In a new video released today, Islamic State militants can be seen destroying dozens of ancient Assyrian and Akkadian sculptures inside the Ninawa museum in the IS-controlled Iraqi city of Mosul.
Using drills and sledgehammers and referring to themselves as the “Islamic Police,” the militants destroyed artwork made thousands of years ago by two of the earliest known civilizations, with some pieces dating back as far as 3,500 years.
This little exercise in cultural outreach is nothing new for the Islamic State. As they’ve swept across the Middle East, the militants have destroyed libraries, ancient tombs and shrines that they deem to be heretical.
This kind of tactic that targets cultural artifacts first enraged the world when the Taliban destroyed ancient Buddhist statues at Bamiyan in Afghanistan.
Watch the Islamic State’s latest video below, via Vocativ: