At least 40 bodies found in Islamic State mass grave in northeast Syria
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- Islamic State ISIS is an Islamic extremist terrorist organization controlling territory in Iraq...[+]
Affected Countries: syria;
The remains of dozens of Syrian national army soldiers were discovered in a mass grave near Ain Issa, northeast Syria, on Wednesday, local media reported. It is believed they were killed by Islamic State (ISIS) militants when the group controlled the area six years ago.
Engineering battalions from regime forces, in coordination with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), exhumed 42 bodies from a mass grave near Khafiyah al-Wahab village, six kilometers southwest of Ain Issa town.
The deceased are believed to be members of the 93rd brigade of the national Syrian army who were executed by ISIS militants in 2014, according to Hawar News Agency (ANHA), a media outlet close to the Kurdish authorities in northern Syria.
Another mass grave containing 15 bodies of soldiers from the same brigade was uncovered earlier this year in al-Farhaniyah village, two kilometres from the newly discovered grave. Authorities are conducting DNA tests to identify those remains, according to Al Masdar News.
Last year, a mass grave estimated to hold 3,500 bodies was found in Raqqa province. It is considered the largest mass grave of ISIS victims in Syria.
ISIS also buried their Iraqi victims in mass graves. In February this year, a sinkhole containing almost 1,000 bodies, including around 30 Yezidis, killed by ISIS from mid-2014 to late 2017, was uncovered in Tal Afar.
More than 70 mass graves have been identified in the Yezidi homeland of Shingal following its liberation in November 2015. Some of the remains have been washed away by heavy rains, while others have been exhumed by locals.
Following the territorial defeat of ISIS in Iraq in December 2017, the Iraqi government, the International Commission on Missing Persons, and the United Nations launched a campaign to exhume suspected mass grave sites in the Shingal area in March 2019.