Syria condemns ISIS attack on Palmyra’s Temple of Bel, calls for concerted efforts against terrorism

Damascus, SANA – Syria condemned on Tuesday the latest crime by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) against its cultural heritage in Palmyra city.

“Once again ISIS shows its barbaric face through destroying the Temple of Bel, one of the most prominent landmarks of the historical city of Palmyra,” an official source at the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said in a statement.

Large parts of the ancient Temple of Bel, dating back to 32 AD, were demolished by ISIS on Sunday, and the site is at risk of complete destruction as ISIS has booby-trapped its remaining parts with massive quantities of explosives.

Over the past month, ISIS has destroyed several other sites of great historical importance in the UNESCO-listed Palmyra city, including the Temple of Baalshamin and the 1,900-year-old “Lion of Al-Lat” statue.

This new crime against Syria’s historical and cultural heritage reveals the truth of the aggression targeting Syria that is aimed at undermining its existence, identity, cultural memory and renewed role throughout history, according to the Ministry’s source.

Appalled by this barbaric attack, the source said, Syria renews its call for sincere and concerted efforts to eliminate the obscurantist Takfiri terrorism in the protection of the regional and international stability and peace and the common cultural heritage of the humanity.

H. Said