Islamic State destroys 5th-century Syrian monastery

IS used bulldozers to level the building.
By Ed Adamczyk Contact the Author   |   Aug. 21, 2015 at 12:10 PM
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QARYATAIN , Syria, Aug. 21 (UPI) -- A fifth-century Christian monastery in Qaryatain, Syria, was destroyed by the Islamic State, an Assyrian news agency reported Friday.

Photos on IS websites and the Assyrian International News Agency show the St. Elian monastery reduced to rubble by IS bulldozers. The building was restored and renovated about 10 years ago under the direction of Paolo Dall'Oglio, head of the ancient Mar Musa al-Habashi monastery in nearby Nabk; Dall'Ogio was kidnapped by IS in 2013 and is presumed dead.

The destruction of the Qaryatain monastery follows the beheading, earlier this week, of Syrian antiquities scholar Khaled Asaad in Palmyra, and a pattern of demolition of building and artifacts regarded as idolatrous by IS.

In February 2015 it destroyed ancient Assyrian artifacts in a Mosul museum, followed in March by the ruin of parts of the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud with bulldozers and explosives. It also demolished statuary and mausoleums when it captured Palmyra in March.

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