Ex­ten­sive cul­tural dam­age done by IS group found in his­toric city

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION + WORLD -

Nearly a month into the fight to re­take Mo­sul, govern­ment forces pushed Is­lamic State mil­i­tants out of nearby Nim­rud, home to some of Iraq’s rich­est ar­chae­o­log­i­cal trea­sures. And when sol­diers sur­veyed the ex­trem­ists’ de­struc­tion of the an­cient sites, one said that those who car­ried it out “don’t have a place in hu­man­ity.”

In­tri­cate re­liefs that once stood at the gates to the mag­nif­i­cent Assyr­ian palace lay in pieces: stone carv­ings of a face, half of a claw, part of a wing, frag­ments of script.

In April 2015, the Is­lamic State ex­trem­ists re­leased a shock­ing video that showed how they had ham­mered, bull­dozed and blew up parts of the 13th cen­tury B.C. Assyr­ian cap­i­tal in the Ti­gris River val­ley.

Iraqi officers ac­com­pa­nied jour­nal­ists to the site Wed­nes­day, wan­der­ing through the piles of rub­ble and snap­ping pho­tos of the dam­age that U.N. of­fi­cials had once called “a war crime.”

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