Syrian regime levels Deir az-Zour mass grave containing hundreds of bodies

Syrian regime levels Deir az-Zour mass grave containing hundreds of bodies
2 min read
Syrian regime authorities have bulldozed a mass grave containing the bodies of over 400 people killed in a 2012 massacre in the eastern city of Deir az-Zour
The city of Deir al-Zour has seen widespread destruction in the Syrian conflict [Getty]

The Syrian regime has levelled a mass grave in the eastern city of Deir az-Zour containing the bodies of hundreds of victims of a massacre it committed in 2012, a human rights organisation said on Monday.

The regime-affiliated provincial council had used heavy machinery over the past few days to bulldoze the mass grave, which is in the Joura area of the eastern province, the Syrian Human Rights Committee said in a statement sent to The New Arab.

Deir az-Zour saw widespread protests against Assad's rule during the Syrian uprising, which began in 2011.

The massacre, which saw over 400 suspected opponents of the regime killed, took place beginning on 26 September 2012.

The Syrian Human Rights Committee said Assad regime army units, backed up by elite Republican Guard troops, stormed Joura on that day and rounded up men and boys in the area. The victims were either shot dead or murdered with knives.

The human rights group added that many of the residents of the area remain unaccounted for after the massacre. Homes in the area were bombed and burned by regime troops, while shops were looted.

The massacre continued for several days and some of the bodies of the victims were burned while others were buried hastily after they started rotting.

This is not the first time that regime authorities have interfered with a mass grave in Deir az-Zour.

On 26 March, 70 bodies buried near the Tawba Mosque were dug up and transported outside the city, according to Syrian opposition broadcaster Orient TV.