Forces of the Islamic State have destroyed the historic Arch of Triumph in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, an act that many are considering to be a war crime.
The Arch of Triumph was 1,800 years old and it highlighted the approach to the ancient city.
Reports indicate that it was destroyed on Sunday. The area was designated as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations.
ISIS gained control of Palmyra from Syrian government forces in May. Since gaining control of the area, extremists beheaded the antiquities expert who was responsible for looking after the ancient ruins. ISIS then proceeded to destroy the historic architecture.
In August, ISIS destroyed two temples which had major cultural significance, as they demolished the Temple of Bel and the Temple of Baalshamin. These actions brought rage and condemnation from across the world.
The Arch of Triumph had consisted of one large arch that was flanked by two smaller arches. It opened onto Palmyra’s iconic Colonnade. Beautiful geometrical and plant ornaments decorated the top of the arch.
The archway’s adornments had been described by the cultural organization of the United Nations as “an outstanding example of Palmyrene art”.
The director general of the organization has declared the destruction of the historic site to be a crime of war.
In addition to temples, ISIS has also destroyed funerary towers from ancient Rome that the United Nations said were “among the most representative and evocative monuments” at the site.
As one might expect, ISIS does not care. In fact, the terrorist group has even published photos of the destruction.
Cultural enthusiasts in Syria have been growing increasingly concerned about Palmyra’s fate being under control of ISIS. Many people stated that the ancient city of Palmyra stands for “tolerance and multicultural richness”.
However, ISIS does not agree with those principles.