Beirut: Head of Syria’s historical sites said that the Daesh and other terrorist groups have plundered the country’s artifacts in clandestine operations directed by foreign countries.
“Several important historical sites such as Qos al-Nasr, Ba’al Temple, Ba’al Shamin Temple, Western Castle and Tariq al-Mostaqim have been badly damaged,” the Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper quoted Mohammad Nazir Awad as saying on Tuesday.
He reiterated that winning back of Palmyra was a great achievement as it prevented further smuggling of the ancient city’s artifacts to abroad.
Nazir Awad said many illegal excavations have taken place in Palmyra and other ancient sites which have been under ISIL’s control, adding that the terrorists have sent them outside Syria through the bordering areas that were not under the government’s control.
In a relevant development on Monday, the Russian investigators said that the ISIL terrorists didn’t just demolish the World Heritage site, the city of Palmyra that they seized last year, they had been successfully trading the city’s unique relics while in control of the territory.
They estimated that the terrorist group has garnered around $200 million by selling artifacts it has looted from ancient sites in Palmyra.
The archeological wonder with 2,000-year-old ruins, located amid the Syrian desert, was devastated by ISIL terrorists last year.