The jihadists apparently used a bulldozer to partially destroy St Elias Monastery, which dates back more than 1,500 years. Human bones from ancient graves are strewed amidst the rubble.
Inside the monastery there is an Assyrian church and all Christian symbols in it have been destroyed. In the church graveyard, the gravestones have been trashed and all the crosses removed.
Thankfully, the monastery’s beautiful old church is still standing, but has been severely desecrated. After an apparent attempt to set the building on fire from inside, the old beams look burnt and the floor is covered with burnt pages with texts in Assyrian from Christian holy books.
RT’s crew reports many Assyrian churches in the area have been either demolished or badly damaged.