Turkish-backed factions excavate archeological hills in Serekaniye: SOHR
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Turkish-backed al-Hamza Division has excavated two more archaeological hills south of Ras al-Ain (Serekaniye in Kurdish) in Hasakah province, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) war monitor reported on Monday.
According to SOHR, Al-Zahab and Al-Fakhiriyah hills in Ain Al-Hosan village south of Serekaniye were bulldozed by the militia as they searched for antiques and valuable artifacts.
"Turkish-backed factions continue destroying the historical heritage in areas under their control, by bulldozing archaeological hills and destroying sites unprofessionally using machinery, excavating for antiques before the eyes of the Turkish forces," SOHR said.
Last month there were also reports that Turkish-backed groups have once again been credibly accused of willfully damaging and destroying archeological sites near Tal Abyad and Afrin.
Turkish-backed factions have routinely looted and plundered archaeological sites under their control.
According to a report submitted to the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria by the Ceasefire Centre for Civilian Rights (Ceasefire) and YASA e.V. – Kurdish Centre for Studies & Legal Consultancy (YASA) in September 2021, the Turkish-backed factions are responsible for the "destruction and excavation of Afrin's historical and cultural heritage sites."
"These processes were usually carried out by members of SNA (Turkish-backed Syrian National Army) factions operating with Turkish knowledge or oversight," the report stated.
Turkey and its Syrian militia proxies have occupied the northwestern Syrian Kurdish enclave of Afrin since March 2018. They have also occupied northeast Syria's Serekaniye and Tal Abyad since October 2019.