ISIS destruction of Palmyra, Syria not total


This Associated Press video says about itself:

Raw: Drone Footage Captures Palmyra Ruins, City

27 March 2016

Russian state television footage from Palmyra on Sunday, as well as drone video obtained from the Syrian Military Media Centre, showed aerials of what remained of the ancient city after the Islamic State group (IS) was forced from the area.

From Associated Press:

By Albert Aji and Philip Issa

DAMASCUS, Syria — Mar 28, 2016, 1:25 AM ET

The recapture of the ancient city of Palmyra by Syrian government forces scores an important victory over Islamic State fighters who waged a 10-month reign of terror there and marks the first major defeat for the extremist group since an international agreement to battle terrorism in the fractured nation took effect last year.

The city known to Syrians as the “Bride of the Desert” is famous for its 2,000-year-old ruins that once drew tens of thousands of visitors each year before the Islamic State group destroyed many of the monuments.

The extent of the destruction remained unclear after government troops took the town in central Syria on Sunday. Initial footage on Syrian state TV showed widespread rubble and shattered statues. But Palmyra’s grand colonnades appeared to be in relatively good condition. …

International airstrikes have pounded IS territory, killing two top leaders in recent weeks, according to the Pentagon. Those strikes have also inflicted dozens of civilian casualties. …

IS drove government forces from Palmyra in a matter of days last May and later demolished some of its best-known monuments, including two large temples dating back more than 1,800 years and a Roman triumphal archway.

State TV showed the rubble left over from the destruction of the Temple of Bel as well as the damaged archway, the supports of which were still standing. It said a statue of Zenobia, the third century queen who ruled an independent state from Palmyra and figures strongly in Syrian lore, was missing.

Artifacts inside the city’s museum also appeared heavily damaged on state TV. A sculpture of the Greek goddess Athena was decapitated, and the museum’s basement appeared to have been dynamited, the hall littered with broken statues.

Still, state media reported that a lion statue dating back to the second century, previously thought to have been destroyed by IS militants, was found in a damaged but recoverable condition.

Extremists beheaded the archaeological site’s 81-year-old director, Riad al-Asaad, in August after he reportedly refused to divulge where authorities had hidden some of the treasures before the group swept in. IS militants view the ruins as monuments to idolatry. …

Maamoun Abdulkarim, director of the museums and antiquities department in Damascus, said Palmyra’s Great Colonnade had suffered only minor damage. “We will rebuild what you have destroyed,” he said, addressing IS.

USA: Kerry sought to ‘send a message’ to Assad via cruise missile strikes against Syrian government positions but Obama refused proposal: here.

Russia is withdrawing from Syria – and the U.S. should follow suit: here.

This teen uses clay to fight ISIS. 17-year-old Nenous Thabit stands up to ISIS by making copies of sculptures destroyed by the militant group. Source: CNN: here.

SYRIA’S Head of the Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums, Mahmoud Hamoud, said that the Directorate is filing a file for stolen antiquities to be submitted to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL): here.

9 thoughts on “ISIS destruction of Palmyra, Syria not total

  1. Syrian antiquities chief Maamoun Abdulkarim said it would take five years to repair the damage wreaked by the Isis philistines, but “we were expecting the worst,” he said. “But the landscape, in general, is in good shape.”

    Mr Abdulkarim said he would consult the United Nations on rebuilding the destroyed Temple of Bel, the shrine of Baal Shamin and Lion of Al-Lat (the Roman goddess Athena).

    “If we have Unesco’s approval, we will need five years to restore the structures damaged or destroyed by Isis,” he said.

    http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-e8fc-Syria-Damage-to-ancient-Palmyra-made-clear#.Vvoy83oYMdU

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