Syria returns hundreds of looted antiquities to Iraq

Syria has returned to Iraq some 700 pieces of looted priceless antiquities which it seized from traffickers since the 2003 US invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein. Amid the chaos that followed the invasion, Iraqi museums were pillaged of treasures dating back 5,000 years. The head of the Syrian Antiquities Department, Bassam Jamous, said some of the objects returned Wednesday date back to the bronze and Islamic eras. US officials said last month that according to the latest inventories, a total of about 15,000 artifacts were stolen. Of those, about 4,000 have been returned to the museum, and a total of about 6,000 have been recovered.