- Title: Nimrud's broken glory lies in dust after Islamic State rampage
- Date: 16th November 2016
- Summary: NIMRUD, IRAQ (NOVEMBER 16, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WALKING IN HISTORIC ASSYRIAN SITE VARIOUS OF DAMAGED BUILDING VARIOUS OF A DAMAGED ASSYRIAN PANEL VARIOUS OF DAMAGED WALL OF BUILDING ETCHING ON THE WALL VARIOUS OF DAMAGED ARCHWAYS IN NIMRUD CASTLE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) IRAQI ARMY COMMANDER, MAJOR-GENERAL DHIYA KADHIM AL-SAIDI, SAYING: "We are now in Nimrud which has a history of around 3,000 years. This history is reflected in the Nimrud gate and the Nimrud castle, which is to our right. In front of me now is the Nimrud Ziggurat which was destroyed by Daesh. It was 40 metres high. The Nimrud castle contained 200 ancient panels which were completely destroyed. Four winged bulls were also destroyed, you can see the rubble." VARIOUS OF RUBBLE OF DESTROYED STATUES VARIOUS OF A BROKEN PANEL DAMAGED ARCHWAY IN NIMRUD CASTLE DAMAGED WALLS IN CASTLE ETCHINGS IN THE WALL (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) COMMANDER WITH THE NINTH REGIMENT, COLONEL SADIQ MHANNA, SAYING: "We were tasked with liberating the historic sites in Nimrud, thank God the mission was successful. The operation was well planned and it ensured the preservation of the historic sites in the area. Cooperation between the troops was good, we were able to liberate the historic site in record times. But Daesh have destroyed all the relics that were here, only a small part remains." VARIOUS OF ANOTHER DAMAGED HISTORICAL BUILDING (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) COMMANDER WITH THE NINTH REGIMENT, COLONEL SADIQ MHANNA, SAYING: "These Daesh militants do not have any history or religion. Their only work has been to destroy and cause damage in all the countries of the world, not just Iraq." VARIOUS OF DAMAGED WALL VARIOUS OF ETCHING ON THE WALL VARIOUS OF DAMAGED CASTLE ENTRANCE OF THE DAMAGED CASTLE VARIOUS OF THE HISTORIC SITE
- Embargoed: 1st December 2016 14:58
- Keywords: Iraq Nimrud ruins Islamic State
- Location: NIMRUD, IRAQ
- City: NIMRUD, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Military Conflicts
- Reuters ID: LVA00158P22X3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: FOR FILE MATERIAL OF NIMRUD, PLEASE SEE EDIT 7117-MIDEAST-CRISIS/IRAQ-NIMRUD FILE
In a field outside an ancient palace in the Assyrian city of Nimrud, shattered remains of intricate carvings lie broken in the dust.
Remnants of elaborate wall panels and colossal statues of winged bulls, they stood at the site for nearly three millennia, reminders of a mighty empire which stretched across the Middle East.
At the northern edge of the old city, a ziggurat - or terraced pyramid - towered over the palace and nearby temples.
Until two years ago, when Islamic State militants swept through northern Iraq, ransacking ancient cities, religious sites and palaces which the ultra-hardline Sunni Muslim zealots deem idolatrous.
The ziggurat has been reduced to a pile of dirt, with tyre tracks all over it, apparently flattened by bulldozers in the last two months before Islamic State fighters were driven out of the site by Iraqi forces on Sunday (November 13).
Palace walls have been stripped of the carved facades which adorned them. Just a few pieces remain in place, while fragments of the winged bulls - or lamassus - which stood at one of the palace entrances lie in a field outside.
Carefully engraved feathers can still be seen on one of them, lying close to what appears to be a foot of one of the mythical carved creatures.
"There were about 200 ancient panels. Daesh (Islamic State) stole some of them and destroyed the rest," Major-General Dhiya Kadhim al-Saidi told reporters on a visit to the site on Wednesday (November 16), three days after it was recaptured.
A tribal fighter from the area said the ziggurat had been destroyed by the militants in the last two months as the Iraqi army advanced towards Nimrud, confirming evidence from satellite pictures which showed its steady destruction since September.
Saidi said Islamic State had been driven about 3.5 km (two miles) away from Nimrud, but the area had not yet been cleared of possible bombs and booby traps.
Nimrud lies on the eastern bank of the Tigris River, 30 km (20 miles) south of Mosul where Iraqi soldiers are battling to crush Islamic State. Mosul is the largest city under the militants' control in Iraq and neighbouring Syria.
Iraq's antiquities authority says it is still working to set up field teams to assess the damage to the site, but says it hopes some of the ruins can be salvaged.
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