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    A file picture taken on March 14, 2014 shows a partial view of the theatre at the ancient oasis city of Palmyra, 215 kilometres northeast of Damascus. Islamic State group fighters advanced to the gates of ancient Palmyra on May 14, 2015

    ISIL Rigs Palmyra's Ancient Roman Amphitheater With Explosives

    © AFP 2017/ JOSEPH EID
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    The Syrian Ministry of Culture has accused ISIL terrorists of mining the ancient Roman Theater at Palmyra.

    Speaking to RIA Novosti on Tuesday, Syrian Deputy Minister of Culture Ali Qayyim confirmed reports that the terror group had mined the 1,800-year-old theater.

    "This information is correct," Qayyim said. "Several residents of Palmyra, whom we trust, have told us about it. ISIL has mined the amphitheater…They know that Syrian forces cannot strike the historical monuments." The minister emphasized that "these actions are inhumane and uncivilized."

    Palmyra, the city whose ancient ruins of which are included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list, has been under ISIL's control since May. Since then, ISIL militants have used the theater to commit public executions of its opponents, posting video of the events on social media.

    In August, ISIL terrorists blew up two temples in the ancient city. Earlier this month, the terror group was reported to have blown up the ancient Roman-era Arch of Triumph.

    Speaking to Sputnik following ISIL's destruction of the Arch, Syrian Antiques and Museums Director General Maamoun Abdulkarim noted that its destruction marked "a very big loss," adding that "what we are witnessing today is a thoughtful script, according to which the city of Palmyra will be razed to the ground."

    Last month, UNESCO's director general called the destruction of the city's ancient Temple of Bel a war crime.

    On Tuesday, a Syrian military source told Sputnik that Russian warplanes had destroyed an ISIL command center on Palmyra's outskirts, killing up to 40 militants. Earlier, Western media citing Syrian television had reported that Russian fighter jets had struck ISIL targets inside Palmyra, reports which the Russian Air Force dismissed.

    Related:

    Russian Warplanes Destroy ISIL HQ Near Palmyra, Up To 40 Militants Killed
    ISIL Militants Blow Up Roman-Era Arch of Triumph in Palmyra
    Protecting History: The Digital Project Preserving Artifacts From ISIL Ruin
    ISIL Destruction of Ancient Temple in Palmyra a War Crime – UNESCO
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