By Theodore Shoebat
Muslims in Syria — all members of ISIS — bulldozed an ancient monastery that eas built 1,500 after the death of Christ. Here is the report:
The Islamic State group on Friday demolished a monastery founded more than 1,500 years ago in central Syria, near a town where the extremists abducted dozens of Christians earlier this month, activists and a priest said.
The destruction of the St. Elian Monastery near the town of Qaryatain comes days after IS militants publicly beheaded an 81-year-old antiquities scholar who had dedicated his life to studying and overseeing the iconic ancient ruins in the Syrian city of Palmyra.
The developments have stoked concerns that IS may be accelerating its campaign to destroy and loot non-Islamic and pre-Islamic heritage sites inside the vast swaths of Iraq and Syria now controlled by the militant group.
“I think we are worried about almost all the heritage sites in Syria. Nothing is safe,” said Irina Bokova, director general of UNESCO, told The Associated Press. The Islamic State group’s, “view on culture and heritage is just the opposite of what UNESCO stands for.”
The extremist group, which captured the Qaryatain area in early August, posted photos on social media Friday showing bulldozers destroying the St. Elian Monastery.
A Christian clergyman told the AP in Damascus that IS militants also wrecked a church inside the monastery that dates back to the 5th century. He spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals from the militants. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks Syria’s conflict, also reported the destruction of the monastery.