Maamoun Abdul-Karim, director general of antiquities and museums uncovered a dangerous crime against Syria and its history. The systematic looting of Syrian antiquities by Turkish, Lebanese and Iraqi artifacts merchants with the help of FSA groups.
Recently 300 unauthorized digging operations (holes) were discovered in Dura-Europos.
Maamoun Abdul-Karim pointed out that this illegal digging to steal antiquities have also compromised the underground structure of the whole site. 50 similar holes were found in Mari. This is endangering the whole Syrian historical heritage, a heritage that belongs to the whole world not only Syria.
Both sites are being systematically looted and vandalized by the FSA, professional thieves & criminals, and foreign artifacts merchants. FSA threatened the locals with death if they dared interfere.
Abdul-Karim called upon the Syrian people to do their duty to defend their history and human heritage. What is threatened today is the memory and history of our nation. He also called upon archaeologists and the people of the neighboring countries to pressure their governments to close their borders in the face of artifact smugglers.
Recent photos show the damage in the archaeologist expedition house and the museum in Dura-Europos.