showed the bombs detonating as the ancient city was lost in the explosion.

An ISIS militant says to the camera, “ God has honored us in the state if Islam by removing and destroying everything that was held to be equal to him and worshipped without him.”

The group’s extreme interpretation of Islam leads them to destroy many irreplaceable archaeological sites in Iraq. According to CNN, “ISIS is part of a puritanical strain of Islam that considers all religious shrines- Islamic, Christian, Jewish, etc.- idolatrous.”

According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Nimrud was the capital of Assyria during the reign of the Neo-Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II (883-859 B.C.), who built its palace and other lavish structures.”

This region is often referred to as the “cradle of civilization,” but is now being subjected to raiding and destruction by ISIS. Some historic sites destroyed by ISIS include Khorsabad, Hatra, Mosul Museum, Mosul Public Library, and Jonah’s Tomb.

“The birthplace of human civilization… is being destroyed. In front of something like this, we are speechless. Murder of people and destruction is not enough, so even our civilization and the culture of our people is being destroyed,” said Kino Gabriel, a leader of the Syriac Military Council in an interview with the Guardian.