RAQQA, Syria – Despite the passage of four years since the terrorist organization Islamic State (ISIS) was defeated and driven out of Raqqa, authorities continue to exhume and count bodies as they are recovered from mass graves, or beneath rubble and cement blocks in parts of the city destroyed by violent battles within the city streets.
Forensic teams in the city of Raqqa have found a total of twenty-nine mass graves containing more than six thousand bodies, all victims of mass executions at the hands of the ISIS terrorist organization.
In a recent report by Ronahi TV, official spokesman for the forensic team in Raqqa, Yasser Al-Khamis, stated: “The nature of our work as a forensic team is to document the bodies that we find in mass graves in order to identify the missing persons’ record.”
The report added that with the unremitting efforts and follow-up of the Civil Council, the forensic team was able to find a total of twenty-nine mass graves and exhume more than six thousand bodies.
The forensic team’s efforts are hampered by several obstacles. The process of exhuming and analyzing skeletal remains from these mass graves is complex and requires high expertise in collecting information, sufficient capacity to conduct large excavations, and skills in identifying bodies and determining causes of death.