“Iran seeks to use Syrian territory to attack Israel for its professed goal of destroying Israel,” Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu said, vowing that his country would do “whatever is necessary" in defense.
The fact that massive Russian airstrikes and a determined assault by the Syrian Arab Army on the ancient city of Palmyra could dislodge at most a couple of thousand Islamic State fighters is not too surprising. But what does it say about the situation in Syria and Russian/Syrian strategy?
The militant group's destruction this week of the ruins of a temple in the ancient city of Palmyra is an attempt to reduce history to a mere digital memory, the epistemological equivalent of a LOLCats meme or a Vine prank.
Islamic State made a symbolic and destructive statement by blowing up the ancient Temple of Baalshamin, one of the foremost structures among the ruins of Palmyra in Syria, which The New York Times and other outlets reported was destroyed Sunday.
The cultural war being waged by the militant group includes a lucrative trade in antiquities.
Nearly 500 people died in the campaign by the Islamic State group to take the Syrian city of Palmyra, including 49 who were executed before the fundamentalists reached the city center.
The ancient city is home to some of the world’s most beautiful and best-preserved ruins, which now may face destruction at the hand of the extremist group.