ISIL terrorists ransacked Mosul’s central museum, destroying priceless artifacts that are thousands of years old, in the terrorists’ latest rampage which threatens to upend millennia of coexistence in the Middle East
ISIL terrorists ransacked Mosul’s central museum, destroying priceless artifacts that are thousands of years old, in the terrorists’ latest rampage which threatens to upend millennia of coexistence in the Middle East.
The destruction of statues and artifacts that date from the Assyrian and Akkadian empires, revealed in a video published by ISIL on Thursday, drew ire from the international community and condemnation by activists and minorities that have been attacked by the group.
“The birthplace of human civilization … is being destroyed”, said Kino Gabriel, one of the leaders of the Syriac Military Council – a Christian militia – in a telephone interview with the Guardian from Hassakeh in north-eastern Syria.
“In front of something like this, we are speechless,” said Gabriel. “Murder of people and destruction is not enough, so even our civilization and the culture of our people is being destroyed.”
The five-minute video, which was released by the “press office of the province of Nineveh [the region around Mosul]”, begins with a Qur’anic verse on idol worship. An Isis representative then speaks to the camera, condemning Assyrians and Akkadians as polytheists, justifying the destruction of the artifacts and statues.
ISIL militants then smash the statues in the Mosul museum with hammers and push them to the ground, watching them break into tiny fragments. The footage also shows a man dressed in black at a nearby archaeological site, inside Mosul, drilling through and destroying a winged bull, an Assyrian protective deity, that dates back to the 7th century BC
Irina Bokova, the director general of Unesco, the UN cultural agency, said she was deeply shocked at the footage showing the destruction and has asked the president of the UN security council to convene an emergency meeting “on the protection of Iraq’s cultural heritage as an integral element for the country’s security”.