The New Arab has gained evidence of Syrian regime forces, who previously held control of the area, raiding Christian graveyards and looting family tombs of valuables including gold, jewellery – and even gold teeth.
Harasta, which lies just northeast of downtown Damascus in the opposition-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta, was only recently liberated by Syrian opposition forces during the Battle of Harasta, codenamed “They were wronged” by rebels.
The town had been under control of the Assad regime for around five years, during which time the graves were dug up in search of precious items, according to church and municipal officials.
After liberating the al-Ajami neighbourhood in Harasta, rebels discovered the regime troops who had previously held the area had plundered the graves, looting them of all valuable possessions buried alongside the dead in their tombs.
Coffins were found opened and devoid of any of the valuable items – including gold and jewellery – that are customarily buried alongside Syrian Christian families.
It has also been alleged that gold teeth had been pulled from the mouths of decomposed corpses, many of which lay exposed in opened coffins.