Mass graves of jihadists discovered near Syria’s Tel Abyad

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ISIS militants. File photo

ARA News

Amed, Turkey – Over the past few days, activists documented the discovery of several mass graves in the countryside of Gire Spi (Tel Abyad) in Raqqa province, and Sere Kaniye (Ras al-Ain) in Hasakah province, in northeastern Syria.

The mass graves apparently belong to militants of the radical group of the Islamic State (IS/ISIS).

Speaking to ARA News, Omid Khashman, a media activist accompanying the People’s Protection Units (YPG) said that they were able to document several mass graves “with the death tolls and locations”.

Khashman pointed out that one of the graves was located near the water purification plant east of Ain Issa near the city of Tel Abyad in the northern countryside of Raqqa, with more than 69 IS bodies, most of whom were of Arab and foreign nationalities, according to an IS-linked source.

“The first mass grave was found in the village of Mariran south of Tel Abyad, and contained the bodies of  between 40 and 55 IS militants,” the source added.

“The second grave was found in the village of Tel Fender (5 km west of Tel Abyad) with 70 bodies, and the third one was in the village of Hamam Turkuman with 193 bodies; it was first discovered by locals,” Khashman told ARA News.

Additionally, the silos of Dihliz grave, east of the Suluk district, and west of the city of Sere Kaniye, include more than 200 bodies belonging to the radical group. 

The source added that most of the bodies were “very recently buried”. 

In the meantime, activists speculate that the radical group has carried out collective death sentences against its members after they tried to dissent and flee to their countries, especially the foreigners.

Bodies of recently killed IS militants found in the countryside of Tel Abyad. (ARA News)

Khashman confirmed that those graves have been “carefully documented”. “We have also the  Jourat Hotel in Suluk district, in eastern Tel Abyad, which includes hundreds of IS dead bodies,” he said. 

Answering to ARA News about how these mass graves were discovered, Khashman said: “The villagers of the area discovered these graves because of the severe smell of decomposing bodies that spread with the high outdoor temperatures.”

Khashman pointed out that they had earlier discovered a mass grave of IS insurgents near the village of Jalabiya, south of Kobane, with more than 350 bodies, adding there are dozens of other graves yet to be discovered.

According to observers, the jihadists’ successive defeats recently in Iraq and Syria, particularly in the cities of Kobane, Tel Brak, and Tel Hamis at the hands of Kurdish forces, have weakened the group’s power and that’s why dozens of its militants attempted to flee; however, the IS strategy of showing strength appeared in many areas of control, such as in Aleppo’s Manbij and its countryside; the group carried out dozens of field executions against civilians there.

 

Reporting by: Jiwan Saman

Source: ARA News

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