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The Islamic State loots museums and destroys archeological sites

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Funds war via black market artifact sales.

The Bible says that nearly two and a half millennia ago, the Assyrian King, Senacherib descended on his enemies in the fertile crescent "like the wolf on the fold," and now, in the present day, another enemy descends onto the lands that are the fertile crescent like a wolf among sheep, but instead of riding horses and brandishing spears, he rides in pickups and wields automatic rifles.

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Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
8/12/2014 (8 years ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: International, Middle East, Iraq

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Militants of the Islamic State descended on Nineveh, the recently excavated city which the Bible claims was the capital of King Senacherib, as well as numerous other cities and towns in Iraq, including Mosul, where thousands of Christians were forced to flee.

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After their conquest, the militants from the newly self-declared Islamic State visited the Mosul Museum, which had been closed since the American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and was almost ready to be reopened, and looted it thoroughly.

"These groups of terrorists-their arrival was a brutal shock, with no warning," said Qais Hussein Rashid, the Iraqi National Museum Director. "We were not able to take preventive measures."

A major source of revenue for the Islamic State and its self-appointed Caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has been the sale of ancient Syrian artifacts on the black market, which may have allowed al-Baghdadi to accumulate a $2 billion war chest.

"We as Iraqis are incapable of controlling the situation by ourselves," said Abbas Qureishi, the director of the Iraqi Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities' recovery program said.

Mosul sits in the middle of 1,791 archeological sites, included four which were ancient capitals of the Assyrian empire.

"The Iraqi army will be obliged to conduct operations next to these archeological sites," he said. He claims that these jihadists "will destroy them and say the Iraqi army bombed these sites."

"So we are asking Americans and Europeans-especially Americans-to understand the gravity of the situation," he continued. He hopes that Americans will encourage the government "to put pressure on the governments of their countries to intervene militarily."

"Here's the thing. In a traditional military engagement, tanks and artillery will damage a site. U.S. drones have very precise munitions which can hit targets without destroying the [archeological] sites nearby.

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