Mass grave containing five bodies discovered by water maintenance crew south of Hasakah in North and East Syria

HASAKAH, Syria — A water maintenance crew discovered a mass grave containing the remains of five civilians suspected to have been killed by the Islamic State (ISIS), in Markada, south of Hasakah city, on Tuesday.

The workers found the corpses buried near a water-pumping station in the Kishkish-Ziyanat area near the town of Markada. The concerned authorities had been informed and the corpses have been transported to another location for possible identification.

According to the Organized Crime Office of the Democratic Autonomous Administration (DAA), the corpses were buried in the grave nearly five years ago when ISIS ruled the area.

Since the liberation of territories in North and East Syria from the Islamic State, dozens of mass graves containing thousands of bodies have been uncovered.

In early December, the Initial Response Team (IRT) of the Raqqa Civil Council, responsible for the exhumation of corpses from mass graves discovered in and around Raqqa city, removed several bodies from “Mass Grave 28” in the village of Kasra Faraj, south of the old bridge, in Raqqa.

Head of the IRT, Yasser al-Khamis, stated to North Press Agency that, “Following reports from residents, the IRT forensic group went to the location and inspected it, confirming the presence of corpses there.”

According to the initial forensic report, there are between 4 to 10 other corpses in the mass grave, in addition to another one that had already been exhumed by the team.

Al-Khamis also indicated that, since the establishment of the IRT in 2018, 6,100 bodies have been exhumed from mass graves in the area, 700 of which have been identified and delivered to their families. He also stated that there are five known mass graves that the team has not yet begun to work on.