IRBIL, Iraq (AP) — The Obama Administration and the Vatican condemned the Islamic State group Wednesday for razing Iraq’s oldest Christian monastery, a 1,400-year-old structure that survived assaults by nature and man for centuries before it was deliberately destroyed by extremists.
At the United Nations, UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova said reducing St. Elijah’s monastery in Mosul to a field of rubble was malicious and misguided. The Associated Press confirmed the news with exclusive satellite images published early Wednesday.
“Despite their relentless crimes, extremists will never be able to erase history,” said Bokova, who called the demolition a war crime. “It also reminds us how terrified by history the extremists are, because understanding the past undermines the pretexts they use to justify these crimes and exposes them as expressions of pure hatred and ignorance.”