Largest Daesh mass grave holding 3,500 people found outside Raqqah
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Largest Daesh mass grave holding 3,500 people found outside Raqqah

According to reports on Thursday, the burial site is located in the al-Fukheikha suburb and so far the remains of 120 people have been unearthed from the mass grave at a farmland outside Raqqah. “We’ve heard accounts from residents of al-Fukheikha that they would see people gathering with someone in an orange suit,” Turki al-Ali, who is supervising the recovery effort, said. The terror group would typically dress its captives in orange suits when they executed them. "There are some 2,500-3,000 bodies estimated there, plus between 900 and 1,100 bodies in the individual graves, so at least 3,500 total,” Asaad Mohammad, a forensic assistant at the site, said. He added that the burial site is "the largest grave since Daesh came to Raqqah” in 2014 and that the identity of the victims remains unknown. Daesh established its de facto capital in Raqqah in 2014 after it overran territories in Syria and Iraq. The group committed some of the most heinous crimes against civilians and military forces, which shocked the world. Eight more mass graves have been already dug up around Raqqah where recovery efforts began in January 2018. Since then, more than 3,800 bodies have been uncovered across Raqqah.   Kurdish militants recaptured Raqqah more than a year ago with the help of US airstrikes which left the once sprawling city totally destroyed.   The US and its allies have repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing civilians and drawn criticism over their failure to destroy Daesh, which they claim to be fighting. “These mass graves hold the answers to the fate of people who had been executed by Daesh fighters, who died in coalition airstrikes, or who have been missing,” Sara Kayyali of Human Rights Watch said. Amnesty International’s new Secretary General Kumi Naidoo said after visiting Raqqah back in October that “attacks by the US-led coalition not only killed hundreds of civilians but also displaced tens of thousands, who are now returning to a city in ruins, while many others languish in camps.” The US-led coalition recently airlifted to safe sanctuaries several large boxes full of “spoils” that members of the foreign-sponsored terror outfit had claimed in Syria’s eastern provinces of Hasakah and Dayr al-Zawr as well as neighboring Iraq. Daesh usually accepts to withdraw from areas under its control after it strikes deals with Washington. Local sources, requesting anonymity, told Syria’s official news agency SANA last week that US helicopters landed in the Dashisha area of Hasakah and Hajin in Dayr al-Zawr, and transported dozens of Takfiri commanders and militants to unknown locations. The sources added that the extremists, in return, had directed US forces to their caches of stolen gold east of Shaddadi town. In December, US President Donald Trump ordered his commanders to execute a "full" and "rapid" withdrawal of over 2,000 American forces from Syria within 30 days, arguing that with the defeat of Daesh the US military’s mission in the country had come to an end. However, White House Press Secretary Sarah H. Sanders said on Thursday that around 200 American troops will remain in Syria on a “peacekeeping” mission despite Trump’s pledge to fully evacuate the Arab country. "A small peace keeping group of about 200 will remain in Syria for (a) period of time," she said in a statement.

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