The destruction of treasured world-heritage archeological sites by ISIS continues unchecked.

This time, the terror group obliterated Hatra, a city in Northern Iraq that was made famous in the opening sequence of the blockbuster horror film, The Exorcist.

Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants bulldozed early Saturday the ancient city of Hatra founded 3rd or 2nd BC by the Seleucide Empire, activists and Kurdish media reported.

Spokesman for the 14th branch of the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) in Ninveh province Saeed Mumuzini told Rudaw news website that “ISIS militants used buldozzers to destroy Hatra city.”

“ISIS stole the ancient gold and silver coins, which were used by the Assyrian kings and were stored in the city,” Mumuzini added.

A small sequence from that movie will remind everyone of the stunning ancient masterpiece of architecture Hatra was.

This will fuel the outrage of the international community even further, as ISIS and its bulldozing of the famed biblical city of Nimrud.

Activists, officials and historians have condemned Islamic State (Isis) for the destruction of the ancient Assyrian archaeological site of Nimrud in Iraq, with Unesco describing the act as a war crime.

“They are not destroying our present life, or only taking the villages, churches, and homes, or erasing our future – they want to erase our culture, past and civilisation,” said Habib Afram, the president of the Syriac League of Lebanon, adding that Isis’s actions were reminiscent of the Mongol invasion of the Middle East.

Iraq’s tourism and antiquities ministry said on Thursday that Isis had bulldozed the ancient city, south of Mosul, which was conquered by the militants in a lightning advance last summer.

History buffs will note that Hatra was a fortified city in the Parthian Emmpire that challenged the ancient Romans regularly. Nimrud, also known as Kahlu, was an ancient capital of the Assyrian Empire and was established around the time famed pharaoh Ramses II was ruling Egypt.

I discussed the continuing ruination of world heritage sites on my recent Canto Talk appearance. Fellow guest and military historian Brian Jacobsen offered analysis on the options available to the United States and the rest of the world to prevent further slaughter of innocents as well as the pillaging of our world heritage.

One the options discussed was the “Coalition of the Civilized”, which looks to include not only Egypt and Jordan, but Saudi Arabia. There were a series of key meetings between the leaders of the three countries; noted Middle-East analysis and historian Micah Halpern has this review in The Observer.

…They understand that, for them, fighting ISIS is a battle of survival. Abdullah and Salman know very well that in order for their reigns to survive they must defeat ISIS.

We also know from official sources that the Egyptian/Saudi conversation was very straight forward. Egypt wanted to make certain that the new king, like the Abdullah, the previous king of Saudi Arabia, continues to support him both politically and monetarily. And both countries needed to make certain that they share intel on terror and Islamic extremists. From information and leaks, we know that they decided to create a joint force to confront the new challenge from ISIS in Iraq and in Syria and to control the tension emerging from Libya and Yemen.

Add Jordan to the mix, and we now have a move to unify Arabs against the ISIS threat. That’s big news.

In the beginning the collaboration will probably be limited to intelligence and training. But if successful, the links will grow and these countries will actually help each other on joint missions on the ground and from the air.

Let’s hope that plans to exorcise the destructive demons of ISIS are successful…and soon, before more innocents are cruelly butchered and more of our history is brutally obliterated.

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