Illegal excavations | Turkish proxies continue digging in archaeological sites and hills in Afrin • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Illegal excavations | Turkish proxies continue digging in archaeological sites and hills in Afrin

Reliable sources have informed SOHR that Turkish-backed factions have been digging by heavy machinery and bulldozers “Furaq” archaeological hill which is located near Jeniders district near Afrin river and registered at Directorate-General of Antiquities and Museums, in search of archaeological relics and treasures for smuggling and sell them abroad.

After the Turkish forces and their proxies took control of Afrin, the hill was completely excavated and vandalised by heavy machinery.

The excavated area is estimated at nearly 2,500 square meters, before the excavation have been resumed by Turkish proxies.

On January 23, SOHR activists reported that as Turkish-backed factions continued their violations to Syria’s civilisational heritage by excavating and sabotaging archaeological sites, searching for buried artifacts and antiques, SOHR sources have reported that factions of the Turkish-backed “National Army” started excavation and digging work in Qurtubah hill in northern Afrin, using heavy diggers and earth-moving machineries.

It is worth noting that this site is registered at the Syrian Ministry of Culture and General Administration of Antiques and Syrian museums based on Article no. 244, in 1981.

Like many other archaeological hills in Afrin city and countryside, the hill had witnessed earlier excavated work several times in the past years, as it has been levelled completely, while surrounding farmlands have been damaged.

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