American and French forces began excavations in an archeological hilltop near the northern city of Raqqa, local activists reported.
A local activist released a photo which purportedly features heavy machineries for the US-led coalition in al-Mansoura hilltops of Raqqa western countryside.
Mohab Nasser, originally from the city of Raqqa, said that similar excavations have been underway for months in the west and northwest countryside of Tabqa; particularly near Ja’bar, Al-Jarniyah and al-Kreen.
The eastern and northeastern region of Syria – commonly known as al-Jazeera – is home for several ancient civilizations and therefore rich in antiquities and artifacts.
The Islamic State, which at one stage controlled most of the area, has made a fortune from illegally selling antiquities in black markets.