Awful: ISIS Beheads Archaeologist Preserving Middle East History, Hangs His Body

Katie Pavlich
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Posted: Aug 19, 2015 11:15 AM
Awful: ISIS Beheads Archaeologist Preserving Middle East History, Hangs His Body

The Islamic State is continuing its rampage through the Middle East, killing anyone who gets in their way and destroying ancient sites in an effort to cleanse anything they consider anti-Islamic. 

Late last week we learned that before she was killed, America hostage Kayla Mueller was brutally raped and used as a sex slave by ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. 

Today we've learned ISIS has beheaded a world renowned, 82-year old archaeologist who was protecting the ancient site of Palmyra in Syria. More from Fox News

Syrian state antiquities chief Maamoun Abdulkarim told Reuters that the family of Khaled Asaad had informed Abdulkarim that Asaad had been beheaded earlier in the day and his body hanged from a column in the town's main square.

Asaad's death was also reported by the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The Observatory, which has a network of activists on the ground in Syria, said dozens of people gathered to witness the killing.

Abdulkarim said that Asaad had been held and interrogated by members of the terror group for over a month before his death. The official said that Asaad's captors had been looking for information about where the town's treasures had been hidden to save them from ISIS, but they had no success getting the information from the scholar.

Asaad spent over 50 years working at the UNESCO World Heritage site, including alongside U.S., French, German, and Swiss archaeological missions. He also wrote many books and scientific texts either individually or in cooperation with other Syrian or foreign archaeologists, SANA said. Among his titles are "The Palmyra Sculptures," and "Zenobia, the Queen of Palmyra and the Orient."

Abdulkarim described Asaad as "one of the most important pioneers in Syrian archaeology in the 20th century."

Last week General Ray Odierno retired after 39-years in the Army and on his way out said President Obama has never spoken directly with him about a plan to defeat ISIS.