The report courtesy of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights quoted organization head and activist, Rami Abdel Rahman telling on Monday, ‘ISIS tied three individuals it had arrested from Palmyra and its outskirts to the columns … and executed them by blowing up’ three columns.
Rahman told that ISIS had yet to inform local residents who the executed individuals were of why they had been killed.
Responding to the latest atrocity by the Islamic group, Homsi, who works with the local Palmyra Coordination Committee activist group, said: ‘There was no one there to see [the execution]. The columns were destroyed and IS has prevented anyone from heading to the site.’
Mohammad al-Ayed, also an activist from Palmyra, according to a report via AP said the columns were ‘archeological, and there are many like them still present in Palmyra.’
Reiterated the activist: ‘IS is doing this for the media attention, so that they can say that it is the most villainous, and so it can get people’s attention.’
The Islamic State has captured swathes of territory across Iraq and Syria to create a self-styled ‘caliphate’ where it enforces an extreme form of Islamic rule.
The destruction of the archaeological marvels comes as ISIS considers pre-Islamic artefacts to be idolatrous and worthy of destruction.
Since the jihadists seized Palmyra from regime forces in May, they have destroyed multiple sites and historic artefacts, including its celebrated temples of Bel and Baal Shamin as well as several funerary towers.
They’ve used Palmyra’s grand amphitheatre for a massacre in which child members of the group killed 25 Syrian soldiers, execution-style, in front of baying residents.
Experts say the militants have used the destruction to raise their profile to attract new recruits, and are also funding their ‘caliphate’ by selling treasures on the black market.
Syria’s archaeology association, the APSA, says that more than 900 monuments and archeological sites have been looted, damaged or destroyed during the four-year civil war.
Palmyra’s ruins are on the UNESCO World Heritage list, and before the war around 150,000 tourists a year visited the town.
The latest act of destruction and violence and loss of life has led to an avalanche of commentators on the web questioning how and why the violence goes on unimpeded and why Western States continue to decline the atrocities and mutilation of the region. If not by design?
And then there were these comments on the web that made me wonder:
How can this atrocities happen under the watchful eyes of the whole wide world and so little is done about it? How can we all stand still and watch the sufferings, the killings and the disasters these sub-human savages are causing all over the middle east? How can so many powerful nations around just talk about it and do nothing to stop all these terrors?
Why are we allowing irreplaceable relics of history destroyed? Where is the U.N.? Where are ‘Western’ nations? These people are just bullies with heavy weapons. Where are the voices of Islam that are peaceful people? Man’s worst inhumanity to man, most cruel treatments, including torture, rape, child abuse and genocide stem from a misguided religious zeal. Our compassion, gratitude and honorable conduct stem from our higher levels of humanity. We must be human beings first before anything else. Our humanity must come before any other preference; before religion, before politics, before economics or any other considerations. There are no positive occasions when religious dogma is placed ahead of our duties as human beings.