Sadly, new satellite images confirm what many have feared – the St. Elijah’s Monastery of Mosul has been razed to the ground. Reverent Paul Thatib Habib, who used to spearhead the church but was since exiled to Erbil in Kurdish-controlled Iraq, was said to have stared hopelessly at before and after pictures of the Christian monastery which used to sit on top of a hillside in Mosul city.

CZOTDQIWwAAzXqD

Paul Thatib Habib was reportedly highly distressed due to the satellite discovery: “I can’t describe my sadness – 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.” For centuries, the monastery has remained a site of pilgrimage for devout Christians worldwide.

The monastery was erected some 1400 years ago and has since survived assaults by nature and man; however, it seems it was unable to survive the surge of ISIS. The monastery, called Dair Mar Elia, is named for the Assyrian Christian monk — St. Elijah — who built it between 582 and 590 A.C. It was a holy site for Iraqi Christians for centuries, part of the Mideast’s Chaldean Catholic community. In earlier centuries, generations of monks tucked candles in the niches and prayed in the cool chapel.

Regrettably, St. Elijah’s joins a growing list of more than 100 demolished religious and historic sites, including mosques, tombs, shrines and churches in Syria, Iraq and Libya. Furthermore, ISIS militants have defaced or ruined ancient monuments in Nineveh, Palmyra and Hatra of which they considered contrary to their interpretation of Islam.

ALSO READ  US Coalition forces announce withdrawal from strategic Iraqi base

According to imagery analyst Stephen Wood, the date of destruction was identified as being between Aug. 27 and Sept. 28, 2014. Before it was razed, images show a partially restored, 27,000-square-foot religious building. However, according to Mr. Wood: “The stone walls have been literally pulverized. Bulldozers, heavy equipment, sledgehammers, possibly explosives turned those stone walls into this field of gray-white dust. They destroyed it completely,”. Sadly, he added that “There’s nothing to rebuild.”

Thus, more than a millennium old cultural heritage in Mosul has been suddenly and abruptly been put to an end.

Share this article:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Student currently living in Denmark. Special focus on news from Syria, MENA map-making and strategical military analysis.

Notice: All comments represent the view of the commenter and not necessarily the views of AMN.

All comments that are not spam or wholly inappropriate are approved, we do not sort out opinions or points of view that are different from ours.

This is a Civilized Place for Public Discussion

Please treat this discussion with the same respect you would a public park. We, too, are a shared community resource — a place to share skills, knowledge and interests through ongoing conversation.

These are not hard and fast rules, merely guidelines to aid the human judgment of our community and keep this a clean and well-lighted place for civilized public discourse.

Improve the Discussion

Help us make this a great place for discussion by always working to improve the discussion in some way, however small. If you are not sure your post adds to the conversation, think over what you want to say and try again later.

The topics discussed here matter to us, and we want you to act as if they matter to you, too. Be respectful of the topics and the people discussing them, even if you disagree with some of what is being said.

Be Agreeable, Even When You Disagree

You may wish to respond to something by disagreeing with it. That’s fine. But remember to criticize ideas, not people. Please avoid:

  • Name-calling
  • Ad hominem attacks
  • Responding to a post’s tone instead of its actual content
  • Knee-jerk contradiction

Instead, provide reasoned counter-arguments that improve the conversation.

2 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Marios Nicolaou
Marios Nicolaou
2016-01-20 08:41

Amazing how many countries are “bombing”Isis and still they exist

Greg Warrington
Greg Warrington
2016-01-20 08:35

fkrs