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According to the tourism and antiquities ministry of Iraq, the historic city of Nimrud, built by the Assyrian civilization more than three thousand years ago, was bulldozed with heavy vehicles.
The destruction began on Thursday, but the extent of the damage is not yet known. Nimrud is one of the most important archaeological sites in the region. It was founded in the 13th century BC and it’s located near Mosul, by the Tigris River.
IS fighters consider the heritage of Iraq as idolatrous. The attack against Nimrud follows the release of a video which showed Islamic State men destroying ancient statues with hammers in Mosul.
Nimrud was the capital of the neo-Assyrian capital, the most powerful force on the Planet at the time, which covered territories in modern-day Iran, Turkey and Egypt, as well as Iraq.
The most famous monuments of the site were removed from the site some years ago, the famous Winged Bull statues are in London, while gold artifacts and precious stones were moved to the Museum in Baghdad.
According to Reuters, Islamic State members looted Nimrud before leveling it to the ground. Many statues as well as a castle were destroyed completely.
Experts say that the ancient site of Hatra will be next in the IS path of destruction. The city is an Unesco world heritage site and is more than 2,000 years old.
Unesco demanded an emergency meeting of the Security Council, after the destruction of the Mosul Museum, comparing the event to the destruction of the Bamyan Buddhas in 2001 by the Taliban.
Many religious minorities lived peacefully in the Mosul region for centuries, including Assyrian Christians, who consider themselves to be the indigenous people of the area.
Islamic State rules some regions in Iraq and Syria that hold some of the most important sites of the ancient world. The organization is a self-declared caliphate that seeks its inspiration from the early Islamic history.
IS militants have destroyed Sunni Muslim shrines, which they consider being heretical. The jihadists are involved in a heavy battle with allied fighters and Iraqi forces near the city of Tikrit, which controlled by ISIS and lies just 100 kilometers away from Baghdad.
Image Source: Wikipedia