This week has seen the return of 337 ancient artefacts to Iraq from a private museum in Lebanon. Further to our discussion in August on the return of over 17,000 artefacts to Iraq that had been looted and stolen in the past few decades, Lebanon has also returned its share of Iraqi artefacts to their rightful homes. The collection of 337 artefacts which included clay tablets dating back to 2,900 BC had been held at the private Nabu Museum between Tripoli and Beirut.
Global reports this week have suggested that US disengagement from the Middle East and Iraq has left a superpower sized hole in the region. China is looking to capitalise on this especially with regards to Iraq, its third largest source of imported oil. Many are arguing that China is looking to be in a strong position to become a regional hegemon in the Middle East or, at the very least, replace the US as the leading superpower in Iraq but how might this neocolonialism continue to damage the region?