The United Nations (UN) Security Council on Friday condemned the destruction of cultural heritage in Syria by the Islamic State (IS) extremist group, “including targeted destruction of religious sites and objects.”
“The members of the Security Council were alarmed by reports, including from UNESCO, of the destruction of cultural heritage in Palmyra, Syria, including the tetrapylon and parts of the theater, with satellite imagery by UNITAR-UNOSAT confirming the destruction,” the UN Security Council said in a statement.
They also expressed deep concern for the safety of thousands of Palmyra residents in the city, and strongly condemned ongoing terrorist acts by the IS in Syria, said the statement.
The IS and other individuals and groups associated with al-Qaida have generated income from the looting and smuggling of cultural heritage items in Syria to support their recruitment efforts and strengthen their operational capability of organizing and carrying out terrorist attacks, it added.
“The members of the Security Council underlined the need to bring perpetrators of these acts to justice,” the statement said, noting that the IS must be defeated and that the intolerance, violence and hatred it espouses must be “stamped out.”
Earlier in the day, Syria’s state TV reported that the IS had destroyed the facade of the ancient Roman theater as well as the tetrapylon in the ancient oasis city of Palmyra.
It was the latest in a series of destruction that has befallen Palmyra by the group, which re-entered the city in December 2016, just nine months after losing it to the Syrian army. Enditem