Middle East

Graves of civilians slain by Daesh found in Syria’s Manbij

An alliance of Kurdish-Arab forces in Syria has discovered dozens of graves of people killed by the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in the recently-liberated town of Manbij in Aleppo province.

According to the Manbij military council, the 27 undocumented graves, which were found on Friday, hold the remains of civilians, who had attempted to escape the town when it was under the control of Daesh but had been killed by the terrorists.

“Most of them, I can say more than 90 percent of Manbij parks, have turned into graveyards. In this park we have 27 undocumented graves. All of those are civilians trying to escape from Daesh,” said Hassan Abu Kant, a fighter from the Northern Sun Battalion, belonging to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), adding that those people had been killed trying to reach SDF forces.

Manbij lies along the only supply line of Daesh between the Syrian-Turkish border to the north and the group’s main stronghold in Syria, Raqqah, which lies to the southeast.

The SDF launched an operation to retake Manbij more than two months ago and managed to fully liberate it earlier this month. The city had been under Daesh control for more than two years. Aerial photos released show the terrorists using civilians as human shields to escape.

The liberation of Manbij marked the biggest strategic defeat for Daesh in Syria since July 2015, when the terrorist group lost the strategically important town of Tal Abyad on Syria’s border with Turkey.

In April, the Syrian forces found a mass grave containing the remains of dozens of civilians in the northeastern parts of Palmyra in Homs province, a few days after government troops ended Daesh control over the city, and almost a year after it fell to the terror group.

Back in May, another mass grave, containing 65 bodies, mostly soldiers, was found in the sewers southwest of Palmyra Airbase. The victims were believed to be executed by Daesh militants after they seized the ancient city in May last year.

Fighting continues in Hasakah

According to a statement issued by the Syrian army on Friday, heavy fighting continues in Hasakah, the capital city of the northeastern province with the same name, between government and Kurdish militia forces, who are trying to take over the city

The Syrian army has been conducting airstrikes against the Kurdish positions and headquarters across the province since the clashes intensified earlier this week.

The statement added that the army’s response was “appropriate,” and that any attacks against government forces would also be repelled with force.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The United Nations estimates that over 400,000 people have so far been killed in the conflict.


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