Hostage to misfortune: blackmail by the Islamic State and failure by the international community

Following on from reports that the Islamic State had mined the Temple of Bel and the Roman theatre in Palmyra with TNT, which were first reported in Palmyra News Updates, a ‘former resident still in contact with relatives inside’ Palmyra told the Telegraph’s Louisa Loveluck and Magdy Samaan that ‘masked jihadists had announced their intention to rig Palmyra with explosives earlier in the week, delivering the message to residents gathered in the main market square. “We will accelerate pressure on the regime, and push the international community to stop them from shelling civilians.”‘

There is a question as to how the former resident has been able to get the information, when others have not, but setting that aside…

Obviously, this is not a moral outcry from a genocidal terrorist organisation that has committed massacres on the site that it claims to wish to protect… Obviously, this is propaganda, which demonstrates that the Islamic State is still light years ahead of its enemies in public relations… But this blackmail is only possible because of the failure of the international community and, whatever happens, it will humiliate the international community.

Will the international community expose itself by continuing not to stop the barrel-bombing of civilian centres? Or will it implement a no-fly zone to save the site, when it did not to save the victims of the barrel bombs?

Preparation for blowing up Bel Temple (c) Palmyra News Updates, Facebook, 20th June 2015

Preparation for blowing up Bel Temple
(c) Palmyra News Updates, Facebook, 20th June 2015

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