DAMASCUS (Dispatches) – Syrian government forces have discovered a mass grave containing the bodies of more than one thousand people executed by Daesh terrorists in the country’s northern city of Raqqah.
Russia's RT Arabic television news network reported that Syrian soldiers made the discovery at the Panorama roundabout in the northwestern flank of the city, located about 455 kilometers (283 miles) northeast of the capital Damascus, and that the grave has the corpses of at least 1,500 civilians and military personnel in it.
The report added that responders are working to uncover and identify bodies at the site from clothes, fingerprints, documents or other special markers.
The mass grave makes it the largest one found in Raqqah so far.
Syrian Forensic Medicine General Director Zaher Hajo told Arabic-language and pro-government al-Watan daily in early January that Daesh terrorists had executed 10,000 people and buried their bodies in mass graves across Raqqah.
He stressed that his colleagues had confirmed the presence of 4,000 bodies in one single grave.
Hajo went on to say that Syrian Health Minister Nizar Yazigi has ordered the formation of a committee in order to collect the remains of the victims and transfer them to the military hospital in Aleppo.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has signed a decree, granting amnesty to those who have either deserted the army or avoided military service, and giving them several months to report for duty.
In the decree issued on his social media feeds on Tuesday, President Assad said the amnesty covered all punishments for desertion inside or outside Syria.
Men inside Syria will have four months to turn themselves in to authorities for investigations while those outside will have six months, according to the decree.
While the amnesty covers desertion, it does not cover fighting against the government or joining the terrorists.
Tens of thousands of Syrian men are wanted by the government for not serving in the military or deserting the army during the years-long war waged by terrorists.
Under Syrian military law, deserters could be jailed for years if they leave their posts and do not report for service within a set amount of time.
This picture shows the remains of bodies recovered from a mass grave in the northwestern Syrian city of Raqqah on October 8, 2018.