Palmyra: Hidden video camera shows devastation wreaked by Isis as ancient ruins torn down

Terror group believes the site is idolatrous and have been looting it since seizing control in May 2015

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The Independent Online

Footage has emerged of how Isis has destroyed the ancient ruins of Palmyra. 

A hidden camera snuck onto a bus travelling into Isis-controlled territory by Swedish newspaper Expressen shows how several of the arches and towers in the World Heritage site had been destroyed by the extremists. 

The video below shows the Temple of Baal Shamin and the Arch of Triumph have been destroyed along with 2,000-year-old tower tombs. 

The ancient Roman city - known as a “the Bride of the Desert” by Syrians - has been systematically destroyed by Isis since they seized control of the area in May 2015.  

They view the ruins as idolatrous but are believed to be making huge sums of money from looting the site.

Russian war planes also started bombing Isis targets in the region in November.  

The footage shows the neighbouring city had become a ghost town following the Islamists’ advance - it previously had a population of 70,000. 

Abandoned houses are numbered with paint as part of Isis’ address system used to monitor people who were not able to flee the invasion. 

The Director of the Palmyra Museum, Khalil Hariri told the newspaper watching the video was “painful” for him. 

He said: “It’s tragic. Watching the film is painful for me. I heard about Isis’ destruction of Palmyra. It’s the first time I’ve seen my city since it was occupied by Isis”.

“When you hear about Palmyra, the first thing you picture is the Arch of Triumph. It was the symbol of Palmyra, the city’s face to the outside world.

“It’s tragic that the Arch of Triumph is gone. It will be possible to rebuild it if you can find its stones but the link between past and present has been broken”.