Iraq says Islamic State's destruction of historical sites is cover for sophisticated looting

12 May 2015 1:54 PM | Anonymous

Iraq says Islamic State's destruction of historical sites is cover for sophisticated looting 

By PAUL SCHEMM, Associated Press

BAGHDAD (AP) — The videos of Islamic State militants destroying ancient artifacts in Iraq's museums and blowing up 3,000-year-old temples are chilling enough, but one of Iraq's top antiquities officials is now saying the destruction is a cover for an even more sinister activity — the systematic looting of Iraq's cultural heritage.

In the videos that appeared in April, militants can be seen taking sledge hammers to the iconic winged-bulls of Assyria and sawing apart floral reliefs in the palace of Ashurnasirpal II in Nimrud before the entire site is destroyed with explosives. But according to Qais Hussein Rashid, head of Iraq's State Board for Antiquities and Heritage, that was just the final step in a deeper game.

http://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2015/05/12/iraq-says-is-demolishes-ruins-to-cover-up-looting-operations