The rise of the Islamic State (ISIS) has seen untold damage done to the Middle East’s cultural heritage sites. The jihadists destroyed Jonah’s tomb, as well as the Armenian Genocide Memorial, the Saad bin Aqeel Husseiniya shrine in Tal Afar, and Mosul’s al-Qubba Husseiniya mosque, among others. But the destruction is, in some cases, not even their endgame. Numerous reports claim that they are funding much of their efforts by selling looted antiquities.
By reducing their enemies’ religious sites to rubble, ISIS seeks to effectively erase history, severing their enemies from their homeland by wiping out their connection to the past in order to create a future in which ISIS and its religious beliefs reign supreme. It’s a brutal war tactic, and one, unfortunately, that appears to be working.
UNESCO has warned that ISIS is looting and selling ancient artifacts on the black market to finance their terrorist activities.
Compilation from artnet news.
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