As Twitchy reported, the State Department today issued an updated warning against travel to Syria, noting that Americans citizens fortunate enough not to be kidnapped or killed would find that ISIS and other terrorist groups had laid waste to much of the nation’s infrastructure, housing, medical facilities, schools, and power and water utilities.

That travel warning, of course, doesn’t apply to foreign journalists, who have entered the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, known as “one of the world’s most magnificent remnants of antiquity” and the “birthplace of humanity.” ISIS forces captured the city last May, and it was recently retaken with the assistance of Russian air power.

Surprisingly, much of the ancient city is still intact, including the Theatre of Palmyra, where “residents of the city were rounded up … and forced to watch as 20 men were shot.” It goes without saying that an innocent human life is worth more than any work of art, but there seems to be no reason why sculptures thousands of years old were trashed. Well, we can guess why the statue of a goddess was destroyed, as were pre-Christian temples.

Well worth noting: even though Palmyra has been liberated from ISIS, it’s now back in the hands of the Syrian government led by Bashar al-Assad, thanks to assistance from Russian president Vladimir Putin. Mohamed Alkhateb, a native of the city, writes in the Independent that under ISIS, “everything is forbidden. Anyone who violates their arbitary rules is either punished severely or killed.”


‘1400 Years of Faith Erased’: ISIS Destroyed the Oldest Christian Monastery in Iraq [Photos]