In full view of Turkish forces | Turkish-backed faction continue excavating archaeological hills in Afrin • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

In full view of Turkish forces | Turkish-backed faction continue excavating archaeological hills in Afrin

Aleppo Province: SOHR sources have 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 Tal Khela, which is located about 3,000 meters away from Afrin city centre , which is registered by the Syrian Antiquities Directorate.

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.

Several archaeological sites in Afrin were subject to looting after being explored by Turkey-backed National Army. The most highlighted is Tal Ain Dara, which was exposed to Turkish airstrike in 2018, acts of sabotage also the basaltic lion was stole.

On December 18, Reliable SOHR sources 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.

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