Residents who had fled from Palmyra claimed IS had planted explosives at the inner temple of the Unesco World Heritage site.
The almost intact temple, built during the Roman era nearly 2,000 years ago, was dedicated to the Phoenician god of storms and fertilising rains. Apparently, some of the artefacts have been hidden away to keep them safe.
This wanton destruction saddens me. I'll never see the country, but I like to imagine mankind will preserve ancient buildings to learn from them, and to wonder at the incredible architecture. If we lose contact with our past, the future doesn't seem so secure.
Liken the building's importance to your great-grandmother's wedding ring—a precious jewel of beauty and wonder which gives a sense of continuity in the family. Nobody would smash the ring to prevent others from acquiring the treasure.
I know wanton destruction has happened over countless centuries when a new order of partisans take over a country. But surely people have learned something from the past. I guess not.
Do you think preserving the past is important?