Hundreds of years of history and tradition disappeared in a matter of seconds. ISIS militants in northern Iraq blew up the Mosque of the Prophet Jonah.
The building guarded his reported burial site, venerated for centuries by both Muslims and Christians alike. But on Thursday, it became the latest casualty in the war ravaged by extremists proclaiming an Islamic State.
Video from local residents captured the aftermath of the mosque's destruction. Entire sections of the structure collapsed. Others remained standing, but clearly damaged.
Another clip making its rounds on social media allegedly shows militants using a hammer to destroy the tombstone of the ancient, sacred site.
In late June, militants captured the city of Mosul, Iraq's second largest. The rebels have targeted Christian and Shia Muslim sites, destroying both mosques and churches. They also drove out the city's large Christian community.
The UN has described this persecution as crimes against humanity, while Christian leaders, like Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako, declared it 'ethnic cleansing.â?