SYRIA: New mass grave of ISIS victims discovered in Raqqa

RAQQA, Syria — Nearly four years after the Islamic States were finally pushed out of its main stronghold of Raqqa, in northern Syria, the city has begun to shake off the blackness imposed on it by its occupiers.

However, despite the progress, albeit slow, being made to revitalize the city, the traces of ISIS’s brutal occupation still haunt the city and surrounding countryside.

Mass graves are still being uncovered, some containing hundreds of bodies.

The Initial Response Team (IRT) of Raqqa Civil Council, tasked with investigating suspected mass graves, uncovered yet another west of the city, bringing the number of mass graves discovered since the city’s October 2017 liberation to 27.

On Thursday, IRT team leader Yasser al-Khamis stated that the forensic report for the most recently found grave indicates that the victims were killed as a result of field executions, most of them women.

Al-Khamis noted that to date the IRT has exhumed some 6,000 bodies from the 27 known mass graves and praised the civilians informing the team about graves sites.

This month, the forensic team was able to exhume 17 bodies from a mass grave in Al-Hatash, north of Raqqa. Those buried in the mass grave appeared to have been killed in field executions.