Armed with sledgehammers, drills and pickaxes, militants belonging to the ISIS are videotaped destroying ancient artefacts in a museum in Mosul, in northern Iraq. The five-minute recording was allegedly made at the Nineveh museum, and the 3,000-year-old sculptures being destroyed date back to the Assyrian Empire.
This comes fresh on the heels of news emerging from Mosul claiming that the militants, who have come to control large swathes of Iraq and Syria, have burned thousands of books and rare manuscripts at the Mosul Library as well as other libraries in areas they hold. Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, fell into the militants’ hands in June 2014 and is now under the control of the group, a splinter of the notorious Al Qaeda, which is also fighting in Syria.
According to the video, doing the rounds on social media, the group claims that it had destroyed the ancient artefacts because they were idols.
Beirut-based Foreign Policy Middle East editor David Kenner quips:
Evidently not content with just tormenting the living, ISIS tries to destroy the past by wrecking a Mosul museum. http://t.co/Av0XXdRSeO
— DavidKenner (@DavidKenner) February 26, 2015
Another journalist, Sheera Frenkel, asks for a source of the carnage:
Seeing these images being circulated of ISIS fighters destroying artifacts in a Mosul museum. Anyone know source? pic.twitter.com/zRCtfK8rQA
— Sheera Frenkel (@sheeraf) February 26, 2015
Jameel, from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, notes:
بعد حرق مكتبة الموصل ، الدواعش لعنهم الله يحطمون أثآر لا تقدر بثمن في متحف نينوى pic.twitter.com/1ypMoK2Z0c
— جميل (@jameel___) February 26, 2015
After they have burned the library in Mosul, the ISIS miltants, may they be damned, are destroying priceless artefacts in the Ninawa Museum
Palestinian Yaser Al Zaatreh tries to reason with the madness unleashed by the ISIS by asking the obvious:
السؤال: هل هذ التماثيل التي حطمها تنظيم الدولة في الموصل جديدة، أم قديمة مرّ عليها فاتحون وخلفاء وعلماء، ولم يحطموها؟ مجرد سؤال.
— ياسر الزعاترة (@YZaatreh) February 26, 2015
A question: Are those sculptures destroyed by the ISIS in Mosul new or ancient ones which have seen centuries of invaders, Caliphs and scientists, who have not destroyed them? This is just a question.
Zainab, from Kuwait, responds to those who say people's lives are more important than the relics, saying:
اذا قلنا حسافة على متحف الموصل نطولنا ملاقيف وقالوا الناس اهم ليش مايعوركم قلبكم عليهم بعد..ترا والله والله يصير نهتم بموضوعين بوقت واحد
— Zainab (@QZee_) February 26, 2015
If we lament what's happening to the museum in Mosul, we get comments from those who say people are the most important thing, why doesn't your heart ache for them. I swear we can take interest in two issues at the same time
And Daoud Ibrahim, from Lebanon, asks:
متى سيتم تدمير عقيدة داعش كما يتم تدمير #متحف_الموصل ؟
— Daoud Ibrahim (@daywood) February 26, 2015
When will the ISIS ideology be destroyed like they have been destroying the Mosul museum?
Tounsia Hourra shares this video of the museum in Mosul from the 1950s, saying that it was Iraq's second largest museum:
— tounsiahourra (@tounsiahourra) February 26, 2015
The museum in Mosul destroyed by the ISIS is the second largest museum in Iraq. This is a short documentary about it