Photos of Palmyra Show Why Islamic State Must Be Kept From Ancient City

The ruins of the ancient city of Palmyra have withstood centuries of conflict in the Syrian desert and are now facing their greatest threat yet: the Islamic State.
Officials at the United Nations and the Syrian government have appealed for help in protecting this historic site with "outstanding universal value" ahead of an ISIS offensive in the city north of Damascus.
The city, UNESCO says, is a "unique relic" of the first century and "a masterpiece of architecture and Roman urbanism" that has influenced centuries of architecture across multiple civilizations and attracted thousands of tourists from all over the globe.
The Islamic State is notorious for destroying historical artifacts — oftentimes "idols" from pre-Islamic cultures — across territory its taken in Syria and Iraq.
While Palmyra's already suffered moderate-to-severe damage during Syria's civil war, the World Heritage Property still stands.