Islamic State destroys part of Roman amphitheatre in Palmyra

The militants also blew up the Arch of Triumph, which had been built under Roman emperor Septimius Severus between A.D. 193 and A.D. 211.

Islamic State destroys part of Roman amphitheatre in Palmyra

Islamic State group militants destroyed a landmark ancient Roman monument and parts of the theatre in Syria's historic town of Palmyra, the government and opposition monitoring groups said Friday.

The militants destroyed the facade of the second-century theatre along with the Tetrapylon, a cubic-shaped ancient Roman monument that sits in the middle of the colonnade road that leads to the theatre, reported Associated Press.


The reports of the destruction first trickled out of the IS-held town late in December. But satellite images of the damage were only available late Thursday, confirming the destruction.

The imagery, provided by the US-based American Schools of Oriental Research, show significant damage to the Tetrapylon and the theatre. The ASOR said the damage is likely caused by intentional destruction from IS but they were unable to verify the exact cause.

The extremists recaptured the ancient town in December from government troops — nine months after IS was expelled in a Russia-backed offensive. During their first stay, from May 2015 until May 2016, IS destroyed ancient temples including the Temple of Bel, which dated back to A.D. 32, and the Temple of Baalshamin, a structure of stone blocks several stories high fronted by six towering columns.

The militants also blew up the Arch of Triumph, which had been built under Roman emperor Septimius Severus between A.D. 193 and A.D. 211.

A UNESCO world heritage site, Palmyra boasts 2,000-year-old towering Roman-era colonnades and priceless artefacts.

The extremists have destroyed ancient sites across their self-styled Islamic caliphate in Syria and Iraq, viewing them as monuments to idolatry.