ISIS Destroys 5th Century Assyrian Monastery in Syria

An ISIS fighter stands in the rubble of St. Elian monastery, an Assyrian monastery from the 5th century, after it has been destroyed.
(AINA) -- Photos posted on ISIS social media sites show the destruction of Mar Elian monastery in Qaryatain, Syria, which is near Homs. Qaryatain fell to ISIS on August 6 (AINA 2015-08-07). An estimated 1,400 Syriac Orthodox and 400 Syriac Catholic Assyrians lived in Qaryatain before it fell to ISIS.

Related: Attacks on Assyrians in Syria By ISIS and Other Muslim Groups

The Assyrian monastery was founded in the 5th century A.D. as a Syriac Orthodox Monastery. In the 17th century it became a Syriac Catholic monastery. It was renovated by the head of the ancient Mar Musa al-Habashi monastery, the Jesuit Fr. Paolo Dall'Oglio, ten years ago.

Fr. Paolo Dall'Oglio was kidnapped by ISIS in July, 2013. His fate is still unknown, although AINA's sources say he was killed by a Saudi ISIS Jihadist upon capture.

ISIS has destroyed dozens of Assyrian churches in Syria and captured hundreds of Assyrians in the past year, as well as destroyed ancient Assyrian archaeological sites.

The tomb of St. Elian.

The tomb of St. Elian after it has been destroyed and desecrated by ISIS. The remains of St. Elian are visible.

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