The Rendon Group Snapshot Report – 09 March 2015

by TRG Alerts Admin on March 9, 2015

The Rendon Group Snapshot Report

(09MAR15)

 

Each week The Rendon Group’s media analysts will focus on a different continent and a different issue affecting that continent. As always, we remain available to answer any questions you may have and to provide additional information upon request. For more information regarding The Rendon Group’s products and services, please contact us at Alert@Rendon.com or +1-202-745-4900.

 

Islamic State Destroys Iraq’s Cultural Heritage

 

Picture of Hatra, the ancient Roman city in northern Iraq, before IS destroyed it – AP

 

This week’s snapshot focuses on the Islamic State destruction of Iraqi cultural heritage sites. On 26FEB15, the Islamic State posted a video on its social media feeds of its fighters smashing ancient artifacts and statues at the Mosul Museum. After considerable international outcry, the Islamic state then destroyed heritage sites in Nimrud on 05MAR15, Hatra on 07MAR15, and Khorsabad on 08MAR15.

 

 

News Summary of events during the week of 02MAR-08MAR

  • 02MAR: The head of Iran Cultural Heritage, Handcrafts and Tourism Organization’s press service, Dr. Hamid Ziaeeparvar, offered to take Iraq’s cultural objects for safekeeping to protect from IS. (Sputnik)
  • 03MAR: Iraqi Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Adel al-Sharshab called for regional and international help to stop IS from threatening Iraqi heritage. (Mawtani al-Shorfa)
  • 04MAR: The UN World Tourism Organization joined UNESCO in condemning the destruction of cultural and religious artifacts in Syria and Iraq. (UNWTO)
  • 05MAR: Militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have bulldozed the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud in Iraq, the government said in a statement, in the extremist group’s latest onslaught on the country’s heritage. (Al-Jazeera)
  • 06MAR: Officials from Iraq as well as across the world denounced the destruction of the remnants of an ancient Assyrian city by IS militants, with some calling for urgent international military intervention to prevent further damage to the country’s trove of archaeological treasures. (WSJ, AFP, AFP, AFP)
  • 07MAR:  Iraqi officials said that they were investigating reports that IS militants had destroyed Hatra, an archaeological site that dates to the first century B.C. (NYT)
  • 08MAR: The US-led coalition carrying out air strikes against the IS must try to protect archaeological sites being destroyed by the jihadists, Iraq’s tourism and antiquities minister said Sunday. (AFP)
  • 08MAR: Iraq’s government is investigating reports that the ancient archaeological site of Khorsabad in northern Iraq is the latest to be attacked by the IS. (AP)

 

 

Sample of Twitter handles regarding Islamic State destruction of Iraqi cultural heritage sites

  • @TamerELG – Tamer El-Ghobashy, @WSJ Middle East Correspondent based in Cairo.
  • @mchristiangreen  – M. Christian Green, Law, Religion, Human Rights, and Global Ethics.
  • @IraqShamel  – Ahmed Ali, Senior Fellow @enablingpeace & Director of Iraq Security & Humanitarian Monitor
  • @CombatLooting – The Antiquities Coalition safeguards cultural heritage through advocacy, research, and practical solutions.
  • @janearraf – Journalist, writer. Happily roaming Iraq, other places to report for television and newspapers inc Jazeera English and America and the Christian Science Monitor

 

Sample of Third Party Validators regarding Islamic State destruction of Iraqi cultural heritage sites

 

Ali al-Nashmi, Professor of History, Mustansiriya University in Baghdad

“We are in despair with the government. We are losing the country.”

–       Jihadists May Have Wrecked an Ancient Iraqi Site, New York Times, 07MAR15

 

George C. Papagiannis, Former World Heritage Officer for Iraq, UNESCO

“These extremists are trying to destroy the entire cultural heritage of the region in an attempt to wipe the slate clean and rewrite history in their own brutal image.”

–       ISIS Attacks Nimrud, a Major Archaeological Site in Iraq, New York Times, 05MAR15

 

Ihsan Fethi, Member, Iraqi Architects Society

“I cannot even describe the immensity of this loss. This is one of the most famous and probably one of the most important sites in the world.”

–       ISIS Attacks Nimrud, a Major Archaeological Site in Iraq, New York Times, 05MAR15

 

Lamia al-Gailani, Iraqi Archeologist, School of Oriental and African Studies

“Nimrud for us in Iraq and for me as an archaeologist is one of the most important [sites]. There are still quite a lot of things that are standing – the reliefs and the statues, the famous winged bulls. They are erasing our history. I wish it was a nightmare and I could wake up.”

–       Nimrud: Outcry as IS bulldozers attack ancient Iraq site, BBC, 06MAR15

 

John Curtis, British Institute for the Study of Iraq

“[The destruction of Nimrud is a] horrific crime against the cultural heritage of the whole world.”

–       Nimrud: Outcry as IS bulldozers attack ancient Iraq site, BBC, 06MAR15

 

 

Sample of open source research conducted by TRG analysts related to Islamic State destruction of Iraq cultural heritage sites

 

1. Outcry over Isis destruction of ancient Assyrian site of Nimrud

 

Media: The Guardian (UK)

Byline: Kareem Shaheen

Date: 06 March 2015

 

Activists, officials and historians have condemned Islamic State (Isis) for the destruction of the ancient Assyrian archaeological site of Nimrud in Iraq, with Unesco describing the act as a war crime.

 

“They are not destroying our present life, or only taking the villages, churches, and homes, or erasing our future – they want to erase our culture, past and civilisation,” said Habib Afram, the president of the Syriac League of Lebanon, adding that Isis’s actions were reminiscent of the Mongol invasion of the Middle East.

 

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2. Azhar slams ISIS for bulldozing Nimrud

 

Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Byline: N/A

Date: 06 March 2015

 

Egypt-based al-Azhar institution, the Sunni Islam’s leading authority, condemned on Friday the bulldozing of Iraq’s ancient city of Nimrud by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

 

In a statement Al-Azhar said: “what the Daesh terrorist’s destruction and demolition of monuments in areas under its influence in Iraq, Syria and Libya …by claiming they are idols is a major crime against the whole world.”

 

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3. Iraqi Minister Concerned Over IS Looting 3rd Ancient Site

 

Media: Associated Press

Byline: SAMEER N. YACOUB

Date: 08 March 2015

 

Iraq’s government is investigating reports that the ancient archaeological site of Khorsabad in northern Iraq is the latest to be attacked by the Islamic State militant group.

 

Adel Shirshab, the country’s tourism and antiquities minister, told The Associated Press there are concerns the militants will remove artifacts and damage the site, located 15 kilometers (9 miles) northeast of Mosul. Saeed Mamuzini, a Kurdish official from Mosul, told the AP that the militants had already begun demolishing the Khorsabad site on Sunday, citing multiple witnesses.

 

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4. Race in Iraq and Syria to Record and Shield Art Falling to ISIS

 

Media: New York Times

Byline: ANNE BARNARD

Date: 08 March 2015

 

BAGHDAD — In those areas of Iraq and Syria controlled by the Islamic State, residents are furtively recording on their cellphonesdamage done to antiquities by the extremist group. In northern Syria, museum curators have covered precious mosaics with sealant and sandbags.

 

And at Baghdad’s recently reopened National Museum of Iraq, new iron bars protect galleries of ancient artifacts from the worst-case scenario.

 

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5. UPDATE: UN chief calls on world to stop destruction of Iraqi sites

 

Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Byline: N/A

Date: 09 March 2015

 

United Nations, United States, March 9, 2015 (AFP) – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced outrage Sunday over the destruction by the Islamic State group of Iraqi cultural sites, and urged the world to stop it.

 

“The secretary-general urgently calls on the international community to swiftly put a stop to such heinous terrorist activity and to counter the illicit traffic in cultural artifacts,” Ban said in a statement from his spokesman.

 

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