Fifteen years ago when the Taliban controlled Afghanistan, they destroyed ancient Buddhist statues. Today, ISIS is following their lead in other parts of the region, most recently by destroying a Christian monastery in Iraq.

Jonah Bennett reports at The Daily Caller:

ISIS Just Bulldozed The Oldest Christian Monastery In Iraq

The Islamic State just bulldozed St. Elijah’s Monastery, the oldest Christian monastery in Iraq, which has survived every other assault for 1,400 years until now.

ISIS took out the location with bulldozers, sledgehammers and perhaps even explosives.

Located in Mosul, the monastery has been used as a place of worship by U.S. troop. It features two Greek letters, chi and rho, which stand for letters in Christ’s name, signifying the importance of the site, The Associated Press reports.

“I can’t describe my sadness,” Rev. Paul Thabit Habib, who currently lives in Irbil, told The Associated Press. “Our Christian history in Mosul is being barbarically leveled. We see it as an attempt to expel us from Iraq, eliminating and finishing our existence in this land.”

Satellite imagery firm confirmed the facility’s destruction and passed the information over to The Associated Press. The U.S. military had previously restored the place of worship, during earlier years in the Iraq War.

The destruction of the monastery is the latest example of a long-standing ISIS campaign to wipe out all traces of Christian heritage in the region. ISIS doesn’t just go after cultural artifacts and buildings, but the group also is responsible for the deaths of thousands of Christians, who have lived in the area for 2,000 years.

Here’s a video report from the Associated Press:

The motivation behind this barbarism is obvious. ISIS is trying to erase Christianity by destroying any evidence of its existence.

Nina Shea writes at FOX News:

Another irreplaceable loss for Christianity: ISIS destroys ancient Iraqi monastery

Built before Christianity’s sectarian divisions and having gathered Christian worshipers for one and a half millennia, this ancient sacred edifice, now reduced to rubble, represents yet another irreparable loss to Christian patrimony at the hands of these Islamist extremists. But, even more importantly, its destruction also symbolizes the genocide of Iraq’s Christian people and their civilization. It gives shocking reminder that Nineveh has been inalterably changed. Its pluralistic cultural mosaic since antiquity has been shattered and putting it back together may prove impossible in this generation.

But why did ISIS do it? The militants had already consolidated control over all of the Nineveh Plain by late summer 2014 and had killed, enslaved, forcibly converted or driven out all Christians when it went to the considerable effort of destroy St. Elijah–along with a long roster of other historic Christian churches, tombs, sculptures, and manuscripts.

Surely, it was not driven to do so because the monastery posed a threat or was a seat of power — these minorities had no military forces or real political power.

ISIS set about eradicating every trace of the Christians, even the silent stones of their now forlorn monasteries, due to its sacramentalized hatred of “infidels.” In a report this week, the UN’s Assistance Mission in Iraq confirms that ISIS is indoctrinating and training Mosul children in jihadist ideology.

These are not people who can be negotiated with, these are barbarians set on the destruction of the West.

ISIS is at war with us whether our current leaders admit it or not.

Featured image via YouTube.