Antiquities Chief Says ISIS Damaged Temple in Syria

Iconic columns of an historic temple in Palmyra, Syria were still standing on Monday despite a big explosion said the Syrian antiquities chief on Monday.

He said an explosion had taken place inside the Temple of Bel on Sunday and while it was unknown what the damage was, witnesses said the walls to the temple remained standing.

He said the Temple Bel was the most important in all of Syria, and one of the most important in all of the Middle East.

For close to 2,000 years as far back as the days of Christ, Temple Bel has been a center for religious life in Palmyra in Syria.

However, now a part of the historically important temple has been destroyed by members of ISIS according to the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights, which is based in the UK and relies on a group of activists inside Syria for their information.

ISIS has not only become known for brutal executions but for hating antiquities and its destruction of the same.

Recently the radical militant group executed 82-year old Khaled al-As’ad who had spent his entire life on preserving the antiquities of Palmyra. He was executed for refusing to reveal where a number of irreplaceable relics were hidden.

Now it appears that ISIS has damaged another antiquity.

The temple built in the first century, which is dedicated to the god of gods is huge, the best preserved across the region and is a meeting point between the classical and Eastern architecture, said the antiquities chief.

ISIS is likely the most brutal of any terrorist group in the modern era and has shown a likening to demolishing irreplaceable ancient antiquities and sites.

It is considers the structures or objects from pre-Islamic religion sacrilegious.

The antiquities chief said that the group seeks to destroy what represents diversity and to enforce the narrow uniformity. Evidence of a diverse and tolerant past is anathema. What it fears is memory and knowledge, which it is unable to destroy.

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