The extent of damage to historical treasures in Syria by ISIS in a side by side view.

ISIS has, for the last two years, unleashed terror through death and destruction not just in Syria, but across the Middle East and other parts of the world. But when the Syrian city of Palmyra was recaptured by forces loyal to the incumbent Syrian president last week, the actual enormity of the terrorists’ impact on the historical ancient settlement shocked the world.

Photographs that were taken by Joseph Eid, a photographer working with the AFP news agency, show the extent of ISIS’ damage on this historical city. Eid had visited the city in 2014 and took photos of Palmyra monuments standing proudly and vividly showing their 2,000 years of history. The original photos documented several ancient landmarks and UNESCO World Heritage sites within the city including the Temple of Bel and the Temple of Baalshamin among others.


However, when he recently revisited the city after Syrian forces, backed by Russia’s airstrikes, had repossessed the city everything was in ruin. In just over a year since the city fell under ISIS’ control, the Islamist militants went on a rampage, ransacking and destroying what was home to some of the world’s most treasured historical sites.

During their barbaric rule of the historical city, the militants destroyed almost every artifact that was in existence. For instance, one of Eid’s shots show a few remaining pillars of what used to be the Arc du Triomphe, this landmark was completed in the 3rd century to commemorate the Romans’ victory over Parthia- a kingdom in modern-day Iran- who had resisted the Romans’ attacks for almost three centuries while another photo shows the complete destruction of a stone sarcophagus of Syrian Catholic Saint, Elian al-Qaryatain.

Even though the extremists were finally driven out of Palmyra, these devastating photos are enough proof of their destructive rule and reconstructing these treasured ancient landmarks will be a global effort.


images via: Twitter