Government forces claim control of historic site
BAGHDAD | Iraqi paramilitary forces said Wednesday that they have captured Hatra, a 2,000-year-old historical site near the northern city of Mosul, where U.S.-backed forces have been battling the Islamic State group for months.
The media arm of the state-sanctioned force made up mainly of Shiite militias broadcast images of the site Wednesday afternoon, showing what appeared to be the ancient ruins in the distance as militia vehicles drove through open desert. It was unclear from the video if the forces had actually secured the ancient site.
Karim al-Nouri, a spokesman for the paramilitary forces, told state TV they captured the UNESCO world heritage site and were around two miles from a nearby town with the same name, without providing further details.
Hatra is believed to have been built in the second or third century B.C. by the Seleucid Empire. IS militants destroyed it along with other major historical sites in and around Mosul after seizing much of northern Iraq in the summer of 2014.