Monday, 20 May 2013

Smuggling Antiquities from Syria

One possible route suggested, much smuggling
goes on over the border to the west of Aleppo
A Syrian official warned that his country's ancient artefacts are being smuggled abroad by Turkish, Lebanese and Iraqi groups during the crisis and unrest in Syria.
 "The mafia of smuggling the ancient artifacts in Syria has now turned to stealing them and a number of Turkish, Lebanese and Iraqi nationals are collaborating with the local criminals in certain areas to this end," Manager of Syria's Museums Ma'moun Abdolkarim told FNA on Sunday [...]  Abdolkarim warned that a passage has been created from Deir al-Zour to Turkey for the smugglers who use this channel to smuggle Syrian artifacts to Turkey and then to other parts of the world.
There is probably nothing particularly surprising in that. More odd is a further part of the same story by
Earlier this year, local media reports also disclosed that the French government has prepared a complicated plan to take advantage of unrests in Syria to loot the country's unique antiques and mummies in collaboration with Syrian rebels and Turkey. According to a report by Arabi Press news website, based on the French plot, elements of the so called Free Syrian Army (FSA) smuggle the artifacts and mummies to Turkey under the excuse of protecting them and will then send them to France. The Intelligence data shows that the FSA is involved in smuggling the invaluable mummies of Syria's Tadmor region.

Anon, 'Official Reveals Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq's Roles in Smuggling Antiques from Syria' 19th may 2013.

[PS: and whose fault is it all? According to these journalists: "Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011 with organized attacks by well-armed gangs against Syrian police forces and border guards being reported across the country. The US and its western and regional allies have long sought to topple Assad and his ruling system. Media reports said that the Syrian rebels and terrorist groups have received significantly more and better weapons in recent weeks, a crime paid for by the Persian Gulf Arab states and coordinated by the United States".]

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