On Thursday, the Kurdish Autonomous Administration’s local authorities stated that they had found a mass grave containing dozens of bodies in northern Syria. The statement suggested that ISIS may have killed the victims during the group’s control of the area.
“At least 29 bodies — including one woman and two children — were found in a mass grave,” a source from the Manbij Civil Council, which manages the city in Aleppo governorate, told AFP.
According to the source, the cemetery is located “near a hotel in the center of Manbij, in the area where the group had held prisoners during its control over the city” between 2014 and 2016.
Municipal workers found the mass grave on Wednesday while they carried out sanitation work near the hotel, according to a statement from the Manbij Military Council. The statement said that “only skeletons and clothes remained” and that some bodies were “handcuffed.” The council said the bodies belonged to “people abducted and arrested by the group after taking control of the city.”
In early 2014, the group took control of Manbij, which Ankara had threatened for several weeks with an attack. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) were able to expel ISIS from the area after heavy fighting in the summer of 2016 before handing over their administrative duties to a local civilian council, which ultimately became a military council.
Turkish aerial attack kills SDF fighters
Meanwhile, four Autonomous Administration’s Internal Security Forces (ASAYIH) members were killed by a Turkish drone targeting their car in the Ain Issa area of the northern Raqqa countryside. At the same time, Turkish army artillery continued to target SDF deployment areas in the countryside of Raqqa, Hassakeh, and Aleppo.
“The Turkish drone targeted [the fighters’] car near Tal al-Saman, south of Ain Issa, who were serving the line of duty,” the security forces said in a statement.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the killing “brings the toll to 13 soldiers and ten wounded as the number of Autonomous Administration soldiers and commanders, who have been targeted by Turkish aircraft since the beginning of July. The deaths and injuries were spread across nine separate raids.”
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.