15:35 GMT +321 January 2020
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    Militants from the Daesh terrorist group have made around $200 million from selling unique Palmyra relics.

    Daesh (Islamic State/ISIL) extremists didn't just demolish the World Heritage site, the city of Palmyra that they seized last year, they had been successfully trading the city's unique relics while in control of the territory.

    The terrorist group has garnered around $200 million, Fox News reported citing Russian investigators.

    The archeological wonder with 2,000-year-old ruins, located amid the Syrian desert, was eviscerated by Daesh terrorists last year.

    On March 27, the Syrian army, backed by militias and Russian Aerospace Forces, fully liberated Palmyra after ten months of terror and devastation. The city is a strategic crossroads linking the Syrian capital, Damascus, with the country's east and the border with Iraq.

    During the Daesh reign in the city known as the "Bride of the Desert", several assets of significant heritage were destroyed by the terrorist group, including two large 18-century temples and a 2,000-year old Roman-era Arch of Triumph.

    The amphitheater dating back to the same epoch was used by the militants for public executions. The major part of the city is reportedly still lying in ruins.

    Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said in a letter released Wednesday that Daesh had a special subdivision focused on trading antiquities.

    The Turkish city of Gaziantep is the center "for the smuggling of cultural heritage items", Churkin wrote, goods there are "sold at illegal auctions and then through a network of antique shops and at the local market".

    Turkish authorities didn't comment on the report.


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    temple, artefacts, Daesh, Vitaly Churkin, Syria, Palmyra
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