Some of the key findings:
The Salafist armed group Hayat Tahrir as-Sham (HTS) has been heavily involved in the looting of Syrian cultural assets in north-west Syria. To varying extents the same can be said of Islamist coalitions, small jihadi-Salafist factions, and groups still identified as part of the rather fluid grouping known as the Free Syrian Army (FSA).
- Economics dictates the overall conduct of the trade in cultural assets in territories controlled by Salafist factions. However, evidence suggests that religious norms partly constrain the behaviour of some individuals when they are dealing with certain type of artefacts. It is also clear that religious prescriptions inspire some of the rules governing the conduct of the trade in artefacts in territories under Salafist control.
- The way in which HTS manages the illegal trade in cultural assets mirrors that of Islamic State (IS), especially in terms of taxation. However, HTS is characterized by lower levels of bureaucracy and the absence of an iconoclastic policy.
- The looting and trading of cultural assets in Daraa Governorate have both continued after most of the region came once again under the control of government forces and their militia allies in 2018. Ancillary costs for local traders appear to be higher in regime-controlled areas than in Salafist-controlled areas.
For reading the full report (40 pages), you can either read it below or click here for downloading the PDF file (2,1 Mo).2020_02_Moos_Antiquities_Syria