THE COMMENTARY IN THIS PIECE DOES NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF IMPUNITY WATCH.
*WARNING VIDEOS MAY CONTAIN GRAPHIC IMAGES*
In the past few weeks the number of massacres taking place around Syria drastically increased. The Syrian Network for Human Rights, in collaboration with the Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies, have documented a number of them. Below is their summarized reports for the past four massacres; beginning with the most recent.
Douma | 16 June 2012
The Syrian regime’s combat forces launched a fierce and concentrated attack on the city of Douma, located to the east of the capital Damascus. The residents came under continual mortar shelling by the forces surrounding the city; additionally there was intense shelling originating from the vehicles administration headquarters, which is located in the neighbouring city of Harasta. The shelling went through the night until dawn; it stopped around 3:00 am.
Artillery shelling was concentrated on residential quarters located behind the mosques of Haseeba and Al-Agha. Eight people, including three women, were killed at the onset, when shelling targeted a residential building. This was a clear indication that shelling was random with the intent of killing for the sake of killing. This building, the first target, is located between the Great Mosque and Haseeba Mosque and the area is one of the most densely populated quarters of the city.
We were not able to access the inflicted area to provide assistance due to the full siege and the Syrian government’s refusal to give access to any Human Rights or relief organization to work on the Syrian territories. By contacting locals and victims’ relatives, we were able to confirm eight names of the victims who fell to the shelling and documented at least 40 wounded, including four people with very critical injuries.
There is a severe shortage of medical necessities because the Syrian government hinders the transport of the wounded and the injured to hospitals, so they are treated in houses that lack real medical supplies or preparation facilities.
Saqba | 16 June 2012
The Syrian regime forces moved from Douma to Saqba on this same day. Upon entering the city, which is located east of Damascus, they quickly took control and began to instill terror in the residents. Tanks, armoured vehicles and infantry advanced from the south (from the Kafr Batana region), the north (from the Hamouriya direction), the west (from the Hazza direction), and the east (from the Jesreen direction). This entry in the city was followed by raid campaigns, around a square known as Al-Jameiya, while other combat troops moved to the secondary school street, and remaining troops moved to the northern area of Al-Jouzeh.
One of the tanks, positioned in the city centre, fired a shell on a residential building; this caused severe damage in the building and several injuries, including a child who received an injury to the eye. Dozens of residents were arrested. We were able to identify a few of them from the Al-Khawaja family. Following this, troops moved to the Al-Mahfara area, to the west of the city, where they looted commercial shops.
The horrendous massacre harvested the lives of 19 civilians including a woman and a child. We have been able to contact residents to confirm and document the names of victims. To add insult to injury, some of the victims were slaughtered by knives in a revengeful, sadist fashion that was reminiscent of the Dark Ages and reflected a mindset of the utmost savagery.
Maarat Al-Numan | 10 June 2012
The preliminary death toll stands at thirteen victims. The victims’ body parts were scattered in the streets following the attack. More than 90 people were wounded, 25 of whom suffer from severe and critical injuries. As usual, the Syrian regime has cut off all means of communications and prevented doctors from treating the wounded or transporting them to safer zones where medical care necessities are available. Many houses and shops were damaged from the attack as well.
Dar’aa | 9 June 2012
The Syrian regime’s army and security forces launched a fierce attack on the city using mortars, which the international community considers to be random inaccurate projectile, and heavy machineguns. Those shells hit the houses of:
Suliaman Shihadeh Aba Zeed, Adnan Dyab Aba Zeed, Ibrahim Mifleh Aba Zeed, Muhammad Kheir Aba Zeed, Yusuf Aba Zeed, Abu Nasir Abu Al-Qayasin al-Bajabja neighbourhood
A shell fell on al-Dallou family house killing 7 members of the family and burning down the house. Residents recovered the bodies of Mansour Rizq Aba Zeed, Rita Rizq Aba Zeed and Rizq Hasan Shihada from under the rubble.
The regime’s army snipers, stationed at the roof of the national hospital, targeted citizens who came to donate blood following the attack. The regime’s army checkpoint, stationed at Al-Sad road, targeted a civilian car that was transporting the wounded to the makeshift hospital, killing the volunteer in the process.
For further information, please visit the website listed below:
**WARNING: THE VIDEOS BELOW MAY CONTAIN GRAPHIC IMAGES**
Al-Houla | Homs
A clip showing the body of a man who was tortured to death by regime forces.
Homs | Al-Rasten
After regime forces besiege a village for four days with shelling, a make-shift hospital is full of the victims and wounded, most of them women and children.
Lattakia | Hama
Pro-government Shabeeha militias stop a UN international observer’s car to prevent the workers inside from reaching Al-Hiffeh and documenting the crimes and abuses being perpetrated for the fourth day in a row.
78 confirmed casualties killed by the regime on Thursday, 14 June 2012.
Damascus & Rural Damascus: 27
Deir Ezzor: 4
74 confirmed casualties killed by the regime on Wednesday, 13 June 2012.
Deir Ezzor: 13
Damascus and Rural Damascus: 2
65 confirmed casualties killed by the regime on Tuesday, 12 June 2012.
Damascus & Rural Damascus: 6
Deir Ezzor: 3
91 confirmed casualties killed by the regime on Monday, 11 June 2012.
Damascus & Rural Damascus: 15
Deir Ezzor: 14
66 confirmed casualties killed by the regime on Sunday, 10 June 2012.
For further information, please see:
Syrian Network for Human Rights – Violations and Casualty Reports – 10–14 June 2012
Al-Qubeir Massacre | 7 June 2012
The Syrian regime’s security forces and Shabeehas, pro-regime militias affiliated to security forces, have perpetrated a horrific massacre in Mazra’at Al-Qubeir. Al-Qubeir is 20 km to the west of Hama city, and 2 km to the south of Ma’arzaf. Seventy-eight victims are documented, including women and children. Tanks leveled half of the houses, almost to complete destruction, and it is visible from afar by any visitor.
Some of SHNR & DCHRS members have met activists in the area, victims’ relatives and survivors from the massacre. The UN and international investigations committees are in contact with them. They all affirmed that the Syrian regime’s army raided many villages in western Rural Hama on Wednesday 06-06-2012. The Syrian regime cut off all means of communications, internet, power, and water in the area so that they could perpetrate the massacre in silence.
The area was completely besieged by tanks and checkpoints, which explains the delay in reporting and documentation of the massacre and the victims. The regime’s army forces raided the village of Jreijis and burned down many houses there. Then they raided the village of Ma’arzaf and assaulted the locals. Around 01:00 pm, the regime’s army tanks started shelling the village of al-Qubeir. Then they raided it with buses full of Shabeehas, militias who come from the village of Aseelah and other villages loyal to the regime.
The regime forces and Shabeehas opened fire randomly on the residents of the village of Mazra’at al-Qubeir, including men, women and children. They led men outside the houses and slaughtered many of them with knives. They also burned more than 21 bodies to obscure evidence of the crime. They abducted 37 bodies so that the international observers cannot see them and draw attention.
It is worth mentioning that the village of al-Qubeir is administratively affiliated to the town of Ma’arzaf with is affiliated to Mhardeh region. The village consists of about 20 houses, and most of the residents are relatives from the same family. Relatives of the victims confirmed 60 names. Most of the victims are from one family, including 10 women and 9 children. Search for survivors, and attempts to confirm the names of the rest of the victims, is still ongoing, but the area is still fully besieged amid communications blackout and power cut.
**WARNING: THE VIDEO BELOW CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES**
The video shows some of the victims of the massacre, including young children and women.
The video below is an interview conducted by an activist with a mother who lost her children and relatives to the Al-Qubeir massacre in Hama. She survived the massacre and is now telling her story; international observers and Arab investigation committees are in contact with her. In the video she affirms that the Syrian regime’s army, in cooperation with security forces Shabeehas, have perpetrated this massacre which is a crime against humanity.
Syrian Network for Human Rights calls on the international community to take urgent and immediate measures to place pressure on the Syrian regime to grant international investigations committees access to examine the circumstances of the massacre. The Syrian regime is obscuring evidence of the massacre by burning some bodies and abducting others. This explains why the country has not given access to international observers to see the site of the massacre until now.
Summary of the testimony given by this mother:
There were about 25 families in this village. When the regime’s forces and shabeehas came, we were inside our houses. They opened machinegun fire, blew up and shelled houses with residents inside. Moreover, they stabbed and slaughtered children by knives and choppers. Then they burned them. People say that shabeehas came from the neighbouring villages of Aseeleh, Twaini and Tal Skeen. They came by 3 buses and a tank. Only 5 or 6 people, including 3 men and 2 women, have survived the massacre. They slaughtered my children by knives. The message I want to send to the world is that the regime’s army and militias have slaughtered our men and children, and may God help us.
Videos and Story Courtesy of:
Syrian Network for Human Rights – Report on the Massacre of Mazra’at Al-Qubeir – 11 June 2012
While Assad and his ilk are busy carving up Syria, even as the world watches on in horror and disbelief, both fake and sincere, the challenge ahead for Syria’s opposition groups is to conjure a plan for keeping the rest of the country together. Perhaps a plan can hasten the decision for intervention, without which the future looks bleak.
The killing will not stop unless it is stopped. We are now standing a breath away from full-blown genocide, because world leaders failed to act last year. By acting now they could still prevent genocide, but the wounds that have already been carved in our souls will take decades to heel. And if they failed to act still, then the blood is on their hands too.
In Bastana al-Dyuna, the video-grapher captures the minute a shell fell on a residential house and its explosion.
**WARNING: THE VIDEO BELOW CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES**
Hama| Kafr Zaita
Six bodies of victims, only one of whom was identified, have been documented in Kafr Zaita city in Rural Hama; they were discovered in the streets and houses of Kafr Zaita after the regime’s army and security forces withdrew from there. Prior to this, there was a total communications blackout in the city.
In this video, made by a girl, security forces plant explosive charge near Al-Hurani hospital so that they can later claim that armed gangs planted them. One of security forces personnel says clearly that they have planted the explosive charge in this place and they will carry out its explosion.
Protesters at Aleppo University run through the streets as security forces opened up fire on them.
52 confirmed casualties killed by the regime in Syria on Thursday, 7 June 2012
Damascus and rural Damascus: 11
Deir Ezzor: 1
122 confirmed casualties killed by the regime in Syria on Wednesday, 6 June 2012.
Damascus and rural Damascus: 7
Deir Ezzor: 6
Videos and Statistics Courtesy of:
Syrian Network for Human Rights – Casualty Report – 7 June 2012
Syrian Network for Human Rights – Violations Report – 7 June 2012
Syrian Network for Human Rights – Casualty Report – 6 June 2012
Syrian Network for Human Rights – Violations Report – 6 June 2012
From the very beginning of the revolution, the Assads have been the only party that had plans and contingency plans, and they are sticking to them. It seems we may not have to wait for long before an all-out cut-down-the-tall-trees moment comes in many mixed communities that the Assads want to see cleansed of their Sunni inhabitants. This is the story of a genocide that could have been averted.