Isis Video Shows Assyrian Temple Blown Up In Iraq
Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) insurgents have posted a video showing a 3,000-year-old temple being blown up at the Assyrian city of Nimrud in northern Iraq, in their latest assault on some of the world's greatest archaeological and cultural treasures.
The United Nations confirmed in a statement on Wednesday evening that satellite imagery showed "extensive damage to the main entrance" of the temple of Nabu, the Babylonian god of wisdom.
Nimrud was a 13th century BC Assyrian city, located 30 km (20 miles) south of the modern city of Mosul, which the hardline ISIS militants seized control of in June 2014.
The date of the ISIS video was unclear. Reuters could not totally verify the authenticity of the video, but reverse images searches suggest that the images have been posted at an earlier date.
The scenes depicted match what is known about the locations concerned.
A man named as Abu Humam Al- Ansari in the video states "we will obliterate Nabu Temple , one of the significant temples in Nimrud, and which is known as the god of wisdom, science and the arts. The temple houses a number of idolatry statues. The Islamic State has erased all the idols and idolatry temples in all the wilayat (states)."
The group considers all pre-Islamic culture idolatrous, along with any religion outside its own radical interpretation of Sunni Islam.
The latest evidence of destruction comes as the Iraqi army and Kurdish Peshmerga forces are preparing an offensive to retake Mosul with support from the U.S.-led coalition.