The AP is reporting (via Syria’s official news agency) that Syrian customs officials have seized 40 objects stolen from the National Museum in Baghdad.
The report quotes the chief of the customs department, Nabil al-Sayyouri, as saying the pieces were seized at al-Tanaf crossing on the Syrian-Iraqi border. They were hidden in a bag in an Iraqi crossing into Syria. The artifacts include different-sized glassware and clay tools.
Al-Sayyouri said the seized pieces were “rare and would be handed back to Iraq.”
This is the third smuggling attempt aborted in less than two months by Syrian customs officials. Last month, the Syrian Cultural Ministry handed Iraq back some 700 pieces of looted priceless antiquities seized inside Syria.
Syria really seems to be taking the lead on policing its borders, with a number of important seizures in recent months.