No more room for the dead in Syria
The old Aleppo cemetery filled up a year ago. The new one filled up last week. Now the dead are left in the besieged enclave’s streets, buried in backyards and overwhelming the morgues.
Medical officials secured yet another plot for the dead. But they say they have no way to dig graves with government troops now crashing into opposition-held eastern Aleppo, shelling civilians as they flee and forcing thousands to squeeze into a chaotic, devastated and shrinking pocket of neighbourhoods.
“We have no more room,” said Mohammed Abu Jaafar, the head of the local forensic authority. His department is so overwhelmed, the staff registering the dead pleaded with him not to take any more bodies.
“Even if I were to consider mass burials, I don’t have the machines to do the digging,” he said in a telephone interview. Dignity in death has been lost as the rebel-held enclave that has held out for four years collapses.