Satellite images have confirmed that the oldest Christian monastery in Iraq has been destroyed, reports AP.
It is thought that St. Elijah’s, which stood on a hill near Mosul and was constructed 1400 years ago, was destroyed in the summer of 2014, shortly after the area was taken over by the self-proclaimed Islamic State.
The jihadist group has destroyed more than 100 churches and monasteries in the area. It has released footage of some of its actions, but not of the destruction of St. Elijah’s, and journalists do not venture into IS-held territory, which is why the discovery has taken so long.
Rev. Paul Thabit Habib told AP that Mosul’s Christian history was being “barbarically levelled”.
“We see it as an attempt to expel us from Iraq, eliminating and finishing our existence in this land,” he said.