The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Searching for relics and antiques | Mohamed Al-Fateh faction starts excavating new archaeological sites in Afrin countryside

Aleppo province: Reliable SOHR sources have reported that the Turkish-backed faction of “Mohamed Al-Fateh” brought in heavy diggers and earth-moving machineries to Kali Khariba area in Ma’mal Ushaghi village in Raju district. The faction’s members started digging and excavating this archaeological site, searching for buried relics and antiques. In addition, the militiamen sabotaged several farmlands which contained ancient wells around that site.


It is worth noting that the excavation work took place under strict security procedures. According to SOHR sources, the excavation work have been in progress since November 22 in full view of Turkish forces.


SOHR sources had reported ongoing search for antiquities and systematic destruction of archaeological sites by the “National Army” factions in “Olive Branch” area.


In this context, pro-Turkey factions continued excavation work and digging in the archaeological hill of Ma’rata which was registered by the Syrian Antiquities Directorate. The hill is located about 1,500 meters away from Ma’rata village. Since 2019 the hill was exposed to acts of sabotage, where most of the hill was removed by heavy diggers and earth-moving machineries. In addition, excavation work expanded to the city in the plain neighbouring the hill.


It is worth noting that the sabotaged area approximated three hectares, as the factions were searching for antiquities and ancient artifacts to sell them in the black market, in full view of the Turkish forces.


Moreover, the Turkish-backed factions also continued to destroy the remains of the archaeological hill of Mesto Hassan, which is located in the property belonging to the people of Samalka village in Ma’batli district, two kilometres to the south-west of the village. The hill also witnessed acts of sabotage by the Turkish forces and their proxies with heavy machineries.


In general, a large part of the hill was destroyed with the remains of architectural constructions belonging to ancient civilizations that settled the hill. While the area which has been leveled in Al-Akrobol foot is estimated at 4,000 square meters.