Over 4,500 Artifacts Stolen by Terrorists from Raqqa Museum: DGAM

DAMASCUS- Terrorists have stolen more than 4,500 artifacts from a museum in the Syrian city of Raqqa, an official at the Syrian Directorate-General of Antiquities and Museums (DGAM) Muhammad Nazeer Awad told Sputnik on Monday.

Awad pointed out that the DGAM had lists of all pieces currently being shown in Syria's museums.

"For example, more than 4,500 showpieces have been stolen from the museum in Raqqa," Awad said, according to Sputnik.

 He pointed out that the directorate had no clear information about the situation in the museum in Idlib as the city has been under the control of the terrorists.

"That is why it [the museum] is regarded as looted," Awad said.

He called the situations with the museums of Raqqa and Idlib catastrophic, adding that some artifacts had also been stolen from museums in the cities of Homs, Palmyra, Daraa and Bosra.

According to Awad, the lists of pieces stolen from museums in Bosra and Daraa had not been completed yet because both areas had only recently been liberated from terrorists.

The official added that terrorists had also stolen 250-270 artifacts from the ancient city of Palmyra.

Illegal antiquities trade was one of the biggest sources of revenue for the Daesh terror group when it was active across Syria. Syrian government troops, supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces, have managed to recapture most of the country’s territories from Daesh as well as other militant groups. Idlib remains the last big stronghold of illegal “opposition” armed units, said Sputnik.