Iraq gets back antiquities recovered by U.S. forces in Syria

An Assyrian artifact of the head of a winged bull made out of limestone is displayed at the Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, July 8, 2015. (AP)

Iraq's antiquities minister says the Baghdad National Museum has gotten back nearly 500 artifacts recovered by U.S. Army commandos during a recent raid in Syria targeting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group.

Minister Adel Fahad Sharshab pledged that authorities will recover all missing artifacts. He spoke Wednesday as the recovered pieces were on display.

Many of the artifacts were stolen during the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq when the Baghdad museum was looted. They eventually fell into the hands of ISIS extremists and were smuggled out of Iraq into Syria but the timing and details of that remain unknown.

The ISIS has looted and destroyed several ancient sites in Iraq and Syria as part of its campaign to cleanse the territory it controls of items the extremists deem as non-Islamic.


Last Update: 12:23 KSA 15:23 - GMT 12:23