This was the major temple at Palmyra. Its ruins were considered among the best preserved in the area. The temple was built on a tell with stratification indicating human occupation that goes back to the third millennium BC. This destruction came a week after ISIS blew up another smaller temple in the central desert city. Islamic State has declared a caliphate in territory it holds across Syria and Iraq and has destroyed other monuments it says are pagan and sacrilegious. UNESCO condemned the act as a war crime. “This is the most devastating act yet in my opinion. It truly demonstrates ISIS’s ability to act with impunity and the impotence of the international community to stop them,” Amr al-Azm, a former Syrian antiquities official who now is a professor at Shawnee State University in Ohio, said to the media.