IS har halshogd en av Syrias mest anerkjente eksperter på den antikke byen Palmyra, den 81 år gamle Khaled Asaad.
IS skal ha forsøkt å presse ham til å avsløre hvor antikke skatter er skjult. IS selger dem på den internasjonale svartebørsen. Da han avslo, skar de hodet av ham på plassen foran byens museum.
Khaled Asaad har det forfinede ansiktet til en mann som har viet sitt liv til kultur og historie. I Midtøsten omfattes det normalt av respekt. Det samme gjør alderen – 81 år. Men IS respekterer hverken kunnskap, alder eller ærverdighet. Alt faller for Allahs sverd.
IS’ ufattelige grusomhet er ved å gå opp for stadig flere. Sex-slaveriet, ødeleggelsen av kulturarven, utryddelsen av minoriteter, hatet mot shiaer – alt forteller om en bevegelse som er en trussel det ikke går an å ignorere.
Syrian state media and an activist group say that Islamic State extremists have beheaded one of the country’s most prominent antiquities scholars in the ancient town of Palmyra.
State news agency SANA and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights say IS beheaded 81-year-old Khaled Asaad on Tuesday in a square outside the town’s museum.
Maamoun Abdulkarim, the head of the Antiquities and Museums Department in Damascus, told SANA that Asaad’s body was later taken to Palmyra’s archaeological site and hung from one of the Roman columns.
In May, IS captured Palmyra, home to one of the Mideast’s most spectacular archaeological sites — a well-preserved, 2,000-year-old Roman-era city at the town’s edge.
Abdulkarim said IS has tried to get information from Asaad about sites of the town’s treasures without success. AP.
ABC.net.au skriver at Asaad var blitt underkastet avhør i en måned, før de henrettet ham. Det store spørsmål er hva IS gjør med kolonnaden og templet i Palmyra. Hvor lenge vil det få stå i fred?
Khaled Asaad, 82, was the head of antiquities in Palmyra for more than 50 years, antiquities chief Maamoun Abdulkarim said.
He had been retired for 13 years.
Mr Asaad’s family informed the antiquities chief that Islamic State jihadists had executed him.
IS insurgents control swathes of Syria and Iraq, and captured Palmyra from Syrian government forces in May, but as of yet have not damaged its monumental, Roman-era ruins despite their reputation for destroying idolatrous artefacts.
Mr Asaad had been detained and interrogated for more than a month by the ultra-radical Sunni Muslim militants.
«Just imagine that such a scholar who gave such memorable services to the place and to history would be beheaded … and his corpse still hanging from one of the ancient columns in the centre of a square in Palmyra,» Mr Abdulkarim said.
«The continued presence of these criminals in this city is a curse and bad omen on [Palmyra] and every column and every archaeological piece in it.»
Mr Asaad was well known for several scholarly works published in international archaeological journals on Palmyra, which flourished as an important antiquities trading hub along the Silk Road.
He also oversaw US, French, German and Swiss archaeological missions for decades, and assisted with excavations and research in Palmyra’s famed 2,000-year-old ruins, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Before the city’s capture by Islamic State, Syrian officials said they moved hundreds of ancient statues to safe locations, due to concern they would be destroyed by the militants.