Satellite photos obtained by the Associated Press confirm what church leaders and Middle East preservationists had feared: The oldest Christian monastery in Iraq has been reduced to rubble, yet another victim of ISIS’s relentless destruction of heritage sites.
St. Elijah’s Monastery stood as a place of worship for 1,400 years, including most recently for U.S. troops. In earlier millennia, generations of monks tucked candles in the niches, prayed in the chapel, worshipped at the altar. The Greek letters chi and rho, representing the first two letters of Christ’s name, were carved near the entrance.
This month, at the request of the AP, satellite imagery firm DigitalGlobe tasked a high resolution camera to grab photos of the site, and then pulled earlier images of the same spot.
Read more: NBC News