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The United States returned hundreds of objects to Iraq recovered by Special Forces during a raid in Syria Against the one who is thought to be one of the most important men in financing the terrorist group.
Some of the pieces were exhibited in the Iraqi National Museum during the repatriation ceremony, attended by the Minister of Antiquities Abel Shirshab and the United States Ambassador Stuart Jones.
«These objects are the clear proof that the Islamic State, apart from terrorism, brutality and destruction, is a criminal group that steals antiquities from museums and historical places«, Declared the American ambassador,«and also its purpose is clearly to sell the objects on the black market«He added.
The objects were displayed in one of the recently reopened museums and included coins, statues, and jewelry. «The coins are an example from the Islamic period. This evidence indicates that terrorism believes that cultural heritage is blasphemy and intends to profit from its saleShirshab commented.
The objects were recovered by the US military during a May 15 raid in Syria when Abu Sayyaf (one of the biggest funders of the terrorist organization), a key figure in the Islamic State, was assassinated. It is believed that
«These pieces are very beautiful and invaluable«Said Hakim al-Shammari, head of exhibitions at the National Museum. Al-Shammari says not knowing the value of objects on the black market but he claims that they would have made a very substantial contribution to the finances of the Islamic State.
«The profits obtained from the sale of these pieces is used to finance operations, buy weapons and recruit people«, Explained Al-Shammari.
The United States has returned more than 3,000 items stolen from Iraq since 2005.