The Islamic State has struck on a novel combination of depravities, murdering three prisoners by lashing them to ancient stone pillars at an historic site in Palmyra, Syria, and then destroying both pillar and prisoner with explosives.
The incident, said to have occurred on Sunday, was reported by the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which says it receives its information from contacts inside ISIS-controlled territory. The New York Post sources this particular report to an activist in Palmyra who goes by the name Nasser al-Thaer.
The identities of the murdered prisoners are not yet known.
“Isis took control of Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in May this year, and quickly set about destroying many important historical sites, calling them ‘manifestations of polytheism,'” the UK Independent notes, adding that ISIS destroyed the ruins of Palmyra’s famous Temple of Bel and Baalshamin Temple and have used the city’s ancient amphitheater as a site for mass executions.
The New York Post adds that ISIS not only promotes and documents its vandalism of historical sites “for their shock value, to spread awe and fear,” but also relies upon “looting and selling such antiquities on the black market for revenue.”