ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Islamic State (ISIS) has destroyed the 1,400-year-old St. Elijah Christian monastery in Iraq as part of its plan that seeks to eliminate significant cultural sites from Earth.
The historic place had been attended by U.S. troops who had served in Mosul. The destruction have been confirmed by the Associated Press, which acquired exclusive satellite photographs.
It is calculated that ISIS has destroyed more than 100 religious and historic sites such as mosques, tombs and churches in Syria and Iraq, said USA Today. Also the terrorist group has burned books and have attacked ancient monuments, museums and art works. According to Manuel Yousif Boji, a Chaldean Catholic Pastor in Michigan “a big part of tangible history” have been reduced to ashes by ISIS.
“I can’t describe my sadness. Our Christian history in Mosul is being barbarically leveled. We see it as an attempt to expel us from Iraq, eliminating and finishing our existence in this land,” said Paul Thabit Habib to USA Today.
The analyst Stephen Wood explained that the historic site had been probably destroyed by heavy equipment such as explosives, as a consequence, the monastery can not be rebuilt. Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director General said that extremists, who are “terrified by history”, will never be able to erase history even when they commit relentless crimes.
Mark Toner, State Department spokesman, said on Wednesday that the Obama Administration condemned the attack and added that this kind of attacks to significant historic places is a demonstration of the “bankrupt ideology” of ISIS.
A spokesman for the Vatican, Fr Federico Lombardi, said that the situation was very sad and dramatic, he explained that the place was special for the Christian community, since it was constructed when Christians were all united.
On Wednesday it was announced by the U.S. forces that some Iraqi civilians were killed in Mosul, when warplanes bombarded cash centers with money used to finance ISIS fighters. Army Col. Steven Warren declared that the U.S. was prepared to accept civilian casualties and accepted that it was something they did not want to do, but they made a hard decision.
Source: USA Today