The Islamic State group has released a video purportedly showing
militants using sledgehammers to smash ancient artifacts in at a museum
in Iraq’s northern city of Mosul.
The five-minute video shows a group of bearded men in a museum using
hammers and drills to destroy several large statues, including one
depicting a winged-bull Assyrian protective deity that dates back to the
9th century B.C. and another artifact dating back to 7th century B.C.
The video bore the logo of the IS group’s media arm and was posted on
a Twitter account used by the group. The extremist group has destroyed a
number of shrines — including Muslim holy sites — in order to eliminate
what it views as heresy. In January, the group reportedly burned
thousands of ancient manuscripts and rare books.
The militants are also believed to have sold
ancient artifacts on the black market in order to finance their bloody
campaign across the region.
Last week, the BBC reported
that the trade in antiquities is one of the militant group’s main
sources of funding. An investigation revealed that the ISIS is looting
artifacts from Syria and transporting them through Turkey and Lebanon to
Europe. The U.N. Security Council has since banned the trade of Syrian
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