Middle EastWar

Syrian troops find mass grave west of Raqqa

Syrian troops have uncovered a mass grave containing the remains of more than 30 people killed by Islamic State in Raqqa province, state media reported on Friday.

A Syrian Arab Army unit uncovered the grave with bodies of 34 military personnel and civilians, SANA reported.

It is the third such find by the army in recent months in territory formerly held by ISIS west of their onetime bastion.

“In cooperation with specialists, an army unit came across a mass grave of civilians and combatants executed by the Islamic State group in western parts of Raqa province,” the report said.

The remains were transported to the military hospital in neighboring Aleppo province to be identified.

Government troops control the southwest of Raqqa province, but the rest of it, including the provincial capital, is held by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces who asserted control over ISIS’s de facto capital on October 17.

MoreThe greatest threat to people returning to war-ravaged Raqqa: ISIS mines

In late December, Syrian troops found two mass graves in the west of the province. State media later reported that more than 150 bodies had been exhumed from them.

The Islamic State group, which proclaimed a “caliphate” over swathes of Syria and Iraq in 2014, has now lost almost all the land it once controlled.

It has been held responsible for multiple atrocities during its reign of terror, including mass executions and decapitations.

With reporting from AFP

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