RFS Media Office correspondent got an ISIS license that is granted to excavators, and it is issued by what is called al-Rikaz Department which is involved in collecting antiquities and buried money.
Young man (M.S.) from the town of al-Sayal, located near the Mari archaeological site in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor, said “I got the license for free without having to share any of my excavation findings with ISIS since the man responsible for al-Rikaz is a relative of mine”. However, another man called (M.N.) said “I could not obtain the license until I stated that I would pay 60% of the money I gain from excavation works to the Rikaz Department.
Mary archaeological site is considered as one of the oldest sites in Deir Ezzor, and it has become almost plowed due to heavy excavation works. It is worth mentioning that there are other archaeological sites in Deir Ezzor such as al-Rahbeh Castle, in addition to Halabiyeh and Zalabiyeh areas.