Last June, after Iraqi security forces melted away, Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city and the surrounding Nineveh province fell to Islamist militants who then declared a self-styled caliphate on territories that are under their control, killing members of religious minorities, driving others from their homes, enslaving women and destroying houses of worship. They are now removing from this territory all non-Islamic elements which has included library books, archaeological relics, and Islamic sites considered idolatrous. Until now, the antiquities in Mosul Museum were apparently left untouched, though some may have been removed for sale. Now the destruction of what was left has been ordered.
The Islamic State group released a video on Thursday purportedly showing militants using sledgehammers to smash ancient artifacts in Iraq's northern city of Mosul, describing them as idols that must be removed [...] The five-minute video shows a group of bearded men inside the Mosul Museum using hammers and drills to destroy several large statues, which are then shown in pieces and chipped. The video then shows a black-clad man at a nearby archaeological site inside Mosul drilling through and destroying a winged-bull Assyrian protective deity that dates back to the 7th century B.C. [...] "Oh Muslims, these artifacts that are behind me were idols and gods worshipped by people who lived centuries ago instead of Allah," a bearded man tells the camera as he stands in front of the partially demolished winged-bull. "The so-called Assyrians and Akkadians and others looked to gods for war, agriculture and rain to whom they offered sacrifices," [...] "Our prophet ordered us to remove all these statues as his followers did when they conquered nations," the man in the video adds.The video is thought to be authentic. What is not entirely clear is when this happened. I am not going to repost these images here. I hope though that my readers will join me in the hope that they are used to bring culture criminals to justice when the time comes.You can however see some screen shots with a commentary produced with his usual thoroughness by the indefatigable Sam Hardy, 'Islamic State has toppled, sledgehammered and jackhammered (drilled out) artefacts in Mosul Museum and at Nineveh'.
'Islamic State video shows militants smashing ancient artifacts in Iraq'. Associated Press February 26, 2015