– Relics for rifles: Syrian rebels trade antique treasures for weapons (VIDEO) (RT, Oct 23, 2014):
Not only is Syria’s future at stake as the civil war rages on, but now also its past. The black market flourishing in the conflict now sees relics – some as ancient as 1,200 years – traded by rebels for AK-47s.
Free Syrian Army (FSA) soldier Abu Mustafa, as he called himself, illegally crossed the Lebanese border with relics he looted on the outskirts of Damascus, following fighting there. The rebels usually come at night, when it’s harder to catch them. Trading is done quickly and quietly.
Mustafa says he looted Syria’s precious antiquities, some of which are several thousand years’ old, to trade them for money. He plans to use it to buy weapons and armory to fight Syrian government forces.
“I brought them to buy weapons for the Syrian rebels. I am proud to help them,” he tells RT’s Maria Finoshina in a hushed voice.