Posts tagged ‘Nineveh’

March 24, 2015

A photoshopped frame of the destruction of a lamassu at Nergal Gate…

In the month since the destruction at Mosul Museum and the Nergal Gate Museum, at least in the West, there has been an increase in the profile of reporting and an explosion in the volume of commentary on political violence against cultural property in the conflict (specifically, political violence against archaeological heritage in Iraq, compared to the coverage of previous and ongoing destruction of religious sites in Iraq and Syria and beyond).

There have also been increasing calls for military intervention – albeit, remarkably, only to protect archaeological, cultural, historic sites, not the civilian communities who are the target of the genocide (and based on unevidenced, though not necessarily entirely false claims). I’ll post more on that soon. Still, cultural heritage workers and Western politicians are not the only people who are exploiting events. Amongst the confusion and advancement of political narratives, I spotted a peculiar image and wanted to query it and learn more about it.

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February 26, 2015

Islamic State has toppled, sledgehammered and jackhammered (drilled out) artefacts in Mosul Museum and at Nineveh

It is notable that the Islamic State released this propaganda, to assert their religious purity through their commitment to cultural destruction, immediately after the were exposed for making a deal with Turkey and not destroying Suleyman Shah’s tomb.

Last June, it was rumoured and mistakenly reported that the Islamic State had ‘destroyed ancient masterpieces, including the rare Assyrian winged bull’ at Nineveh Museum. This time, they’ve done it – at Mosul Museum and the Nergal Gate to Nineveh [the Nergal Gate Museum at Nineveh]. You can stream or download the mp4 (or watch it on YouTube/YouTube archive).

But if, like other sensible people, you don’t want to boost the web traffic to their pornography of violence – which they try to advertise as Islamic although they also preserve “heretical”, “idolatrous” things as long as they profit from them – I’ve taken screenshots from the video for verification and analysis. Christopher Jones, at the Gates of Nineveh, has ongoing, historically-informed coverage of this and other destruction, including Assessing the Damage at the Mosul Museum, Part 1: the Assyrian Artifacts.

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September 10, 2014

There is no evidence that the Shrine of Baba Yadgar (in Iraq) has been destroyed

Simon Crook asked: ‘Any info on Baba Yadgar’s shrine (main holy site of Ahl-e Haqq sect)? This [YPG Bim] tweet doesn’t look good [though it may have been misattributed]’. The photo is real, but of a different site at a different time, and at some point someone knew that, because it was an official Islamic State photograph. Someone removed the Islamic State caption that identified it.

[Update: Do not use this. The reference to Suleymaniyah was a false lead. The Shrine of Baba Yadgar is in Tel Leben – and there is no evidence that it has been destroyed there, either.]

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August 9, 2014

The plains of Ashur and Nineveh: communities and their ancient lands are at risk

It’s difficult to say anything when cooperating groups are issuing contradictory official statements, when vehemently denied claims can become real new actions within hours. (For example, I suspect that some of the false reports of international air strikes were attempts to guilt-trip or hurry the international community into action, by forcing them to deny that they were protecting civilian communities from genocide, and others were well-informed people jumping the gun.) The situation had changed between me starting and finishing this post, had changed yet again between me finishing and being able to publish it, and will have changed yet again between me posting it and you reading it.

Particularly in an environment of panic and propaganda, I’m very reluctant to post anything prospective (or even contemporary). Nonetheless, it may help to highlight a few possibilities concerning cultural property, with which we can compare developments, in order to work out what’s happening.

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July 24, 2014

Confirmed: the Shrine of Jonah/Mosque of Yunus (Nineveh, Mosul, Iraq) has been destroyed

The photographs are new, from different angles, from different moments in the process, from different people of different politics; their details match up with the details on other photos and satellite images. Christopher Jones (@cwjones89) and I agree: it’s gone; the Islamic State has blown up the Shrine of Jonah/Mosque of Yunus.

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July 16, 2014

video of “destruction of Tomb of Prophet Jonah” is from at least ten months ago [accurate but out-of-date]

[Update (25th July 2014): on the 24th of July, the Islamic State destroyed the Tomb of the Prophet Jonah – indeed, the entire Mosque of the Prophet Yunus. This blog post accurately debunks a piece of propaganda that claimed its destruction before.]

People with contacts in Mosul continue to report that the Tomb of Prophet Jonah has been destroyed, so there is cause for pessimism (though at least some people in Mosul say that it has not). Nonetheless, the video has absolutely nothing to do with any possible destruction in Mosul. Still, despite evidence (which Christopher Jones @cwjones89, Chuck Jones @AWOL_tweets and I @conflictantiq pieced together publicly, and which Christopher also blogged), despite proof and more proof (via @truthsMaster), and despite explanations of the harm of spreading false evidence (especially false evidence of real events), the video will not die. Yet not only is the video propaganda, it is recycled propaganda.

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July 13, 2014

video of “destruction of Tomb of Prophet Jonah” may be from Syria, is from at least six months ago [accurate but out-of-date]

[Update (25th July 2014): on the 24th of July, the Islamic State destroyed the Tomb of the Prophet Jonah – indeed, the entire Mosque of the Prophet Yunus. This blog post accurately debunks a piece of propaganda that claimed its destruction before.]

Regarding the alleged destruction of the Tomb of the Prophet Jonah, in the past week or so, I’ve documented the contradictory unevidenced claims of the past month (which, sadly, persist), good evidence that alleged video evidence was false, conclusive proof that the alleged evidence was false, and the spread and danger of the false evidence. Now, Abdul Malek (@truthsMaster) has provided evidence that the video is at least six months old, and may have been filmed in Raqqa, Syria. [Update (16th July 2014): it is at least ten months old, and may have been filmed in Tadouf, Syria.]

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July 12, 2014

the Tomb of Jonah may have been destroyed, but it was not destroyed in this video: a retraction and correction are in order [accurate but out-of-date]

[Update (25th July 2014): on the 24th of July, the Islamic State destroyed the Tomb of the Prophet Jonah – indeed, the entire Mosque of the Prophet Yunus. This blog post accurately debunks a piece of propaganda that claimed its destruction before.]

For a time, the destruction of the Tomb of Jonah was the most popular story on one of the most popular news websites in the world – yet it was demonstrably false. Such false reports can expose people to risk or directly trigger harm. The Iraqi News, the Daily Mail and others need to retract and correct their stories immediately.

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July 11, 2014

Proof: video does not show Islamic State destruction of the Tomb of Prophet Jonah [accurate but out-of-date]

[Update (25th July 2014): on the 24th of July, the Islamic State destroyed the Tomb of the Prophet Jonah – indeed, the entire Mosque of the Prophet Yunus. This blog post accurately debunks a piece of propaganda that claimed its destruction before.]

I’ve tracked down the original source of the one of the photographs of Graves of Prophets. Soldiers from the 2nd Military Transition Team of the U.S. Army and the 2nd Division of the Iraqi Army visited the Tomb of Jonah in Mosul, Iraq, ‘to replace the long lost whale tooth [replica]’ on the 30th of November 2008. Their photo conclusively proves that the video does not show Islamic State destruction of the Tomb of Prophet Jonah. The Daily Mail and other media need to correct their stories immediately.

An Iraqi child peers into the tomb of the Prophet Jonah during a visit to the Shrine of Jonah in Mosul, Iraq, Nov. 30.  Photographer: Staff Sgt. JoAnn Makinano, Joint Combat Camera Center Iraq.

An Iraqi child peers into the tomb of the Prophet Jonah during a visit to the Shrine of Jonah in Mosul, Iraq, Nov. 30. Photographer: Staff Sgt. JoAnn Makinano, Joint Combat Camera Center Iraq.

July 10, 2014

there is no evidence that the Tomb of Prophet Jonah has been destroyed [accurate but out-of-date]

[Update (25th July 2014): on the 24th of July, the Islamic State destroyed the Tomb of the Prophet Jonah – indeed, the entire Mosque of the Prophet Yunus. This blog post accurately debunks a piece of propaganda that claimed its destruction before.]

There are spreading reports that the Islamic State (1) has destroyed Prophet Jonah’s tomb in Nineveh (Mosul, Iraq). But the site in the video is not Prophet Jonah’s tomb, and may not even be in Iraq.

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