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Before and after pictures reveal the destruction of Palmyra Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Before and after pictures reveal the destruction of Palmyra

Archaeologists and antiquities experts both regionally and worldwide decried the destruction at Palmyra [Getty]

Date of publication: 5 April, 2016

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Photographer Joseph Eid's powerful before and after pictures show destruction in Palmyra by IS militants and fighting that preceded its recapture by the Syrian regime.
A series of photographs documenting Palmyra's archaeological ruins before their capture by Islamic State (IS) militants reveals the extent of the damage wrought on the city both under IS control and military operations led by the Syrian regime who recaptured the city last week.

Photojournalist Joseph Eid printed a number of pictures he captured of Palmyra in 2014, before IS took hold of the city which showed some of the most notable landmarks in the UNESCO heritage site still standing.

Eid returned to Palmyra to take new images in March 2016, very soon after the site and the city nearby were recaptured by Bashar al-Assad's forces last Sunday.

IS militants set off explosives notably at Palmyra's Temple of Bel claiming it as a place of idol worship that necessitated it's destruction.

This was but a continuation of their trend of destroying places of ancient heritage as well as spaces of worship under the pretext of idolatory.

Archaeologists and antiquities experts both regionally and worldwide decried the destruction at Palmyra.

The regime-led assault itself that led to the recapture from IS militants further took little consideration of the famous archaeological ruins of Palmyra.

"The regime launched this offensive assuming everything on the ground has already been destroyed," spokesman for Homs Media Centre Mohammed al-Sibai told The New Arab last week.

"In the last week alone, 900 airstrikes were fired," Sibai said, "while on Saturday 300 airstrikes were conducted along with a number of missile strikes and bombings."

Journalists were allowed back into the site for the first time after IS forces were driven out.

Joseph Eid holds a picture of Arc du Triomphe taken in 2014 in front of the remains of the historic monument after it was destroyed in 2016 [AFP]
A picture captured in 2016 shows Eid holding a photohraph of Temple of Bel taken on March 2014 in front of the remains of the historic temple after it was destroyed by IS [AFP]
Eid carries a picture of archaeological remains in Palmyra taken in 2014 on the backdrop of what remains of the historic site today following heavy fighting between IS militants and Syrian forces [AFP]
Eid carries a picture of the UNESCO heritage site taken in 2014 in front of what remains there today following its destruction at the hands of IS militants [AFP]

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