Islamic State Says It Destroyed Ancient Gate in Iraq’s Mosul

  • Militants take bulldozer to structure dating to 700 B.C.
  • Syria’s ancient city of Palmyra was hit by group in 2015

Shamash Gate in 1977.

Photographer: Vivienne Sharp/Heritage Images/Getty Images

Islamic State has taken credit for demolishing the Assyrian Mashki Gate in Iraq’s northern province of Nineveh, in another example of the destruction of priceless antiquities in areas under the Jihadist group’s control.

The Gate of Mashki was built during the era of the Assyrian King Sennacherib in 705-681 B.C. It was located east of Mosul, the capital of Nineveh province, which was taken over by Islamic State forces in June 2014.

QuickTake Islamic State

Photographs distributed by Islamic State on Sunday show militants using at least one bulldozer to knock down the ancient ruin, although it was unclear when the action took place. National Geographic said in April that it had obtained images revealing the destruction of the Mashki Gate and the nearby Adad Gate, built around 700 B.C., by Islamic State.

The group in February 2015 posted a video showing militants using sledgehammers and drills to smash ancient artifacts and statues in Mosul, saying the relics were against the teachings of Islam.

In August, Islamic State militants destroyed parts of an ancient stone temple in Palmyra, Syria, days after using explosives to blow up another site in the historic city. At about the same time, militants beheaded Khaled al-Asaad, a Syrian archaeologist who had spent more than four decades cataloging the city’s antiquities. Palmyra in March was retaken by Syrian forces backed by Russian troops.

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