WATCH: Islamic State destroys Iraq's ancient city of Hatra

A video on a social media website purports to show Islamic State militants destroying priceless artifacts that are thousands of years old in the ancient Iraqi city of Hatra.

April 6, 2015 13:44
1 minute read.

Islamic State attacks Iraq's ancient city of Hatra

Islamic State attacks Iraq's ancient city of Hatra


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Islamic State militants purportedly destroyed artifacts and buildings in Iraq's ancient city of Hatra, a UNESCO World Heritage site, according to a video posted on a social media website.

The video, which was released by the official media office of Islamic State in Dijla province and uploaded on Friday (April 3), appears to show militants using sledgehammers, pickaxes and Kalashnikov rifles to destroy statues, archways and pillars in the Mesopotamian city, 320 kilometers north of Baghdad.

Reuters is unable to independently verify the content of this video, which has been obtained from a social media website.

In the last month, Islamic State militants have desecrated other ancient Iraqi capitals, including razing parts of the 2,700-year-old city of Khorsabad famed for its colossal statues of human-headed winged bulls.

Officials have said they were checking reports of damage at Khorsabad following attacks on the cities of Nineveh, Nimrud and Hatra by the Islamist radicals who control much of northern Iraq.

Islamic State rules a self-declared caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria which contain some of the richest archaeological treasures on earth, where ancient Assyrian empires built their capitals, Graeco-Roman civilization flourished and Muslim and Christian sects co-existed for centuries.

The group, which rejects all but its own narrow interpretation of early Sunni Muslim theology as heresy, has systematically destroyed historic temples, shrines, manuscripts statues and carvings.

Officials say it has also looted widely, selling artifacts to help fund its rule.

The United Nations has condemned Islamic State's actions as a war crime and an attack on humanity's common heritage, but the global outrage has not slowed the destruction.

Iraq has asked a U.S.-led coalition which is supporting Baghdad's fightback against Islamic State with air strikes to deploy its aerial power to defend the country's heritage.

U.S. General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, said on March 9 that the military priority was focused on populated areas ruled by Islamic State, as opposed to some of the remote antiquities sites.
sign up to our newsletter

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

January 20, 2019
Armenian Church in Holy Land celebrates latest Christmas in the world