News   /   Syria

US occupation forces, allied SDF militants intensify theft of Syrian antiquities: Report

In this file picture, American occupation soldiers stand guard in the Kurdish-majority city of Qamishli in Syria's northeastern Hasakah province, on April 20, 2022. (Photo by Getty Images)

US occupation forces, together with allied militants from the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), have reportedly intensified theft of ancient Syrian artifacts from archaeological sites in the war-torn country’s Jazira region as well as the northern province of Raqqa.

Local sources in the western countryside of Qamishli city, requesting anonymity, told Syria’s official news agency SANA that American troops, who have been stationed on the outskirts of Tell Mozan district – the site of ancient Urkesh – since 2014, have expanded the expanse of regions which they describe as restricted military areas.

The sources added that the US forces, in cooperation with SDF militants, have lately imposed strict restrictions on freedom of movement as part of efforts to further plunder ancient relics, and smuggle them out of Syria to unknown destinations.

They further noted that American occupation troops and their allied militants are aggressively asserting control over the archaeological sites that are among the most unique ones in the world, namely Tell Baidar, al-Hamma region, the Life Stone, Tell Mozan and a number of hills in the eastern flank of Qamishli.

Moreover, informed sources in the al-Qahtaniya village of Raqqa province said US occupation forces have dug up the hill on the outskirts of Muhammad al-Dhiab village as well as the archaeological site of Tell Leilan, stolen relics, including seals and statues, and moved them to their illegal bases in Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah to be smuggled out of the country later on.

The sources noted that gunmen affiliated to the SDF had stolen a rare statue from Qasrok village in al-Ya'rubiyah countryside, and transferred it to an unknown location.

The US military has for long stationed its forces and equipment in northeastern Syria, with the Pentagon claiming that the deployment is aimed at preventing the oilfields in the area from falling into the hands of the Daesh terrorists.

Damascus has said the US deployment is meant to plunder the country’s natural resources. Former US president Donald Trump admitted on several occasions that American forces were in the Arab country for its oil wealth.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku