The mılıtant organization, ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham), is not only known for slaughtering people or the foreigners they execute, but also for the damage they inflict on historical artifacts and buildings, especially in Iraq. According to a statement released by UNESCO, ISIS destroyed nine precious ancient cities and ancient monuments. Among the destroyed sites, there are areas that are listed as UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage Sites. Here are some of the most important places that ISIS has destroyed in al-Hadar and Nimrud, cities that were home to the most precious historical sites in Iraq.
Al-Hadar: The ancient city of al-Hadar, which is one of the four sites in Iraq that are on UNESCO'S World Cultural Heritage List dates back 2,300 years.
The city, which was established in the second century B.C., was famous for its temples and public baths. It also witnessed the struggle between the Byzantine and Sassanian Empires, which were the most powerful empires of the time. Situated 320 kilometers from Iraq's capital Bagdad, the ancient site entered UNESCO's list in 2000. Eye witnesses reported that ISIS militants destroyed the city with bulldozers.
Nimrud: This ancient city whose original name is Calah was one of the most distinguished regions of Mesopotamian civilizations. Situated 30 kilometers north of Mosul, the city was completely destroyed by ISIS last week. UNESCO described the destruction of the historical site as a war crime.
Hours after the destruction of the ancient Nimrud archaeological site, ısıs militants also destroyed a 19th century Ottoman-era mosque in central Mosul. The Hamou Qado Mosque, built in 1881, was a spectacular sight in the Iraqi city, and was one of Mosul's oldest landmarks before it was bulldozed.
The Museum of Mosul: The destruction in the museum was revealed in a video released on Feb. 26. ISIS militants destroyed many rare historical artifacts with sledgehammers. The incident resulted in the destruction of over 90 artifacts and was reminiscent of the Taliban's destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan Afghanistan in 2001.
The Tomb of Jonah: Located in Mosul, the tomb was believed by some to be the last resting place of Jonah and was destroyed by the militants on July 24, 2014 with bombs.
The Library of Mosul: The library contained numerous rare documents including thousands of precious pre-Islamic manuscripts. It was burned to ashes in February 2014 due to the books and manuscripts it housed.
Tal Afar Castle: Situated in western Mosul, the historical Tal Afar Castle was damaged beyond repair during assaults starting in December 2014. The
Ebu Temmam Statue: The statue of renowned Arab poet Ebu Temmam, who lived during the ninth century, was one of the first historical artifacts that ISIS militants destroyed. The statue, which was located in Mosul and one of the symbols of the city, was torn down in June 2014.
The Green Church: The temple in Tikrit had a history of 1,300 years. The destruction, which experts have said resembled the destruction by the Mongols who tore Baghdad down in 1258, took place last September. Following the incident, many Christians living in the region had to leave their homeland.
The Tomb of Erbain: Located in Tikrit, this historical building was believed to be the last resting place of Prophet Muhammad's 40 friends. The building was blown up by ISIS militants with explosives last September.