Why Did Nebuchadnezzar II Destroy Ashkelon in 604 BCE?

Alexander Fantalkin discusses the question (though for some reason the pdf wasn’t viewable on academia.edu whereas it downloaded in perfect condition).

The significance of the discovery of a destruction layer at Ashkelon, identified with the Babylonian assault in Kislev, 604 b.c.e, can hardly be overestimated. Beyond the obvious value of this find, which provides evidence for the policies of the Babylonian regime in the “Hatti-land,” it supplies a reliable chronological anchor for the typological sequencing and dating of groups of local and imported pottery (Stager 1996a; 1996b; Waldbaum and Magness 1997; Waldbaum 2002a; 2002b). My main intention in this article is to explore the reasons behind the Babylonian
destruction of Ashkelon.

Give it a read.