The iconic arch at the UNESCO heritage site in Syria’s Palmyra has been blown up by ISIS jihadists engaged in a “cultural cleansing” of the Middle East. The latest grievous loss of an ancient artifact was confirmed to Reuters by Syria’s antiquities chief. Sources in Palmyra confirmed that the iconic Arch of Triumph, a centerpiece of the ancient ruins in the oasis city, had been blown up, Maamoun Abdulkarim told Reuters.

“It’s as though there is a curse that has befallen this city and I expect only news that will shock us,” said Abdulkarim. “If the city remains in their hands the city is doomed.”Last month jihadists obliterated several ancient funeral towers at the UNESCO-protected site, while back in August the terrorists blew up two temples – the Temple of Baal Shamin and the Temple of Bel. CONTINUE