BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:00 P.M.) – The Turkish intelligence forces arrested an officer at the Al-Mastuma point in northwestern Syria this past week after he was suspected of smuggling antiquities outside of the Arab Republic to Turkey, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported.
The SOHR pointed out that the arrested officer was using cars that traveled with Turkish military convoys to smuggle antiquities, noting that the Turkish forces tightened surveillance on Turkish and Syrian forces after the incident.
According to the opposition sources of the SOHR, there is a group of Turkish officers in Idlib working in the Syrian antiquities trade and transporting them from the Arab Republic to unknown destinations.
They reported that the region is witnessing increasing illegal excavations, with the facilities of Turkish officers in the disposal of archaeological finds.
The Observatory said that the jihadists of Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) have been working for a long time, excavating antiquities on public or private lands, after their owners were forced to agree, and selling antiquities through smuggling to Turkey.