Syria heritage sites under attack by looters

Syria heritage sites under attack by looters
Sat Jun 29, 2013 19:33:53

Groups of Syria rebels are making a living for themselves out of the bloody war in the country, attacking Syria’s valuable historic sites and stealing their treasures.

An official source from Dara’a Antiquities department sent a letter to the SANA news agency, expressing concern on extensive damages caused by looters who attack the historic sites, dig them up and take away whatever they find to be valuable.

The source who wished not to be named said, the treasures are being smuggled to neighboring countries, especially to Jordan and called on the neighboring countries’ officials to act on the issue and prevent loss of these valuable heritages at the hands of villains.

He said in the letter that most of the regions subjected to secret excavations, sabotage and looting were in Dara’a's western countryside where the terrorist groups are highly active.

The source called on the neighboring countries, particularly Jordan to assume responsibility, retune the looted ruins and extradite the thieves to the Syrian authorities.

The letter said the attacked regions are well-known for their historic richness as they are considered to be among the most ancient sites in the world that have witnessed succession of several civilizations.

Tal Shihab was one of the sites which was dug out and extensively damaged in one of the attacks, the source said.

Excavations have also been reported in town of Kharab al-Shahm and bottom of the nearby valley, while Sahm al-Jolan has also witnessed demolition of its historic houses.

Historic sites were also excavated in border villages of Abdeen and Tal al-Ashaari which are considered as two of the most important historic sites in Syria.

The letter strongly criticized the act and said “systemized terrorism against Syria's civilization and history is considered as a big crime, and those who trade with the Syrian treasures don't differ from the perpetrators of bloody crimes”.

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