Smugglers Thrive On Syria's Chaos, Looting Cultural Treasures

28 May 2014 8:53 AM | Anonymous

A Syrian policeman patrols the ancient oasis city of Palmyra in March. Many Syrian antiquities have been looted and smuggled out of the country during the past three years of civil war. (AFP/Getty Images)

Smuggling is a way of life in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, just over the border from Syria. Driving along it, you see pale smugglers' trails snaking through mountain passes, and the guys who run touristy little antiques stores here say they can get you anything.

"Everything that have traditions and everything found in old houses," says Reda Ismail, who runs one of the many stores in the valley. Dealers say most things here are smuggled from Syria, and Ismail thinks these days it's more prevalent.

http://www.wbur.org/npr/316329859/smugglers-thrive-on-syrias-chaos-looting-cultural-treasures

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