The photos showed the temple’s sanctuary with rows of columns around the outside -- but the main structure, known as the cella, is missing. The Temple of Bel is considered one of the world’s greatest historical treasures and its destruction is the latest in the ongoing tragic saga for the UNESCO World Heritage site.
Militants over the past weeks have publicly executed Palmyra’s top archaeologist and then days later released images showing the destruction of another famed Palmyran temple nearby.
On Sunday, reports surfaced from residents claiming to have heard a loud explosion at the Temple of Bel, though at the time Abdulkarim told ABC News they had not yet confirmed what damage may have been inflicted.
Abdulkarim said last Tuesday that residents were pleading with the militants not to destroy the temple, arguing it had been converted from a church into a mosque centuries ago. The temple is considered by many in the academic community as one of the most important religious buildings of the 1st century.
"These terrorists group don’t respect anything, even buildings that have become mosques, they are barbarians," Abdulkarim said. "I was wounded in my heart today, fundamentally, I have lost all the sense of my work. I lost all my idea about what we can do. We are very weak now."
ISIS has not publicly claimed responsibility for the demolition, though the group waited several days after destroying the Temple of Baalshamin to release photos showing militants laying explosives around the temple's walls and columns.
The execution of Syrian scholar Khaled al-Asaad nearly three weeks ago, however, appears to have set off somewhat of a chain reaction, now that two of the site’s most storied monuments have been leveled.
Friends of al-Asaad told ABC News that his family believes he was killed after refusing to divulge the locations of hidden treasures ISIS would loot to fund its terror operations.
Abdulkarim once again called on the international community for help, citing the retaken city of Kobane as potential evidence that intervention might be able to save the remnants of the city.
"It has become urgent, we need an aerial intervention,” Abdulkarim said. "I am sure all the historical buildings in the historical city of Palmyra are in danger. In the next weeks and months we will have a lot of these same images from Palmyra."