Talk:Al-Duvair massacre

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Image from the a desecrated church in Duweir, via Syria Report

On May 27, 2013 it was reported the rebel forces in Homs (FSA or other unsure) attacked a small Christian village, al-Duweir/Duvair (Arabic): الدوير, in the northwest fringe of Homs city. There was a massacre and a mass flight, with an unknown death toll perhaps no higher than 40, though initial reports said "Armed Rebels Massacre Entire Population." There has not been as much information as usual about this incident, but we have below a partial record to help understand.

First Thoughts/Last Thoughts

The first thought I have, as this remains unsubstantiated, coming hours after the Christian European decision to perhaps arm the rebels - is "what's with the timing?" I suspect this first thought will cross many minds, wondering why now, and thence, were they framed? And the rebels will be saying of course, that's why none of us did do that. Now, al-Nusra/al-Qaeda would thank/warn/taunt "us" that way, they just have that arrogance and flair - but no sane rebel commander would order such a thing - so the regime/Shabiha of course committed this to frame them. Or maybe Al-Qaeda framed the regime for framing the rebels to get the rebels weapons Nusra will collect its debt by taking half of ... First thought (rebels framed) + "witnesses" proving it = last thoughts about the same as first, but seemingly better-informed. That is, IF anything happened. So far, it could be an Iranian performance art piece, with the next step being to say "no, just kidding. But that's the kind of thing that could happen with the weapons you guys want to send, and you damn well know that." --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:17, 28 May 2013 (UTC)


The armed rebels affiliated to the Free Syrian Army (FSA) raided the Christian-populated al-Duvair village in Reef (outskirts of) Homs near the border with Lebanon today and massacred all its civilian residents, including women and children.
The Syrian army, however, intervened and killed tens of terrorists during heavy clashes which are still going on in al-Duvair village.

(pretty deriviative reports come in from Shia/Hezbollah type sites: ABNA, Islamic Invitation Turkey, Uprooted Palestinian, etc. The Examiner. More substantive reports must be forthcoming. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:54, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

To sum up, no one has picked up the story. Shows just how important activists and massacre pr0n are. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 12:28, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
I arrived to the "truth" confirmed information about getting a major massacre last night in village "Doueir" Alchristahfa Homs, which was occupied by gangs of "victory" and "free" on the tenth of the month. The village is located on the course of the day Orontes and less than 2 km from the north-western suburbs of the city of Homs.
Sources field that dozens of militants from the "victory" and "OE", many of them insurgents, "Chechnya" and "Turkmen", raided the houses of the village last night and أمعنوا were killed and تهجيرا its people after accusing them of being "شبيحة" and "Awaanah" (informants) of power and the army and "give them information about the movements of insurgents." According to unconfirmed information, the at least forty people had been killed and wounded, while the rest fled under cover of darkness, including facilitating their pajamas to areas of "Christian" and "top" nearby.--Caustic Logic (talk) 23:14, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
  • SyrPer: (howdid we miss that?)
next day "AL-DUWAYR and AL-MUHAAJIREEN VILLAGES restored to normal and complete security after vicious FSA massacre of Christians at the former. It was by pure luck that SAA forces were around the area to prevent further killing of Christians by JOHN MC CAIN'S SAVAGES." Nothing further, it seems.

12 Jun 2013: Syria Report has new information and photos! -- Petri Krohn (talk) 03:52, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

According to sources, around 350 heavily armed militants entered the village, broke into homes and assembled residents in the main square of the village where they were executed. The final death toll is not known but photos show severe damage to property in the village.
Syrian army sources said that they reached the village after the massacre, resulting in clashes with militants. Sources also reported that Turkish and Chechen extremists were among the perpetrators. Chechen militants are known to have kidnapped two Christian bishops in Aleppo earlier this year.
Excellent add there. There's been like zero new information. Interesting to see no one's even sure of the death toll. Photos: fascinating.Horizontal shelling of walls like at Houla, Aqrab, or Qubeir. Locking the door don't help when they're blowing walls open. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:34, 13 June 2013 (UTC)


Nothing new here. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 08:21, 1 June 2013 (UTC)


Location of Al-Douair (ALDOUAIR) inside Homs Ring Road according to Wikimapia (via TruthSyria)

Duvair seems like a French transliteration of the name. There is something called Umm ad-Dawali northwest of Lake Homs, here on Wikimapia. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 11:22, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

Best guess I've seen yet. I'll go with it until there's reason to do otherwise. Said to be sore losers from Qusayr, so must be not too far from there. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:54, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
A tweet, Syriancommando citing but correcting Fars News: "#Duwair #Homs: Terrorist opposition massacre entire population of Christian village in #Syria" --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:19, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

There is this Facebook post by Radio Free Syria from March 30: -- Petri Krohn (talk) 12:52, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

Al Duwair, northern rural Homs, 30-03-2013: The village of Al Duwair is under savage bombardment by regime tanks.
From: Syrian Revolution Against Bashar Assad - Al Waer

Going from the Syrian commando's tip, I have to trump your guess. Looks more like Tartous province than Homs, but still not far, 25-30 km northwest. Duwayr al Mallu`ah, 5 km nw of the "valley of the Christians." --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:55, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

From HWR last year: -- Petri Krohn (talk) 13:11, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

Human Rights Watch has gathered new evidence of ongoing cluster bomb attacks by Syria’s air force and has confirmed them through interviews with victims, other residents and activists who filmed the cluster munitions, as well as analysis of 64 videos and also photos showing weapon remnants of 10 new cluster bomb strikes in or near the towns of Salkeen and Kfar Takharim in the Northern governorate of Idlib; Eastern al-Buwayda, Talbiseh, Rastan, and Qusayr in Homs governorate; al-Bab in Aleppo governorate; al-Duwair and al-Salheya in Deir al-Zor governorate; and Eastern Ghouta, near Damascus.

From Twitter, March 10, 2013 -- Petri Krohn (talk) 13:22, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

NMSyria ‏@NMSyria
BREAKING: The Free Syrian Army has liberated the village of Al-Duwair in the suburbs of #Homs after heavy clashes there.

Followup says it is here on Wikimapia. It is unlikely this is the place. Looks more like a junkyard next to the Homs Central Prison. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 14:02, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

Jeez, confusion. I started with Arabic sources. TruthSyria has a map, showing the location here, Content above. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:12, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

This must be the place. The site is dominated by something called Monastery of St. Elijah. (here on Wikimapia: "JESUS BE WITH US") -- Petri Krohn (talk) 05:45, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
I'll just add a synopsis of the extended Arabic notes attached to the place on Wikimapia. It was beautiful, but is now polluted, smells bad, has sewage problems, and the people there have all been thinking of leaving. An old proverb is mentioned but not stated, and the writer says "I have been told this parable in the past because the population of these villages Quttaineh and Doueir are Christians from the Greek Orthodox community only at the beginning of the twentieth century tried to Western churches, Catholic and Protestant access to these villages but they did not succeed told them this word that he returned to Alson because again after that destroyed nature in these villages as mentioned above. Doueir village owes its people to Christianity and the Prophet Elijah Monastery jealous ......" (??) --Caustic Logic (talk) 08:30, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
Well, to be fair, there's a plant - sewage treatment? Paper pulp? just south of town. Giant vats, either way, will often stink (Lewiston, Idaho famously does). It's the whole tone of that description that's creepy. They were planning on leaving, which is unusual, and then rebels made them leave. Is there a way to say when that description was added? Might be a clue. --Caustic Logic (talk) 22:35, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

Similar Places Elsewhere

There is also a Saint Elijah's Monastery near Mosul in Iraq, also called Dair Mar Elia or "دير مار إيليا" in Arabic. (Google search in Arabic) Great video here, with authentic helo sounds.

Searching in Arabic produces this Facebook page: Trip to the Mar Elias Monastery in Syria \ Nader | Facebook (The content has become unaccessible, but here is a Google cache with images.) Does not seem to be the same place. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 05:45, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
esyria says there is a Monastery of St. Elijah some 40 km from Homs. This does not like the right place either. This source says it is southwest of Homs, near the Lebanese border. Not a very healthy place for Christians either. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 05:54, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
Yes, near border means near al-Qusayr. Voice of Russia has this report on May 12: Militants attack St. Elijah monastery in Syria. There were videos around of a destroyed monastery at thet time. Was it this place. The attack might warrant its own article. In fact we have hardly anything on al-Qusayr -- Petri Krohn (talk) 08:44, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
The place on the map is just north-west of Haswiyeh, even more on the outskirts of Homs and is directly bordering the fairly new wikimapia label Al-Houla Plain. Likely fairly easy to reach for a retaliation attack for our friends from Houla where the situation seems to be unchanged, while their comrades on the south of the lake are losing it. --CE (talk) 08:51, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
VerifiedNews claims that Talbiseh / Talbeesa on the main road halfway between Homs and Ar Rastan was held by rebels until last week. See here. The Syrian Army also made major progress inside Homs. I do not think these killers came from al-Qusayr as claimed. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 09:53, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
I don't think that was really claimed. I thought maybe, but FARS said it was rebel revenge, general sense, for losing Qusayr. Homs area, right by Haswiyeh, plenty places they could launch from, depending where they've been rooted from and to most recently. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:50, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
Now liberated: OTV: Post-Liberation Qusayr & FSA's Desecration of Qusayr's Churches -- Petri Krohn (talk) 02:47, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
There's also a St. Elias church 80km south of Damascus which has likely nothing to do with this, found here. On that page there's a link to an interview with Sister Agnes-Mariam (8MB, 18min) dated June 8, 2012 which I just listened to hoping that it contains something additional re:Houla. That's not the case but interestingly enough the date of the interview was the last day of an ultimatum for the Christian population of Al-Qusair to leave (after the "rebels" had finally taken over the city completely the month before). She speaks of around 7000 Christians living in the city which would make the percentage of Christian residents much higher than the 10% the wikipedia article gives. Her expressed fear for her and her monastery's well-being was at least in part warranted as I lately heard that the place in Qara was damaged if not destroyed (while she is alive and kicking). :o(
Nothing about this Al-Duvair thing on --CE (talk) 06:36, 29 May 2013 (UTC)