As they were attacking the largest oil refinery in Iraq over the weekend, ISIS militants also shared some purported evidence of their efforts to destroy ancient archaeological sites. In March, Iraq’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said ISIS had “bulldozed” Nimrud, the site of an Assyrian city that dates back to the 13th century B.C. In a new video, militants are shown destroying reliefs with jackhammers, bulldozing walls, and then blowing up three areas of the site Iraq had nominated to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
“God has honored us in the Islamic State to remove all of these idols and statutes worshipped instead of Allah in the past days,” explains one militant, according to the AP. Another declares, “[W]henever we seize a piece of land, we will remove signs of idolatry and spread monotheism.” ISIS is selling the ostensibly idolatrous artifacts on the black market, but for some reason that’s not mentioned in their propaganda video.