Iraqi and Syrian antiquities are being smuggled onto the black market to fund insurgent groups

In the Las Vegas Guardian Express, Steven Killings (@steven_james201) noted a case in 2008 where Iraqi security followed a ‘tip that important Iraqi monuments were going to be smuggled’ out of the country and sold on the black market to raise funds for insurgent groups, and ‘recovered 228 ancient Mesopotamian artifacts that had been plundered from archaeological sites and museums throughout the country’. While it is not a universal problem, as Col. Matthew Bogdanos observed in Iraq and as I’ve documented in Syria, it is not just one case, it is a standard funding strategy.

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