Iraq gets back antiquities recovered by US forces in Syria

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's antiquities minister says the Baghdad National Museum has gotten back nearly 500 artifacts recovered by U.S. Army commandos during a recent raid in Syria targeting the Islamic State group.

Minister Adel Fahad Sharshab pledged that authorities will recover all missing artifacts. He spoke Wednesday as the recovered pieces were on display.

Many of the artifacts were stolen during the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq when the Baghdad museum was looted. They eventually fell into the hands of IS extremists and were smuggled out of Iraq into Syria but the timing and details of that remain unknown.

The IS has looted and destroyed several ancient sites in Iraq and Syria as part of its campaign to cleanse the territory it controls of items the extremists deem as non-Islamic.