Takfiri ISIL militants have destroyed two ancient Muslim mausoleums in the historic Syrian city of Palmyra in the central Homs Province.
According to Maamoun Abdulkarim, Syria’s antiquities director, on Tuesday, the Takfiri militants detonated the tombs of Mohammed bin Ali, a descendant of the Prophet Mohammed’s cousin, and Nizar Abu Bahaaeddine, a religious figure from Palmyra, three days ago.
Images released by ISIL show two Takfiri armed militants carrying canisters, apparently filled with explosives, walking up the rocky hill leading to the burial place of Mohammed bin Ali, located in a mountainous region four kilometers north of Palmyra.
“They consider these Islamic mausoleums to be against their beliefs, and they ban all visits to these sites,” Abdulkarim said.
He added that the terrorist group has already destroyed at least 50 mausoleums dating from 100 to 200 years in the regions under its control in north and east of Syria.
“All tombs with marble designs were destroyed. For them, graves should not be visible,” Abdulkarim said.
In April, ISIL released a video showing its members destroying artifacts at Iraq’s northern ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud before blowing up a part of the site. Also in February, the terrorists smashed ancient statues at the Ninawa museum in Mosul, using sledgehammers and drills.
The Takfiri group also published a video in February, showing its militants destroying the ancient artifacts at a museum in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Sunday that the Takfiri group had planted explosives at the site of the Roman ruins in Palmyra the day before.
Rami Abdel Rahman, the director of the London-based rights group, said the purpose of the Takfiri group from mining the site is not known yet, adding, “But it is not known if the purpose is to blow up the ruins or to prevent” Syrian forces from advancing into the city.
Palmyra, which is home to extensive and well-preserved Greco-Roman ruins, was captured by the Takfiri terrorists on May 21. According to Syrian media, terrorists have since killed more than 400 civilians, mostly women and children.
Federica Mogherini, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, warned on May 21, about the prospect of war crimes by the terrorist group in Palmyra, adding that thousands of people “risk to be exposed to arbitrary violent actions and more destructions of cultural sites might be perpetrated.”
On the same day, the UN cultural agency, UNESCO, warned that ISIL’s demolition of the world heritage site would be an “enormous loss to humanity.”
Since March 2011, Syria has been witnessing a deadly crisis that has reportedly claimed the lives of over 230,000 people.