The bodies of over 8,000 Syrians killed in the bombing raids carried out by the US and the coalition led by it have been found in mass graves in Syria’s Raqqa after the rubble was partially cleared away, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.
"Last week, the Syrian government, in its letters addressed to the UN secretary general and the UN Security Council president, provided the tragic statistics on the victims of the coalition’s bombing raids in the city of Raqqa during its ‘liberation’ from ISIL (former name of the Islamic State terror group, outlawed in Russia - TASS)," she noted.
"The bodies of over 4,000 people were found while clearing away the rubble in two of the city’s residential neighborhoods left over from the airstrikes and also around the stadium and the zoo. Those were mainly women, the elderly and children. In addition, a mass grave where more than 2,500 people were buried was uncovered at a farm near a pediatric clinic and the National Hospital, while another burial site was opened near Al-Panorama where 1,500 bombing raids’ victims were buried," TASS quoted the spokeswoman as saying.
"The letters stressed that to date just two percent of the rubble had been cleared away in Raqqa, which had been literally razed to the ground," Zakharova emphasized.
According to the diplomat, the statistics turned out to be in stark contrast with "the hysterical reaction expressed by the US and other Western countries with respect to protecting Syrians’ rights," and "the information provided in recent reports by various Western NGOs on the situation in Raqqa."
The Raqqa Governorate and its capital of the same name served as the main outpost for the Islamic State terror group in Syria. The city of Raqqa was recaptured from the terrorists last October by predominately-Kurdish units, which form part of the Syrian Democratic Forces backed by the US-led coalition.
Moscow and Damascus have drawn attention to the situation in Raqqa on numerous occasions. On November 29, Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya said that the US and its allies were trying "to hide the dire consequences of their military operation" to liberate the Syrian city. For its part, Damascus sent a letter to the UN, which laid the blame for the bloody carnage on the US-led coalition, whose air raids claimed thousands of lives, while the city itself was razed to the ground.