Q&A: Why Sunni Extremists Are Destroying Ancient Religious Sites in Mosul
The Islamic State is demolishing tombs, statues, mosques, and shrines of importance to Christians, Muslims, and Jews.
Mosul has long been known for its religious diversity. Iraq's second largest city has been home to Persians, Arabs, Turks, and Christians of all denominations since it was first believed to have been settled in 6000 B.C. The ruins of Ninevah, one of the greatest cities in antiquity and former seat of the Assyrian Empire, lie within its modern city limits.
The Sunni extremists of the IS, previously known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), have been working to erase evidence of that diverse history since they seized the ancient city on June 10. (Related: "Iraq: 1,200 Years of Turbulent History in Five Maps.")
By some estimates 60,000 Christians lived in Mosul a decade ago, a number that