On Tuesday, Syria condemned the latest crime by the Islamic State (ISIS) against its cultural heritage in the UNESCO-listed city of Palmyra.
“Once again ISIS shows its barbaric face by destroying the Temple of Bel, one of the most prominent landmarks of the historical city of Palmyra,” an official source at the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said in a statement.
A large part of the ancient Temple of Bel, which dates back to 32 AD, was demolished by ISIS on Sunday; the site is at risk of complete destruction as ISIS has booby-trapped the remainder with a massive amount of explosives.
Over the past month, ISIS has destroyed several sites of great historical importance in Palmyra, including the Temple of Baalshamin and the 1,900-year-old “Lion of Al-Lat” statue.
This new crime against Syria’s historical and cultural heritage reveals the truth of the aggression against Syria, as it aims to undermine the country’s existence, identity, cultural heritage, and historical role, according to a source at the ministry.
The source further stated that Syria, appalled by these barbaric attacks, renews its call for sincere and concerted efforts to eliminate the obscurantist takfiri terrorism in order to safeguard the regional and international stability and peace as well as humanity’s shared cultural heritage.
This story was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer.