Earlier this year, the IS destroyed ruins from the ancient cities of Hatra and Nimrud in Iraq. Hatra was founded over 2,000 years ago, and Nimrud over 3,000 years ago.
There has been a civil war going on in Syria since 2011. Syrians want their president, Bashar al-Assad (image), to step down. He has been the president for almost 15 years. Rebel groups formed and started fighting Assad’s troops in 2011 to bring down his government. Fighting still continues on in the country. However, the IS also started fighting against Assad’s regime. Not all rebel groups agree with the ways of the IS, and they don’t want the IS to take over.
Some of Syria’s cities are considered to be very old. Its capital, Damascus, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited settlements in the world – over four thousand years old. Palmyra is an ancient city and was built in an oasis. It was used as a stopping place for people crossing the Syrian desert. Palmyra flourished around 2,000 years ago as it became an important city on trade routes linking the east to the west. A few years ago, some of the ruins in Palmyra ended up with bullet holes (image) because of fighting between the Syrian troops and the rebel groups.
Image Credits: UNESCO/F. Bandarin for the Palmyra with bullet holes image, Arian Zwegers for Palmyra’s image, Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom / ABr for Assad’s image