AFP / Ahmad Al-Rubaye Tens of thousands of pro-regime forces have been massed near the Iraqi city of Fallujah ahead of the offensive to retake the city which was seized by Islamic State fighters in 2014
AFP / Ahmad Al-Rubaye Tens of thousands of pro-regime forces have been massed near the Iraqi city of Fallujah ahead of the offensive to retake the city which was seized by Islamic State fighters in 2014

The Islamic State (IS) group has destroyed the facade of the ancient Roman theatre as well as the Tetrapylon in the ancient oasis city of Palmyra in central Syria, state TV reported on Friday.

The interface of the second-century CE theatre was completely demolished after being booby-trapped with explosions, as well as the famous Tetrapylon, a type of ancient Roman monument of a cubic shape, in that millennia-old city, according to the report.

However, the report spelled no further details on the exact time of destruction.

It’s the latest in a series of destruction that has befallen the city by the hands of the terror-designated group, which re-entered the city in December 2016, just nine months after losing it to the Syrian army.

A day earlier, state news agency SANA said the IS terrorists executed 12 civilians in Palmyra, four of whom were state employees, including two teachers.

During their first invasion of the city in 2015, the IS militants blew up several 2,000 year old monuments and relics in Palmyra.

They destroyed the Temple of Bel, which was dedicated to the Mesopotamian god Bel, who was worshipped at Palmyra in triad with the lunar god Aglibol and the sun god Yarhibol, which formed the center of religious life in Palmyra and was inaugurated in 32 AD. Now, there is nothing left of the temple except its gate.

Aside from Bal, another temple in Palmyra, Baalshamin, was totally destroyed during the first invasion of Palmyra.

Baalshamin, whose earliest phase dates to the late 2nd century, was one of the most complete ancient structures in Palmyra. In 1980, the UNESCO designated the temple as a World Heritage Site. The IS destroyed Baalshamin on Aug. 23, 2015.

On May 23, 2015, the militants IS militants partially destroyed the Lion of al-Lat and other statues.

It became known on Sept. 4, 2015 that IS had destroyed three of the best preserved tower tombs including the Tower of Elahbel.

On Oct. 5, 2015, news media reported IS destroyed the Arch of Triumph.

Before destroying its facade, the IS used the theater in its infamous massacre of Syrian solider.

Last year, the IS released a video of a mass slaughter of Syrian soldiers in that amphitheater, showing condemned soldiers lined up on their knees on the stage, while their child executioners with pistols in hands standing behind them.

The city has an importance to IS as it connects areas under the terror group’s control in the eastern province of Deir al-Zour with areas under its control in the eastern countryside of the central province of Homs.

The recapture of Palmyra is also important as the group’s fighters in Iraq have started entering Syria recently after suffering great losses in battles against the Iraqi army and the U.S. anti-terror coalition. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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