UN condemns attack on ancient city by ISIL
BAGHDAD - Reuters
A file picture taken in 2001 shows Iraqi workers cleaning an archeological site in Nimrud. AFP Photo.The head of UNESCO has condemned the destruction of the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud in Iraq by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), saying it amounted to a “war crime.”
“I condemn with the strongest force the destruction of the site at Nimrud,” Irina Bokova said in a statement.
She said she had already spoken with the heads of the U.N. Security Council and International Criminal Court on the issue.
“We cannot remain silent. The deliberate destruction of cultural heritage constitutes a war crime. I call on all political and religious leaders in the region to stand up and remind everyone that there is absolutely no political or religious justification for the destruction of humanity’s cultural heritage.”
ISIL fighters have looted and bulldozed the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud, the Iraqi government said, in their latest assault on some of the world’s greatest archaeological and cultural treasures.
The assault against Nimrud came just a week after the release of a video showing ISIL supporters smashing museum statues and carvings in Mosul, the city they seized along with much of northern Iraq last June.
Nimrud, about 30 kilometers south of Mosul, was built around 1250 BC. Four centuries later it became capital of the neo-Assyrian empire – at the time the most powerful state on earth, extending to modern-day Egypt, Turkey and Iran.