IS damages 2nd temple: ISIS Temple Of Baal

Published: August 31, 2015

IS damages 2nd temple: ISIS Temple Of Baal, The difference between the two images of the Syrian desert is not immediately obvious.

But a closer look reveals the photo is in fact proof of the destruction of a 2,000-year-old temple, blown to smithereens by a gang of violent extremist thugs hiding behind the pretext of religion.

The first of the satellite images was taken on June 26, the second was taken on August 27 – after the the Baal Shamin temple was destroyed by ISIS militants.

The small, rectangle structure can just be made out in the first, a grey mess of rubble can be seen in the second.

The grainy images show that the famed temple, considered the second-most significant in ancient Palmyra, ‘has been blown to bits,’ spokesman Einar Bjorgo said, adding: ‘It has been flattened.’

The UN training and research agency UNITAR said it believed the main building had been razed to the ground, but the surrounding columns ‘seem to be less affected’.

Local witnesses to the destruction – described as ‘immense loss for the Syrian people and for humanity’ by UNESCO – say ISIS had been laying explosives around the temple for a month.

But it is thought the extremists, who have become known for destroying the ancient wonders they find in the lands they conquer, may have only blown it up last Sunday.

It came just days after fighters beheaded the 82-year-old retired chief archaeologist of Palmyra, and posted pictures of his body on the internet.

Khaled Assad was held hostage by ISIS for over a month before he was beheaded: the vile militants hope to get the man who had devoted his life to his home town to reveal where its treasures were hidden.

He refused, and paid for it with his life.

Yet all he loved is now in danger of being destroyed by ISIS, who seized the city in May from government forces.

Dr Robert Bewley, Project Director at the School of Archaeology at Oxford, predicted the ancient city will be razed to the ground ‘monument-by-monument’ by ISIS – to wring every last propaganda opportunity out of the destruction.

Dr Bewley claimed the terror group is determined to destroy Palmyra, known as ‘the oasis in the desert’ because of its ancient history famed for well-preserved Greco-Roman ruins, piece by piece.

He said: ‘One fear is that ISIS will do piecemeal damage over the coming weeks to keep the publicity machine running, so it will be a slow but equally destructive approach.’

Already, ISIS have destroyed the statue of the lion of Al-Lat, while they’ve used the ancient Roman ampitheatre as an arena for their vile mass executions.

Turkish fighter jets have carried out their first airstrikes as part of the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State group in Syria, Turkey announced on Saturday.

A Foreign Ministry statement said the jets began attacking IS targets late on Friday across the border in Syria that were deemed to be threats to Turkey.

After months of hesitance, Turkey agreed last month to take on a more active role in the fight against ISIS.

Turkish jets used smart bombs to attack IS positions in Syria, without crossing into Syrian airspace and later Turkey granted U.S. jets access to a key air base close to the Syrian border.

‘Our fighter aircraft together with warplanes belonging to the coalition began as of yesterday evening to jointly carry out air operations against Daesh targets that also constitute a threat against the security of our country,’ the Foreign Ministry said, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS. ‘The fight against the terrorist organization is a priority for Turkey.’

The statement did not provide further detail on the targets or say how many jets were involved.

In Washington, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said the Turkish airstrikes were ‘fully integrated’ in the coalition campaign.

‘We commend Turkey for its participation in counter-ISIL air operations alongside other coalition nations in the international campaign to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL,’ Cook said, using an alternative acronym for IS.


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