On ISIS's Path of Ruin, Many Sites of Global Importance
The extremist group is pursuing an "appalling strategy of cultural cleansing."
Islamist militants in Iraq and Syria have stepped up their war on the region’s cultural heritage, attacking archaeological sites with bulldozers and explosives.
The so-called Islamic State (commonly known as ISIS) now controls large stretches of northern and western Iraq, and there's little to stop its militants from plundering and destroying sites in a region known as the cradle of civilization.
In late February, ISIS released a video that showed militants rampaging through the Mosul Museum with pickaxes and sledgehammers, toppling and defacing millennia-old statues.
And last week the Iraqi Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities announced that members of ISIS had damaged the ruins of ancient cities dating back thousands of years, including a trio of Assyrian cities and the Roman-era