Al-Baghouz | Nearly 3,000 bodies scattered in mass graves and under rubble in residential neighbourhoods • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Al-Baghouz | Nearly 3,000 bodies scattered in mass graves and under rubble in residential neighbourhoods

Since Syria Democratic Forces and International Coalition captured Al-Baghouz town, the last ISIS stronghold in the far eastern region of Deir Ezzor countryside on the Syria-Iraq border, the scattered bodies of ISIS members and civilians who were killed in military operations in the region have plagued the town’s residents. After the elimination of ISIS in March 2019, the residents started to return to their homes in Al-Baghouz. However, they have suffered from the scattered bodies across the town and concerned of the prevalence of infections, as most of the bodies have been buried near the surface of the ground in populated areas. In addition, some bodies are still under rubble of destroyed houses, while some others are left unburied in farmlands.

 

Reliable sources have confirmed that there are nearly 2,900 bodies of civilians and ISIS members, who were killed during the military operations, scattered throughout Al-Baghouz town. Most of these bodies have been buried in six mass graves in populated neighbourhoods and in areas near the town’s hospital, dispensary and camp.

 

Through the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the town’s residents have complained of the bad smell and appealed to concerned organizations to work on burying these bodies correctly in specified graves. The residents also appealed to several organizations and authorities holding power in the area to intensify their efforts to reach workable solutions putting an end to this crisis.

 

On the other hand, the residents of Al-Baghouz town are struggling with the prevalent old ordnance, including IEDs, landmines and unexploded rockets and bombs. Tens of civilians have been killed and countless others have lost their limbs due to the explosions of such ordnance which is everywhere in populated and deserted houses, farmlands and those planted. Since the International Coalition and SDF captured Al-Baghouz, only a few landmines and unexploded bombs were dismantled and removed. However, the remaining ordnance poses a great threat to the safety and lives of the residents there.

 

We, at the Syrian Observatory For Human Rights (SOHR), appeal to the Autonomous Administration and relevant organizations to remove the mass graves in Al-Baghouz, after transporting the remains of the bodies to proper graveyards, as the current mass graves affect badly on the town’s people. We also call for removing and dismantling old ordnance in the town.