One of the main justifications for the purported need for "emergency import restrictions" on Syrian artifacts is that ISIS has netted $36 million from the sale of artifacts from just one area in Syria alone. This $36 million figure has been repeated so often that it is now taken as fact.
But is it accurate? First, let's consider the source-- an unnamed Iraqi intelligence official. Right there, alarm bells should go off given the Iraqi Sectarian Government's questionable reputation and desperate need for international support.
Next, let's consider the actual report. Let's assume the source is credible. Even if so, it's not clear at all whether the $36 million figure relates to looted antiquities or the value of everything ISIS has taken from that one specific area.
The archaeological community purports to take a "scientific approach" to all issues. So its disheartening that even those who previously questioned the report as "contradictory" have now latched onto it because they think it will help give their demands to suppress all trade in undocumented artifacts some additional traction.