The Assad regime previously evacuated most of its civilians and hundreds of statues were rescued when the Culture Ministry moved them to safety. But the archaeological vestiges can’t be moved. Even the Temple of Bel, built in the first century, is there. It’s known that ISIS considers the preservation of such historical ruins a form of idolatry and has destroyed temples and historic artifacts, as well as ancient Assyrian sites in Nineveh in Iraq. Palmyra is the second city to be seized by Isis in less than a week. “I reiterate my appeal for an immediate cessation of hostilities at the site. I further call on the international community to do everything in its power to protect the affected civilian population and safeguard the unique cultural heritage of Palmyra,” he director general of the UN’s cultural agency asked.