So says an Iraqi official based on unnamed sources. But Iraqi sources were also the basis for the now widely discredited claim that ISIS has netted $36 million from one site in Syria alone.
So, is this new claim as well as other unsupported claims that there must be warehouses full of material looted by ISIS to be believed? Or, is it possible that ISIS came up with far more "dry holes" than artifacts to be put into "cold storage?"
If the 2003 Iraq war proved anything, it was that "experts" could be dead wrong not only on the existence of weapons of mass destruction, but on the nature and extent of looting. So caution should be warranted-- particularly where such information is being used to justify the creation of a new State Department bureaucracy and new import restrictions on all things "Syrian."
Meanwhile, on the ground in Syria, Palmyra, another UNESCO World Heritage site, is under threat of capture by ISIS. What is needed is not more talk or even legislation, but concrete action to save the city from ISIS or at least a cost to pay for anyone who seeks to destroy its ruins.