Iraq’s Antiquities Minister Says U.S.-Led Coalition Must Defend Historical Sites from ISIS

Iraqi workers cleaning a statue of winged bull at an archeological site in Nimrud, 35 Kilometers (22 miles) southeast of the northern city of Mosul in 2001

The US-led coalition carrying out air strikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group must try to protect archaeological sites being destroyed by the extremists, Iraq’s tourism and antiquities minister said Sunday.

ISIS smashed priceless artefacts at the Mosul museum, then bulldozed the city of Nimrud, which was founded in the 13th century BC.

The extremists may now have turned their attention to the extremely well-preserved fortress city Hatra, which is over 2,000 years old and a Unesco world heritage site, with the United Nations condemning its reported “destruction”.

“The sky is not in the hands of the Iraqis, the sky is not in our hands. Therefore, the international community must move with the means it has,” Adel Fahad al-Shershab told journalists in Baghdad.



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