Terrorists based in Iraq defaced many statues and bas-reliefs with an sledgehammer and a jackhammer, and then posted a video of their actions on-line. "This tragedy is far from just a cultural issue: it’s an issue of major security. We see clearly how terrorists use the destruction of heritage in their strategy to destabilize and manipulate populations so that they can assure their own domination," stated the Director General. She welcomed the "international mobilization" that has occurred against cultural cleansing in Iraq.
The Director-General has spoken with the President of the UN Security Council, Wang Yi, and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, asking them to convene an emergency session of the Security Council in order to protect the cultural heritage of Iraq as an issue of national security. She told reporters at the Press Conference that the Secretary-General supported her proposal.