Syrian archaeological looting | Antiquities Trafficking serves as top funding source for Iranian proxies in Deir Ezzor
Most Syrian artifacts were looted by ISIS combatants while Iranian militias looted remaining antiquities in Deir Ezzor province, as looting antiquities became one of the most important sources of financing the rampant militias across Syria.
Hundreds of historical monuments (cities, caves, hills, cemeteries, etc.) That characterized by Aramaic, Roman, Islamic, and other characteristics are located along the banks of Al-Khabur and Euphrates rivers.
However, these sites have been neglected and systematically vandalized by all dominant forces over the last decade, including those under the control of regime forces and Iranian-backed militias which were formerly under the control of ISIS, who stole, looted, and vandalized many of artefacts and antiquities.
According to Syrian Observatory sources, the Iranian-backed militias have recently looted and stolen many archaeological sites to earn money, among the most prominent sites that have been and are being looted from these militias are:
• Relics of Buqurs in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor, 40 km from the city centre, such as the “Mourabit Hill,” in the old city of Buqrus that back to before the formation of the world’s major empires.
• Ashara hill antiquities that back to the first Babylonian period and located in the eastern countryside, has been excavated by workshops working for Iranian-backed militias.
• Antiquities of Salihiya hill in Al- BoKamal that cycle back to the first Babylonian phase
• Taboos hill near Shumaytiyah village in the western countryside of Deir Ezzor, that goes back to the first Persian era.
•The hill of Al-Rahba castle near Al-Mayadeen that goes back to the first Babylonian era.
•The basement market in Deir Ezzor.
In addition to many other archaeological and historical sites in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor province.
The Syrian Observatory warns of the ongoing looting of antiquities and tampering with the historic Syrian legacy, by all forces controlling Syrian territories such as the regime, jihadist factions, Iran-backed militias, Turkish- backed factions, and others, similar to what ISIS fighters did in several regions of Syria that has previously vandalized and stolen Syrian archaeological and historical sites. All the forces controlling across Syria have committed acts of theft, looting, and vandalism of the Syrian legacy without any deterrent.