Last updated: 10:41 AM ET, Tue August 25 2015

ISIS Reportedly Destroys Historic Temple in Syria

Impacting Travel | Donald Wood | August 25, 2015

ISIS Reportedly Destroys Historic Temple in Syria

PHOTO: Palmyra, Syria has been under ISIS control since May. (Courtesy of Thinkstock)

The Islamic extremist group ISIS has caused death and destruction all over the world, and now the group has reportedly destroyed an almost 2,000-year-old temple in the historic city of Palmyra, Syria.

In a report from, Syria's director-general of antiquities and museums Maamoun Abdulkarim claimed that ISIS members used large quantities of explosives to blow up the Temple of Baalshamin.

United Nations cultural organization, UNESCO, called ISIS’ actions a war crime.

It is uncertain exactly when the incident occurred, though. Abdulkarim reported that the temple was destroyed Sunday, but Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported it was blown up about a month ago, according to

It was unclear about just how much damage the historic site received from the terrorist attack, but Abdulkarim was doing his best to use his sources in the area to find out. ISIS members seized control of Palmyra in May.

Abdulkarim told, “They destroyed an incredibly important architectural structure. It is the first structure in the Palmyra complex to be destroyed, although they recently destroyed two Islamic shrines nearby. They said they would destroy the statues but not the structures themselves inside Palmyra. They lied.”

ISIS has shown a long history of destroying historical sites and artifacts throughout the territory in the Middle East the extremist group controls, especially items and places with any kind of religious basis.

As for the Temple of Baalshamin, it was a small structure dedicated to the Phoenician god of rain and fertility. The building was well preserved considering it was almost 2,000 years old, and was part of a large complex of historic ruins.

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