Iraqi forces retake Hatra from Daesh

Monuments in the ancient city of Hatra, a designated UNESCO World Heritage site, were destroyed by Daesh in 2015.

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Hatra is located 110km south of Mosul and is believed to have been built in the second or third century BCE.

Iraqi paramilitary forces said Wednesday that they have captured Hatra, a 2,000-year-old historical site near the northern city of Mosul, where US-backed forces have been battling Daesh for months.

Karim al Nouri, a spokesman for the state-sanctioned force made up mainly of Shia militias, told state TV they captured the UNESCO World Heritage Site. He said Iraqi forces were around three kilometres (two miles) from a nearby town with the same name, without providing further details.

Daesh destroyed priceless objects in Hatra and other archaeological sites after seizing swathes of Iraq and Syria in a lightning offensive in 2014.

The full extent of the harm to Hatra remains unclear.

Hatra, known as al Hadhr in Arabic, was established in the second or third century BCE and became a religious and trading centre under the Parthian empire.

Its imposing fortifications helped it withstand sieges by the forces of two Roman emperors.

Iraqi pro-government forces backed by a US-led international coalition have been fighting since October to oust Daesh from Mosul, its last major urban bastion in Iraq.

TRTWorld and agencies