Thousands of bodies exhumed from macabre burial sites in Syria could belong to the victims of murderous ISIS executioner Jihadi John, Sun Online can reveal.
Medical charity Initial Body Recover [IBR] has dug up more than 4,000 bodies from six mass graves in Raqqa, once the dark heart of the terror group’s tyrannical empire.
Masked executioner Jihadi John – real name Mohammed Emwazi – was responsible for taking part in the executions of seven western hostages and 22 Syrians in sick ISIS propaganda videos – and is believed to have killed many more captives off camera .
The remains of the Westerners – including American journalist James Foley and Brits Alan Henning and David Haines – have never been found.
But they are not believed to be among the bodies seen by Sun Online as such high-status prisoners are highly unlikely to have been handed over to the medical team led by Dr Yasar Khamis in Raqqa.
Dr Khamis says he has found several decapitated bodies buried in the infamous orange jumpsuits worn by ISIS execution victims.
Speaking to Sun Online, who joined the volunteers on their quest for answers, Dr Khamis said: “Identifying the dead can be extremely hard as often the bodies are too decomposed.
“When we first entered the city, it was a disaster. Our work was very hard because of [unexploded] bombs, even though we were recovering a lot of dead ISIS fighters and their victims,” Dr Khamis said.
“It was particularly dangerous near the hospital. The smell was terrible and getting the bodies that were buried underground in the tunnels was very difficult.”
“In total we have recovered over 4,000 bodies, [but] we are finding more and more each day.
“We simply don’t have the resources. The best we can usually do is just to catalogue them and give them a good [unnamed] burial.”
While many of these bodies belong to victims of airstrikes which levelled much the city, not all of them are Syrian locals.
Dr Khamis said the bodies were recovered from “vast”, landmine-strewn area around the Syrian 17th Army base, three miles north of Raqqa.
The US team handed over the six bodies seen in the photos in the article but kept a seventh, believed to be the beheaded remains of a “foreign male”, because they wanted to carry out further tests.
These are the charred and battered remains of an operating room at a Raqqa hospital which the medical team searched
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Hopes of one-day finding Emwazi’s victims were given a huge boost when two of his fellow ‘Beatles’ execution gang, Alexanda Kotey, 34, and El Shafee Elsheikh, 29, were captured in Eastern Syria in January.
In February, Haines’ heartbroken wife Dragana demanded the two killers reveal where the aid worker from east Yorkshire was buried.
Mohammed, one of the volunteers scouring Raqqa’s burial sites, said: “I really hope [the families in the UK & America] can get their relatives’ bodies back.
“We talk with families who [also] just want to know if they can bury their dead – but usually we don’t know what happened to their relatives.”