Turkey and its factions continue the crimes of stealing antiquities in Afrin

Selava Omar –

The Directorate of Antiquities in Afrin reported that the archaeological site of “Tal Katakh” had been subjected to almost complete looting and destruction by Turkey and its factions, in addition to the smuggling of a large number of antiquities outside the country.

The Antiquities Directorate of Afrin confirmed that the Turkish state and its affiliated factions had carried out sabotage excavations in the vicinity of the archaeological site of Tal Katakh, using heavy machinery, during the attack on Afrin.

The excavations took place in three points in the vicinity of the archaeological site, the first is located east of the high hill in the area between the train bridge and the base of the raised hill from the east, the second is located near the meeting point of the highway towards Raju district and the Shih district road and the north of the railway, and the third is located west of the highway Towards “Raju” district.

The directorate indicated that the area of ​​vandalism and exhumation reached about (5000) square meters, according to the information they obtained in 2018, noting that there are caravans, tents and heavy machinery near the archaeological site, and this is evident that a large group is working on sabotaging and exhuming the archaeological site of Tal Kutakh.

According to information obtained in July 2019, the Directorate explained that the sabotage excavations extended to the high hill (the Acropolis) and the destruction of a large area of ​​the Acropolis estimated at about 18,000 square meters and the removal of some olive trees, in addition to digging a large area at the third point near Raju Road, which reached an area of ​​6 hectares.

The Directorate also pointed out that Turkey and its factions continue to destroy and destroy archaeological sites and hills and loot their contents and smuggle them out of Syria in light of the international silence that led to the aggravation of the situation inside Afrin canton and the continued perpetration of violations in a systematic and continuous manner, she emphasized that it is difficult to obtain documents and evidence to document them, especially that Afrin is closed to the world from the inside and outside.

It is noteworthy that the archaeological site of “Tal Katakh” is near the road connecting the city center of Afrin and the “Raju district” at the intersection of the road leading to “Shih” district.

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