جريمة ضد الحضارة
Dear Iraqi Architects, Archaeologists and Friends,
This is to relay to you the sad but unconfirmed news that the so-called ISIS or "Islamic State" has recently turned its destructive attention to Ashur in Northern Iraq and a World Heritage Site since 2003. The reports, which are not supported by visual evidence, say that the Ziggurat and the arched gate were destroyed presumably by explosives. It is well known that Ashur site is largely archaeological ( some 5000 years old) and there are no prominent architectural features except the recently reconstructed "Tabira" arched gate. The rest is simply excavated locations in the form of mud brick walls and foundations. There are no 'idolatry' statues whatsoever in the site. I also find it difficult to imagine the blowing up of a huge earth mountain which is all what remains of the ancient imposing Assyrian ziggurat.
Nevertheless, any damage, no matter how small it is, to an extremely important historic site, is criminal and represents another horrible war crime. All civilized humanity condemns such incomprehensible action.
Iraqi Architect and Heritage Expert
May 29th, 2015.