NIMRUD, Iraq, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- The Iraqi army announced Sunday it has retaken the ancient city of Nimrud, held by the Islamic State since March 2015.
The IS, while occupying Nimrud, destroyed priceless relics in the 3000-year-old city. Video released by the terror group also known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh showed its fighters destroying relics with drills and explosives.
"Troops from the Ninth Armoured Division liberated Nimrud town completely and raised the Iraqi flag above its buildings," the Iraqi army announced.
Founded in the 13th Centry, Nimrud is considered by many to be the cradle of human civilization. It is one of the most famous archaeological sites on earth, Sky News reported.
The modern city of Nimrud is less than a mile from the ruins of the Assyrian capital of ancient times, BBC reported.
Iraqi soldiers also recaptured the village of Numaniya, an ancient city once at the center of the empire that ruled territory from modern-day Turkey to modern-day Egypt.
In other news from the region, human rights activists have accused Kurdish troops in Iraq of destroying the houses of Sunni Arabs in at least 20 towns and villages previously under IS control.
Human Rights Watch said some Sunni Arab villages have been almost completely destroyed.
Kurdish regional government Deputy Minister Dindar Zebari denied any policies are in place to destroy Sunni Arab homes. He said the Kurdish region has been a safe zone for two million Sunni Arabs,but some villagers has become members of IS. He said the damage was the result of air strikes or bombs placed on the ground as IS militants retreated from the area.