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10,000 Bodies Buried in Mass Graves across Syria’s Raqqah: Official

18 January 2018 13:31

A senior Syrian medical official says members of the ISIL Takfiri terrorist group have executed 10,000 people and buried their bodies in mass graves across the country’s northern city of Raqqah.

Syrian Forensic Medicine General Director Zaher Hajo told Arabic-language and al-Watan daily that his colleagues had confirmed the presence of 4,000 bodies in one single grave.

Hajo went on to say that Syrian Health Minister Nizar Yazigi has ordered the formation of a committee in order to collect the remains of the victims and transfer them to the military hospital in the northwestern city of Aleppo.

He stated that identification of the victims, using their teeth and bones, will start next week, stressing that he will chair the committee.

Hajo said the mass graves have been found in areas now controlled by the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) – a US-backed group of Kurdish and Arab forces.

The SDF said on October 20, 2017 that it had “liberated” Raqqah after driving out ISIL terrorists from the city, which served as ISIL’s de facto capital in the war-ravaged Arab country.

The US-backed forces later said the political future of the city and the province of the same name would be determined “within the framework of a decentralized, federal, democratic Syria.”

SDF spokesman Talal Silo said than the group would hand over the control of Raqqah to what he called “the Raqqah Civil Council.”

Syrian Minister of National Reconciliation Affairs Ali Haidar reacted by saying that Raqqah’s future could only be discussed “as part of the final political structure of the Syrian state.”

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) has, meanwhile, said that the SDF’s purported operations in Raqqah have killed civilians and damaged infrastructure in the city.

“When you’re killing around 1,200 civilians — nearly half of them women and children — and destroying 80 percent of the city, that’s not liberating Raqqah,” Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the SOHR, told Arab News daily newspaper.

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