The Islamic State (ISIS) has continued on its rampage against history, destroying the ancient Iraqi city of Nimrud. In a seven-minute video released by the Islamist terror group, the city, with artifacts dating back 2,500 years, can be seen being destroyed first with sledge hammers and drills and later with bulldozers and explosives.
The destruction has been declared a war crime by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.
“God has honored us in the Islamic State to remove all of these idols and statutes worshipped instead of Allah in the past days,” says an Islamic State fighter in the video.
“Whenever we seize a piece of land, we will remove signs of idolatry and spread monotheism,” says another.
An official working for the Antiquities Ministry in Iraq confirmed that the site was in fact the city of Nimrud and the artifacts were authentic.
A statement released by the United Nations cultural agency UNESCO read, “In a new crime in their series of reckless offenses, they assaulted the ancient city of Nimrud and bulldozed it with heavy machinery, appropriating archaeological attractions dating back 13 centuries BC.”
“This is yet another attack against the Iraqi people, reminding us that nothing is safe from the cultural cleansing under way in the country: it targets human lives, minorities, and is marked by the systematic destruction of humanity's ancient heritage,” said Irina Bokova, who is head of UNESCO.
Last week, Islamic State fighters were seen destroying the ancient city of Hatra, another UNESCO Heritage Site.