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August 25, 2015

Further Information Dating Destruction of the Temple of Baal Shamin

News sources reported earlier this week via Maamoun Abdul Karim, of Syria's DGAM that the Islamic State militants recently destroyed the Temple of Baal Shamin (Arabic - تدمر – معبد بعلشمين ) . located in the 2,000-year-old Roman-era city of Palmyra and to the north of the city's acropolis.  

View of the Temple of Baal Shamin, taken from Hotel Zenobia 
Further news from the AP today reported that the bombing likely took place Sunday, August 23, 2015 shortly after 4pm. 

A witness, using the name Nasser al-Thaer, spoke with journalists affiliated with the AP saying
I went to see it, not from very close because IS (militants) were there and because I was worried for myself and afraid they will ask me what are you doing here. So I saw it from a distance. 
A 25-year-old activist, also going by the name Nasser al-Thaer, had previous spoken with the organization Syria Deeply reporting on conditions inside Tadmur,  the modern city situated about 500 metres (1⁄3 mi) northeast of the ancient historical site of Palmyra.

An Islamic State operative, who spoke on the condition of anonymity with journalists from the AP, confirmed that the organisation would be issuing its own statement soon.

The United Nations Scien­tific and Cultural body (UNESCOn) has stated that the temple's destruction was “an immense loss for the Syrian people and for humanity”.  The head of UNESCO, Irina Bokova has also called the heinous act a “war crime”.

At the time of this reporting, five photos of the destruction of the temple have recently been released by by Islamic militants and distributed on social media.  The images show explosives set at the historic site, a mushroom cloud image freeze-framing the explosion and the resulting rubble.

Out of respect for the people of Syria, the residents of Tadmur and those that have lost their lives in the protection of Syria's cultural heritage, ARCA will not be publishing ISIL, ISIS, Islamic State, Daesh, Daish heritage "snuff" videos of the temple's destruction.

To not spread further