World Bulletin / News Desk
The capital of the Assyrian empire between approximately 1250 BC and 610 BC, Nimrud was recaptured on Sunday by the Iraqi forces from ISIL militants.
The Iraqi antiquities authority said Tuesday the militant group had massively destroyed the ancient city “after 30 months of occupation, bombing and bulldozing”.
“However, we are confident in our ability to restore and maintain what has been destroyed and breathe life into this distinguished archaeological site,” it said in a statement.
In 2015, ISIL militants destroyed relics in the ancient city for what it says their “un-Islamic” nature.
Video footage released by ISIL at the time showed its militants hammering, bulldozing and ultimately blowing up parts of the ancient Iraqi treasure, ripping down huge alabaster reliefs depicting Assyrian kings and deities.
“ISIL militants have completely destroyed the city,” army officer Mohamed Saad said.
He said most relics in the city have either been smashed or destroyed.
“There are a lot of explosives that [security forces] are working to remove from this ancient city,” he said.
The capture of Nimrud is part of an ongoing offensive by the Iraqi army to recapture the northern city of Mosul, the last ISIL stronghold in northern Iraq.
Recent months have seen the Iraqi army and its allies retake much territory overran by ISIL in 2014 , especially on Mosul’s outskirts and in Iraq’s western Anbar province.