5,900 bodies recovered from 25 mass graves in Raqqa

The emergency intervention teams of the Civil Council of Raqqa have completed the recovery of bodies from 25 mass graves laid out by the ISIS. The remains of 5,900 people were exhumed, mostly slain civilians.

The emergency intervention teams of the Raqqa Municipality have completed their recovery of bodies from 25 mass graves in which the ISIS had buried mainly murdered civilians. With the 175 bodies last recovered at Tal Zeidan, 5,900 dead were recovered from 25 mass graves so far. However, new mass graves have already been discovered in the towns of Hazaima and Hiqumiya in the north of the city and in the village of al-Mahmoudli near Tabqa.

Yasser al-Khamis, who is responsible for the salvage work, reports that the work is progressing very slowly because the ISIS has stacked the bodies in the mass graves on top of each other, making it difficult to assign the bones. The emergency intervention teams are trying to establish the identities of the deceased. "Samples will be taken from each body in order to identify the remains," he says. But there is still too little technology to identify the dead, so the process takes a long time.

The teams will now start the recovery work on the newly discovered mass graves in the area around Raqqa.

Raqqa was the city ISIS jihadists proclaimed the capital of their so-called caliphate. It is also one of the cities which suffered most and witnessed inhuman massacres, beheading, violence difficult to express with words.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces liberated the Raqqa city on 20 October 2017. Since then the city has begun to rebuild itself. Some 85% of the city and its infrastructures had been destroyed by ISIS, yet the deepest destruction had to do with life itself. Some of the survivors of the dark years of the Caliphate say that life stopped during those times.

Yet, life prevailed. And the newly declared Autonomous Administration has been working since the liberation of the city to rebuild it.

Within the scope of the coordinated activities of the Raqqa Civil Assembly and the People's Municipality, roads were re-opened, houses and water were started to be supplied to the neighborhoods and the war debris removed.

With the reconstruction of the city and the development of a free and common way of living, 700,000 people who had fled ISIS have returned to their homes.

With the increase of the population, the reconstruction works accelerated. The People's Municipality of Raqqa announced an amnesty for those who had repaired their destroyed houses without permission and offered assistance to put the houses at norm.