BEIRUT (APP) – Militant organisation Daesh has blown up the Arch of Triumph in Syria´s Palmyra, the country´s antiquities chief said on Monday.

The move was seen as the latest salvo in Daesh´s propaganda war, and came just days after Russia launched air strikes against the extremists and other opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Syrian antiquities director Maamun Abdulkarim warned Monday of a catastrophe unfolding in Palmyra, which the militants have been dismantling since capturing it in May.

“This is a systematic destruction of the city. They want to raze it completely,” Abdulkarim told AFP.

“Every time IS was attacked, they acted like this.”

He said Daesh had booby-trapped the Arch of Triumph, situated at the entrance to the ancient city´s historic colonnaded street, several weeks ago and blown it up on Sunday.

The group had already destroyed several famed tower tombs, the 2,000-year old Temple of Bel, and the Lion of Athena.

Known as the “Pearl of the Desert”, the ancient oasis town of Palmyra situated about 210 kilometres (130 miles) northeast of Damascus became famous as a stopping point for caravans travelling on the Silk Road.