Palmyra, Nimrud, Hatra – to historians, archaeologists and tourists from a different era these are the names of some the gems that have blessed civilisation before ending up under the sledgehammer of Isis.
To this woeful list we must now add the 12th century al-Nuri mosque with its famous leaning minaret. When Isis overran Mosul three years ago the minaret was saved by residents who formed a human chain around it. Today it had no such protection. Isis has rendered it rubble, a sign to some that it is on the verge of giving up.