The United Nations (UN) satellite image has confirmed the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra’s Temple of Bel Destroyed, the temple is considered to be the most important structure of its kind at the site.
Earlier in August this year, Islamic State forces ISIS destroyed Palmyra’s Temple of Baal shamin, which also dates back almost 2,000 years ago.
Unesco director Irina Bokova on his confirmation of the destruction said “The systematic destruction of cultural symbols embodying Syrian cultural diversity reveals the true intent of such attacks, which is to deprive the Syrian people of its knowledge, its identity and history,”
On Sunday afternoon, blasts from Bel temple’s vicinity were heard across Palmyra, said Majed, a local activist currently in Turkey who said he was in contact with residents and activists in Palmyra.
“We can confirm destruction of the main building of the Temple of Bel as well as a row of columns in its immediate vicinity,” a statement from the UN’s training and research agency, Unitar, said.
Abdulkarim said that the extent of damage on the Temple of Bel could not be assessed until images of it were released by Isis, which holds the town currently. “This is something different from Baal Shamin,” he added.