UNESCO slams Iraq heritage destruction by ISIL
The United Nations cultural agency, UNESCO, has condemned as a “mad act” the destruction of Iraq’s archeological city of Nimrud by the Takfiri ISIL terrorists, vowing to do everything possible to fight the deliberate destruction.
“I condemn this mad, destructive act that accentuates the horror of the situation. It confirms that the terrorists are not only destroying representations of figures and bas-reliefs,” said Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Irina Bokova in a statement on Monday.
Expressing her solidarity with the Iraqi people, Bokova said the Takfiri terrorists are “clearly determined to wipe out all traces of the history of Iraq’s people.”
Describing the deliberate destruction of the heritage as a “war crime,” she pledged that UNESCO will do all it can to ensure that “those responsible are identified and brought to justice.”
This file photo shows members of the Takfiri ISIL militant group at an undisclosed location in Iraq.
On Saturday, the ISIL terrorists released a video showing them smashing artifacts in the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud, southeast of Mosul. ISIL had earlier released similar footage showing the destruction of Iraqi cultural heritage at the Mosul museum and the city of Hatra.
“The propaganda and hatred that underlies these acts, and which is circulating via the internet, demands in response messages of peace and knowledge of history. UNESCO supports all those – in Iraq and elsewhere – who are mobilizing to explain the importance of this heritage and why nothing justifies its destruction,” Bokova said.
She further called on political and religious leaders along with the civil society “to speak out against these crimes via all possible channels.”
Nimrud, which is on UNESCO’S tentative list of world heritage sites, is often described as the cradle of civilization. It was the capital of Assyria during the new Assyrian era, which began in 911 BC and ended in 609 BC.