Islamic State (IS) militants have blown up the iconic Arch of Triumph in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra.
Arch of Triumph was a centrepiece of the UNESCO world heritage site of ancient ruins of Palmyra. It dated between 193 and 211 AD.
- After seizing the ancient city of Palmyra in May 2015, IS militants have demolished several ancient temples as part of their sustained campaign of destruction of heritage sites (or cultural cleansing).
- The ideology of IS has embarked campaign to destroy ancient monuments that pre-date Islam as it is against the Islamic principal of promoting idolatry.
- Earlier in August 2015 the IS militants had destroyed the 2,000-year-old Temple of Bel (Palmyra’s main temple) and Temple of Baal-Shamim.
- Oasis town of Palmyra is known as the Pearl of the Desert. It is situated about 210 kilometres northeast of Damascus (capital of Syria).
- In ancient time the city was famous as a stopping point for caravans travelling on ancient Silk Route which connected East Asia and West Asia.
- Prior to Syrian civil war which began in 2011, Palmyra’s ruins were a major attraction as about 150,000 tourists visited city in a year.