Iraqi media outlets reported that ISIS blew up and robbed graves and archaeological sites in the areas under it controls southwest of Kirkuk.
“ISIS bombed nearly 100 archaeological graves in the vicinity of Hawija (55 km southwest of Kirkuk), using explosive materials and bulldozers,” Al Sumaria News stated. “Groups belonging to ISIS exhumed a number of archaeological sites in the areas of Tel al-Mahwis and al-Riyadh (45 km southwest of Kirkuk), and stole monuments found in those locations,” Al Sumaria added.
The Iraqi website also revealed that the members of the terror group did not receive their salaries due to the loss of financial resources, which was provided by the smuggling of crude oil. Thus, selling antiquities provides the needed financial resources for the ISIS group.
The areas located southwest of Kirkuk have been under the ISIS control since June 2014, including the areas of Hawija, Zab, Riyad, Abbasi and Rashad. These areas are known to have important historical sites belonging to the Assyrian era.