IS Blows up Palmyra to Execute People

2019 ias preliminary exam test series

The Islamic State jihadist group executed three people in Syria’s ancient city of Palmyra by binding them to three historic columns and blowing them up.

IS “tied three individuals it had arrested from Palmyra and its outskirts to the columns and executed them by blowing up” three columns.

There was no one there to see (the execution). The columns were destroyed and IS has prevented anyone from heading to the site.

current affairsSince the jihadists seized Palmyra from regime forces in May 2015, they have destroyed multiple sites and historic artefacts, including its celebrated temples of Bel and Baal Shamin as well as several funerary towers.

An oasis in the Syrian desert, north-east of Damascus, Palmyra contains the monumental ruins of a great city that was one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world. From the 1st to the 2nd century, the art and architecture of Palmyra, standing at the crossroads of several civilizations, married Graeco-Roman techniques with local traditions and Persian influences.

IS has used Palmyra’s grand amphitheatre for a massacre in which child members of the group killed 25 Syrian soldiers, execution-style, in front of residents.

It also beheaded Palmyra’s 82-year-old former antiquities director in August.

Palmyra’s ruins are on the UNESCO World Heritage list, and before the war around 150,000 tourists a year visited the town.

Two mountain ranges overlook the city; the northern Palmyrene mountain belt from the north and the southern Palmyrene mountains from the southwest.

In the south and the east Palmyra is exposed to the Syrian Desert. A small wadi (al-Qubur) crosses the area, flowing from the western hills past the city before disappearing in the eastern gardens of the oasis. South of the wadi is a spring, Efqa.

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