ISIS Demolishes 2,000-Year-Old ‘Gate of God’ in Iraq

By Jonathan Zhou, Epoch Times
April 13, 2016 7:36 pm Last Updated: April 13, 2016 7:36 pm

The carnage continues in Iraq. 

ISIS has reported destroyed the Mashqi Gate near the city of Mosul, a 2,000 year-old structure that once guarded the ancient city of Nineveh, which was the largest city in the world in the 7th century BC, as the capital of the Assyrian empire.

ISIS is motivated by the belief that the artifacts predating the arrival of Islam are sacrilegious.

The British Institute for the Study of Iraq said that the gate has been attacked, according to the Independent, and activists told Iraqi news organization ARA News that military equipment was used. 

The terrorist group has a history of defacing and demolishing ancient monuments, and did extensive damage in the Syrian city of Palmyra, host to a trove of art and architecture from antiquity. 

A general view taken on March 31, 2016 shows a photographer holding his picture of the Temple of Bel taken on March 14, 2014 in front of the remains of the historic temple after it was destroyed by Islamic State (IS) group jihadists in September 2015 in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra. (JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images)
A general view taken on March 31, 2016 shows a photographer holding his picture of the Temple of Bel taken on March 14, 2014 in front of the remains of the historic temple after it was destroyed by Islamic State (IS) group jihadists in September 2015 in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra. (JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images)

Palmyra was taken back by Syrian government forces last month with assistance from Russia. 

The Antiquities Department in Baghdad said that there were unconfirmed reports that ISIS was dismantling parts of the walls of Nineveh and were selling the mineral blocks. 

ISIS is motivated by the belief that the artifacts predating the arrival of Islam are sacrilegious. 

Last year, ISIS released a video of militants vandalizing a museum in Mosul, smashing priceless reliefs and statutes, including a carving of the iconic Assyrian winged bull, Lamassu. 

The campaign of cultural destruction has reached beyond the Middle East into North Africa, where ISIS militants have destroyed Sufi shrines in Libya.