At least 600 bodies are to be exhumed from al-Fakhikha village, south of Raqqa city, once the capital of the Islamic State’s (ISIS) self-styled caliphate, the local council said Monday.
Al-Fakhikha is the 14th mass grave to be discovered in the northeastern province.
Raqqa was liberated by US-backed forces in a campaign that ended over a year ago, but rescuers and recovery teams continue to locate mass graves around Raqqa.
More than two months after digging began, forensic teams continue to lift bodies believed to have been buried there during the four-month campaign to liberate the city.
Since November, 760 bodies have been exhumed from Panorama mass grave, while estimates put the number of bodies buried there at around 1,500.
Since the fall of Raqqa in October 2017, local organizations and the civil community have been working to rehabilitate and reconstruct the city.
So far, 3,500 bodies have been exhumed from mass graves in the areas of al-Rasheed Stadium, the zoo, Bedouin Neighborhood, and the Ancient Mosque.
Last April, Raqqa’s local council transferred two mass graves containing 500 bodies of civilians and Islamic State jihadists out of the city.
Abdul Aziz al-Metleq, a Raqqa-based activist, said victims found in the mass grave were not only killed by ISIS, but also by the US-led coalition airstrikes and the YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces.
Regime forces also found a mass grave near Tabqa airbase, containing bodies of 60 troops killed by ISIS in 2014. The bodies have been moved to Aleppo military hospital.
The SDF has been the main partner of the US-led coalition against ISIS in Syria, helping drive the jihadists out of swathes of northern and eastern Syria last year.
Since the Syrian revolution erupted in 2011, more than 560,000 people have been killed, and more than six million people have been displaced.
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.