Russian Envoy: Gaziantep Serving as ISIS Smuggling Hub for Stolen Syrian Artefacts

Turkish border city the largest trade center for selling looted antiques from Syria and Iraq, says Russia's permanent representative to the UN

The southern Turkish city of Gaziantep is the main center for selling relics looted by the Islamic State group in Syria, according to Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Vitaly Churkin.

Profits from the illegal trading of looted relics is estimated to be at nearly $200 million per year, Churkin said in a letter sent to the UN, adding that that antiques and artifacts are mainly smuggled from Syria and Iraq through Turkey’s city of Gaziantep in the south.

“Those pieces of antiques are sold through auctions illegally on websites and through local markets,” Churkin added.

He affirmed that around 100,000 of the world’s archeological sites are under the grip of ISIS, nine of which are UNESCO World Heritage Listed.

This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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