The Islamic State group has released footage showing jihadists demolishing the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud in the self-styled Caliphate's latest attempt to wipe out Iraq's pre-Islamic history.
The video, which surfaced over the weekend, shows Islamic State fighters using power-tools, including a jackhammer, as well as sledgehammers to shatter ancient relics depicting Assyrian figures and deities. The militants then detonate explosives at the site, resulting in a massive explosion that appears to have totally razed the city.
ISIS pledged to destroy the city in northern Iraq, 30 kilometers south of Mosul due to its 'un-Islamic' nature.
Fighters in the video thank God who they say "honored" them by "removing and destroying everything that was held to be equal to him and worshipped without him".
"Whenever we are able in a piece of land to remove the signs of idolatry and spread monotheism, we will do it," one fighter can be heard saying.
Nimrud was founded in the thirteenth century BCE and served as a major cultural center in pre-Islamic Mesopotamia, which is often regarded as the cradle of civilization. It maintains significant biblical importance, it's name being in relation to the Bible's Nimrod, the legendary hunter and the grand-son of Noah.
The site was first excavated in 1845 and much of its artifacts were transferred to museums throughout the West, including its famous "lamassu" statues, winged deities meant to have brought protection to their worshipers. Nimrud also suffered significant looting after the 2003 American invasion.