ISIS blew up the ancient Baalshamin temple in Syria

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The Islamic State has reportedly destroyed the Baalshamin temple in Palmyra, Syria.


Palmyra, which was taken by ISIS in May, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Along with the Baalshamin temple, which the BBC explains was dedicated to Phoenician gods, the city is also home to very well preserved Greco-Roman ruins.

On Sunday militants "placed a large quantity of explosives in the temple of Baalshamin," Maamoun Abdulkarim, Syria's antiquities chief told the AFP, "and then blew it up causing much damage to the temple."

Earlier this year the Islamic State also made headlines when video emerged of fighters destroying artifacts in Mosul.

Though ISIS hasn't offered a reason for the destruction of Baalshamin, in the past they've offered the explanation that they're destroying artifacts of false gods, per CNN.

The destruction of the temple follows news from last week that 81-year old Khaled al-Asaad, an architect who had spent decades taking care of ruins in Palmyra, had been beheaded by ISIS.

Ethan Chiel is a reporter for Fusion, writing mostly about the internet and technology. You can (and should) email him at