Iraqi forces race to save ancient sites

World Today

Iraqi forces race to save ancient sites

Iraq’s northern offensive against ISIL is a race against time at this point. The mission is not only to capture Tikrit, but to safeguard thousands of years of history and culture. CCTV’s Wisam Al Bayati reports from Samarra, Iraq.

Iraqi forces race to save ancient sites

Iraqi forces race to save ancient sites

Iraq's northern offensive against ISIL is a race against time at this point. The mission is not only to capture Tikrit, but to safeguard thousands of years of history and culture.

Highlights:

  • Iraq’s is one of the world’s oldest civilizations.
  • When the Islamic State overran three Northern Iraqi provinces last year the Sunni extremist group began systematically destroying Shite religious sites.
  • In Iraq’s second city Mosul, the tomb of Youness was among the first structures to be destroyed.
  • In recent weeks Islamic State militants have again attacked holy sites in Samarra including its great minaret.
  • The Iraqi army, assisted by Shiite militias, has managed to secure Samarra.
  • Troops are now closing in on the IS stronghold of Tikrit.