The scale of random illegal excavations increased recently in many areas in the province of Hama. Some civilians formed their own groups to dig for artifacts. The excavation groups started in parts particularly in the west and north of Hama because they are well-known for many historical sites such as the citadel of Apamea /Qalaat al-Madiq[1], Tell Qaraqur, among others. The findings looted are smuggled out of Syria and then sold. An STJ's field researcher said the workers dig the archaeological cemeteries around the citadel of Apamea[2] and its exterior walls.
More than 500 pot-hunters were given the green light for conducting excavations in Kafriya and al-Fu'ah villages, Idlib countryside, during August 2018, after being taken over by armed opposition and jihadist groups, including Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham-HTS[1], Ahrar al-Sham al-Islamiyya Movement[2], and Suqour al-Sham Brigade[3], under an agreement[4] concluded with the Regime and its allies on July 18, 2018. HTS conditioned to get half of the findings’ sale price, however, many eyewitnesses reported that no worthy archaeological objects were...