Syria's most prominent antiquities scholars, Khaled al-Asaad, speaks in Syria.(SANA via AP)
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ISIS beheads leading Syrian relics scholar in PalmyraThe aging antiquities scholar dedicated his life to exploring and overseeing Syria's ancient ruins of Palmyra, one of the Middle East's most spectacular archaeological sites. Even after ISIS militants captured the town and the neighboring ruins in May, he remained in his hometown.The Palmyra archaeological site was Asaad's "life," an opposition activist from the town who uses the name Khaled al-Homsi and who identified himself also as a nephew of Asaad, told the Associated Press. The militants detained the scholar around three weeks ago, Homsi said, speaking to the AP on condition his real name not be used. SANA said Asaad had been in charge of Palmyra's archaeological site for four decades until 2003, when he retired.Since falling to ISIS, the site has remained intact but the militants destroyed a lion statue in the town dating back to the 2nd century.
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