Statements & Reports

Searching for Missing Persons in Northeast Syria

Assessment & Recommendations for the First Responders’ Team

February 18, 2020

Searching for Missing Persons in Northeast Syria

Source: Syria Justice and Accountability Centre

Following the territorial defeat of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), armed groups and civilians have discovered tens of mass graves throughout Northeast Syria. Hundreds of additional bodies have been discovered in the rubble left behind by Coalition airstrikes. These unidentified remains have left thousands of families with no nformation on the fate of their loved ones. Since the eginning of the conflict, discovering the fates of the thousands of missing persons has been one of the primary demands of Syrians; however, little progress has been made. The territorial defeat of ISIS and elative stability in Northeast Syria provides a unique opportunity to discover the fates of missing persons while also collecting valuable evidence of ISIS crimes. The potential for grave sites and bodies to be damaged, both by intentional tampering and natural degradation, makes the situation particularly urgent.