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2,000-year-old artefacts looted by ISIS from ancient sites in Iraq and Syria are being sold on EBAY

•           ISIS have raided countless historical heritage sites since rising to power
•           Recent images of jihadis destroying ancient statues caused global outrage
•           Now antiquities plundered by group are appearing on trading websites
•           Coins from Syria, dating back to Ancient Greece, have turned up on eBay
•           It is thought ISIS smuggle artefacts in cargo to criminal gangs in neighbouring countries

By Jack Crone for MailOnline

2,000-year-old artefacts looted from ancient sites in Iraq and Syria by ISIS are being sold on eBay as jihadis cash in on relics dating back millennia.
Jewellery, ceramics and coins plundered from museums within ISIS territory are known to pass between criminal gangs before turning up in Gulf States and later appearing on trading websites.
Two coins from Apamea, in western Syria, which date back to Ancient Greece have appeared on eBay with price tags of £57 and £90.
As well as looting ancient artefacts, ISIS is known to levy a 'tax on valuable and historical items found in its territory to ensure the group's central administration benefits financially from raids on museums.
The number of artefacts flowing from the war zone is so great that their market price has actually fallen.
 It is believed that ISIS takes orders from dealers in neighbouring countries, with small items such as coins easy to smuggle across borders due to the number of people being displaced.
Using smuggling routes and links to criminal gangs in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, the ancient treasures can be packed in with cargoes of oil, drugs and weapons as they move across borders.
eBay insist that they pay attention to the authorities.
A spokesman for the company told The Times: 'We remove items from sale based on their advice, support law enforcement investigations and are always prepared to investigate listings causing concern.'
Axel Plathe, director of Unesco's Iraq office, told The Times: 'We are seeing a more systematic approach to looting under ISIS, linked to generating revenue.
This coin, which came from the ancient city of Apamea in western Syria, sold for $135 on eBay - the equivalent of around £91
'Excavations at the sites have increased and we believe trafficking is on the rise but without access to the sites we still don't know the true scale.'
It is thought that increased pressure from the Iraqi army is encouraging jihadis to loot anything of value in the territory while they can.
They have also desecrated countless Assyrian treasures treasures at Mosul, Nimrud and Dur-Sharrukin.
In Nimrud, northern Iraq, militants even smashed up 3,000 year-old winged statues that are placed at the gates of the Palace of Ashurnasirpal.
The attack came just days after extremists targeted a museum in Mosul by using power drills and sledgehammers to destroy artefacts, sparking global outrage.
A statement last week from Iraq's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities didn't elaborate on the extent of the damage.
However, they added that ISIS 'continues to defy the will of the world and the feelings of humanity.'
The ancient city of Nimrud was the second capital of Assyria, an ancient kingdom that began in 900BC, partially in present day Iraq, and became a great regional power.

The city, which was destroyed in 612 BC, is located on the Tigris River, just south of Mosul, which was captured by ISIS last June.

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