Al-Nusra Militants Storm Idlib Museum, Smash Ancient Statues
Written by Khaled Iskef.
The militants of Jabhat al-Nusra stormed the Idlib Museum, and destroyed a number of antiquities, statues and mosaic paintings.
Local sources said that the Uzbek jihadists belonging to Al-Nusra had destroyed statues and monuments in the museum, without revealing their motives. Al-Nusra has seized the museum since it imposed its control over Idlib in 2015. No official clarification is issued regarding the incident.
According to the sources, the museum has become vulnerable to systematic thefts and looting since the Al-Nusra took control of the city, as its leaders captured Syrian antiquities and sold them to brokers and smugglers who in turn worked to transfer them to Turkey, which now includes large quantities of stolen antiquities from Syria.
Previous reports indicate that Turkish intelligence was involved in the systematic theft of Syrian antiquities in cooperation with armed factions such as the “Al-Nusra Front” in Idlib, and the pro-Ankara factions in northern Syria.
According to UNESCO thousands of artifacts are transported annually from Syria via Turkey.
The Syrian government is demanding on a regular basis the United Nations and international organizations to hold Turkey accountable for its crimes against Syria, including the looting of antiquities.
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