Activists: 784 Civilians Were Killed in Raqqa in June
As many as 784 civilians were killed in Raqqa province in June, mostly in bombings by the international anti-ISIS coalition forces and the militia of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), local activists said.
According to the Raqqa is Being Silently Slaughtered media campaign, 772 civilians were killed in airstrikes by the international anti-ISIS coalition and in artillery shelling by SDF militia. Bodies of the victims were discovered in mass graves scattered across the province. The campaign noted that two civilians were killed during an arrest campaign carried out by the SDF militias in the village of Kadhimiya.
Activists pointed out that eight civilians were killed in explosions of landmines and booby-traps that were set up by ISIS militants before they were driven out of the province. The victims also included two civilians who drowned in the Euphrates River. Activists also said that they recorded ten explosions throughout the province in June.
Meanwhile, the First Responders Team Work pointed out that they have dug up hundreds of bodies from mass graves in Raqqa city in the past few days. They noted that they dug up 15 bodies of civilians from the rubble of a bombed building in the Bado neighborhoods and 18 more bodies from a mass grave in a zoo in the ravaged city.
On September 28, the US-led international coalition battling ISIS in Iraq and Syria admitted that the airstrikes it is launching in the two countries had killed 940 civilians since the bombing campaign began in 2014.
In early July, Human Rights Watch said that Syrians working to uncover mass graves in Raqqa needed help to preserve evidence and identify human remains. It noted that thousands of bodies — of civilians slain by ISIS and residents killed in airstrikes by the US-led coalition and of ISIS fighters — remain to be recovered in several mass graves in and around Raqqa. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)