The Syrian Arab Republic has filed a complaint with UNESCO (the UN body dealing with Education, Science and Culture) against France and Turkey, charging them with looting cultural assets belonging to the Syrian people.

Specifically, the complaint alleges that the French and Turkish armies supervised searches on the territories that they occupied (Manbij, Afrin, Idlib, Hassaké and Raqqa). They looted archeological treasures that they then sent abroad.

Furthermore, at the beginning of the war in Syria, a private firm based in Paris coordinated orders for goods (procured through lootings by the jihadists) for Western buyers. Part of the profits from these art sales was used to fund the terrorist organizations.

In 2015, UNESCO had observed by satellite the lootings of nearly 900 archeological sites. UNESCO’s Director, Irina Bokova, had declared:
“Numerous images taken by satellite (…) show archeological sites in Syria destroyed by thousands of illegal archeological digs, literally holes, which testify a looting on an industrial scale”.

This activity “is part of a strategy of a cultural purge to destroy the past, present and future of this region known as the cradle of human civilization”.

On 8 March 2016, the Russian Federation filed with the UN Security Council a note on Turkey’s role in this looting [1].

Since November 2017, the former French Minister for Culture, Audrey Azoulay has had leadership of UNESCO. She is a relative of King of Morocco, Mohammed VI and French President, Emmanuel Macron with whom she worked at the Elysee. She had been invited to the Bilderberg Club last June.

During the Second World War, the Nazis looted artistic treasures from the areas that the Reich occupied.

Anoosha Boralessa

[1Russian Intelligence report on Daesh’s smuggling of antiquities”, Voltaire Network, 8 March 2016.