Islamic State militants have destroyed the oldest Christian monastery in Iraq, the latest in a growing list of ancient monuments and artifacts that have been looted and destroyed by the group.
Satellite images obtained by The Associated Press show that St. Elijah’s Monastery, a 1,400-year-old stone sanctuary perched on a hill overlooking Mosul, has been razed to rubble, probably between August and September 2014.
The fortresslike monastery was built in the year 590 and stood against attack for centuries. It was the site of a 1743 massacre of Christian monks who refused to convert to Islam. In 2003, a wall of the monastery was wrecked by a tank during a battle between insurgents and American forces.
Islamic State fighters have left a trail of looting and destruction at historic and archaeological sites across Iraq and Syria, including the ruins of the ancient cities of Palmyra, Nineveh and Hatra, and have destroyed more than 100 churches, mosques, shrines and tombs. Read more