Militants from the international terrorist group the Islamic State have destroyed part of the Roman amphitheater in Palmyra, the Syrian news agency SANA reports.
According SANA, the militants destroyed the facade of the amphitheater and part of the tetrapylon, which is a building with four entrances.
The reports were confirmed by the General Director of Syria's Department of Antiquities and Museums, Maamun Abdulkarim, who provided satellite photos of the site. Of the tetrapylon's original 16 columns, only four remain standing.
According to Abdulkarim, the destruction of the monuments took place over the period of Dec. 26, 2016 to Jan. 10, 2017.
The amphitheater was the venue of a concert by the St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theater and a performance by Russian cellist Sergei Roldugin after Russian-backed government forces retook the ancient city from ISIS in March 2016.
ISIS militants originally captured Palmyra on May 21 2015, after which they began destroying numerous ancient monuments in the city, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
With Russian support, Syrian government forces retook the city from the militant group in March 2016. But in December last year, the militants launched a renewed offensive and recaptured the city after its defenders fled.