Extensive damage to the Armenian Genocide Memorial Church in Deir ez-Zr, Syria, since 2014 can be seen in new footage posted on November 8, after Syrian government forces took control of the city, long an Islamic State stronghold, Storyful says.
Several plaques with Armenian characters written on them can be seen cracked or completely destroyed on the inside of the church. Rubble is piled in the entryways and windows.
The church was a memorial to the Armenian Genocide, in which 1.5 million Armenians were killed at the hands of Turks. The memorial used to be a major pilgrimage site.
Tens of thousands of Armenians once lived in Deir ez-Zor, and more in other Syrian cities, many whose ancestors fled the killings in the Ottoman Empire across unforgiving desert.
When Islamic State forces took control of the city in 2014, they blew up the Martyrs’ Church.