New video has been released showing ISIS thugs smashing ancient artifacts in Iraq — some dating back more than 2,000 years — with sledgehammers as they attempt to destroy the “idols and gods” worshiped by people “instead of Allah.”
Posted on social media accounts affiliated with the Islamic State, the footage shows several large statues inside a museum in the northern city of Mosul being toppled and shattered to pieces.
A group of bearded men can be seen bashing the cherished antiquities with sledgehammers before they move on to a nearby archaeological site.
“Oh Muslims, these artifacts that are behind me were idols and gods worshiped by people who lived centuries ago instead of Allah,” a bearded man tells the camera as he stands in front of the pulverized remains of a winged-bull Assyrian protective deity dating back to the 7th century BC.
“The so-called Assyrians and Akkadians and others looked to gods for war, agriculture and rain to whom they offered sacrifices,” he adds, describing groups that had lived in Mesopotamia — what is now Iraq, eastern Syria and southern Turkey — for more than 5,000 years.
“Our Prophet ordered us to remove all these statues as his followers did when they conquered nations,” the man concludes.
Some of the ISIS savages can even be seen using jackhammers and power tools to brazenly chip away at the cherished antiquities.
The five-minute video depicted the logo of the Islamic State and was posted on a Twitter account used by the terror group.
The Mosul Museum housed extensive art collections which covered the entire range of civilization in the region, including sculptures from royal cities in northern Iraq such as Nimrud, Nineveh, and Hatra, according to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The Met — which also displays ancient and Islamic relics from the Middle East — strongly condemned the ISIS video on Thursday, calling it an “act of catastrophic destruction to one of the most important museums in the Middle East.”
“This mindless attack on great art, on history, and on human understanding constitutes a tragic assault not only on the Mosul Museum, but on our universal commitment to use art to unite people and promote human understanding,” a statement read. “Such wanton brutality must stop, before all vestiges of the ancient world are obliterated.”
Mosul’s surrounding province of Nineveh was recently overrun by ISIS savages after Iraqi security forces crumbled during a blitz last June. The region is home to nearly 1,800 of Iraq’s 12,000 registered archaeological sites.
Islamic State militants currently control four ancient cities across Iraq — Ninevah, Kalhu, Dur Sharrukin and Ashur — which were at different times the capital of the mighty Assyrian Empire.
The demolition of artifacts comes as ISIS continues to target a number of shrines, including Muslim holy sites, as they eradicate what they believe is heresy. They have also reportedly sold a number of ancient artifacts on the black market in order to finance their campaign.