ISIS destroys ancient Assyrian Gate of God

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(Wikimedia Commons/Fredarch)Nineveh. Adad Gate. One of the fifteen gateways of ancient Nineveh.
The Islamic State has reportedly destroyed yet another archeological treasure, a seventh-century structure that once stood as a gate to the ancient Assyrian city of Ninevah, but details have yet to be known.

“We continue to follow the latest news reports from Iraq,” a British Museum spokesperson told The Independent. “We naturally deplore all acts of vandalism and destruction of cultural heritage, and continue to monitor the situation to the best of our ability. In the absence of specific information it is not yet possible to comment on what has been destroyed.”

ARA News received information from activists that IS used military equipment to do damage to the 2,000-year-old Mashqi Gate, also called the Gate of God, which stood since the time of Assyrian king Sennacherib.

A source from the British Institute for the Study of Iraq also told The Independent that the gate was attacked, something that The Antiquities Department in Baghdad reportedly did not deny. The source also said that there are unconfirmed reports of the stone blocks from the Wall of Nineveh being dismantled and sold.

The structure is situated near Mosul, a city in Iraq that has seen a lot of damage done in the hands of the terror group since they took over in 2014. Among the heritage sites in the area that were reported to have been destroyed are the 12th century Khudr Mosque, the 13th-century shrine of Imam Awn al-Din, the 1,400-year-old Dair Mar Elia (Saint Elijah) monastery, the 10th-century Chaldean Catholic St Markourkas Church, the 7th-century Green Church (St Ahoadamah Church), the 13th-century Assysrian city of Nimrud, among others. According to The Independent, IS militants also vandalized and ruined ancient statues at the Mosul Museum including the the 7th-century BC Winged Bulls, burned more than 100,000 old books and manuscripts from the city library, and turned the University of Mosul into a factory for bombs and a training ground for recruits.

Nineveh has a long history, with people settling in as far back as 6,000 BC — the city was mentioned in the Bible as early as chapter 10 of Genesis — but it bloomed around 700 BC during the time of King Sennacherib.