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Mine clearance and rubble removal in Raqqa

Abdalaziz Alhamza “RBSS”


The Raqqa Civil Council, whose membership was decided by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), received the second batch of vehicles for rubble removal from the International Coalition last Thursday. This batch included 12 large trucks, three small bobcats, eight tipper trucks, and three water tanks. It is worth mentioning that the first batch received by the council was for Tabqa city and it consisted of 56 rubble removal vehicles.

The mine removal process is being supervised by three organizations: Tatritk, Mac, and Rouj. These three organizations have indicated that there remain a large number of mines remaining in the northern part of the city as well as the city center. According to the organizations, the number of mines left is estimated to be around eight thousand, and the time needed to finish the work of removal should be approximately six months.

The rubble removal work is to be done in tandem with a medical team. This team will remove dead bodies from the streets and document it with assistance from a forensic committee. This team is responsible for removing the dead bodies from the rubble as well. It is estimated that hundreds of dead bodies are trapped beneath the rubble, as a strong smell of decay is pervasive throughout the city. 

Due to dire circumstances faced by those who have been displaced, some civilians are trying to return to their homes in the city. In the process, several civilians have died because of the remaining mines. It is reported that the total number of civilian killed by the mines since the beginning of the battle is around 114.