Talk:Hatlah massacre

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The Hatlah Massacre occurred on June 12, 2013, when rebel forces attacked the Shi'ite areas of a mixed (but Sunni-majority) village just across the river from Deir Ezzour, in Syria's desert northeast. A reported sixty (estimated) Shia were killed, although it was disputed how many were fighters who died repelling the attack and how many, if any, were massacred civilians. The best picture seems to be about 45 defenders and 15 civilians. The assault was accompanied by videos of rebels clearly showing the utmost sectarian animosity behind the assault, and it was followed by further violence, including the destruction of Shia shrines. The town was apparently emptied of its Shia populace by this successful cleansing operation. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:50, 22 June 2013 (UTC) and --Caustic Logic (talk) 04:50, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

Front Page?

Petri, what do you think about having a front page once there's a good enough summary to fill it in? Aside from video analysis (not as important as usual, I suspect, but still well worth doing), we're getting pretty close to that point. Maybe this is a good spot too for general disucssion of what this sub-investigation needs, or whatever. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:30, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

We would first have to put up something into the article. I have tried to collect some stuff in Category:Active talk pages. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 14:29, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
Not sure what you mean "gather some stuff." I did mean to tag this as active, thanks for remembering to. I figure there's a bit more work to do, then one of us can undo the re-direct, start with the intro, mention of talk page for detail, and soon after, I could whip up a summary from these sections, condensed to more readable. Also at the moment, not a ton of talk or extra detail anyway - let's wait 'til there'll be a bigger difference. --Caustic Logic (talk) 05:53, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

Creating the re-direct page helps, Petri, thanks. I should have thought of that. Eventually a front-page summary would be good, but at least it appears on app pages now, can be linked and found normally. Was a pain before. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:01, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

Sources

I would love to see the AFP report on this. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 05:54, 12 June 2013 (UTC)

Note: I've seen no sign or claim, yet, that there was any false flag involved here. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:40, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

This will clearly need a page, but not by me just now. SOHR Facebook post with two videos. [3] Quick search shows no other news yet. People will be shocked. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:43, 12 June 2013 (UTC)

Oops, there's news.
The Syrian government called the killings ... a massacre of civilians, saying that 30 died. Antigovernment activists put the toll at 60 and said most of the dead were pro-government militia fighters who had attacked rebels one day earlier. But some of the activists nonetheless condemned the Hatlah attack as destructive revenge that showed the powerlessness of moderates among the mostly Sunni rebels to rein in extremists.[6]
...the Syrian opposition needs to intervene, through Deir Ezzor representatives, to prevent more killing. [7]
Filed by reporter Eslam al-Rihani, Manar had a "correspondent in Syria," if not the Hatlah area, who heard that a force of More than 10000 militiamen," Al-Nusra Front and FSA stormed the town with their "different types of light and medium weapons." [8]
The terrorists projected their anti-aircraft fires at civilians directly, and executed the children prior to adults, using all kinds of murder. Of the awful actions they committed was the slaughter of a child who hasn’t attained the age of six. They also executed a woman, "Wedad al-Badrani", by an anti-aircraft projectile in front of her family who were later executed. Omar Hammadi and Issa Khalaf al-Hilal, whose ages are beyond 85, were also executed, not to mention all the brutal massacres committed against entire families and burning the homes of unarmed civilians. [8]

There are other details there on the victims, etc. and these will be incorporated below.

Syrian and Kuwaiti killers entered the village of Hatlah on Tuesday, June 11th, marked out Shiite houses for destruction and proceeded to burn them down. Ibrahim Said, a local cleric, his wife and two girls of 4 and 2 were taken out and butchered to death. The leader of the gang also called on Sunnis in Kuwait to kill their Shiite neighbours. The video, visible on June 12th, has been censored by U Tube but can be viewed on Liveleak.[2]
Has it really? Sounds like the same video everyone's seen. One was pulled altogether for sick content, but this one probably just had the one posting deleted for whatever reason. --Caustic Logic (talk) 08:01, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
According to reports, hundreds of the remaining inhabitants of the town were abducted by the terrorists, who call themselves the Al Mut’aa Brigade. The location of the abductees is currently unknown.
In another video posted on the Syria News website, a small crowd of protestors in the town of Al Mayadeen celebrate the mass murder of the Shiite citizens of Hatlah." [9]

Hatlah Massacre Duh-Bunked

YallaSouriya: Important (media ignore LCCs & local groups at cost of own credibility)! Hatla: fabrication of a massacre #Syria @rallaf By Paola Pisi. What a doozy. The SOHR, he says, uses "sometimes scarcely credible statistics ... almost never accompanied by any documentation, not even by the victims’ names (as opposed to what serious organizations do, but they are not taken into account by the Western press) and the SOHR has been repeatedly caught in error..." Indeed. Pisi says "especially in the attempt to attribute to rebels, or at least unidentified authors, crimes that are clearly and demonstrably committed by the Assad regime." Mmm, perhaps not so much true. "If true, the massacre of Hatla would clearly be an episode with no precedents and horrible and would cast a dark light on a part of rebel fighters. " True but for the "no precedents" part. Specifics are addressed: it goes about like "some videos don't show 60 dead, so that's probably made up." Some rant against the SOHR, rightly noting there's no massacre reflected in their daily death toll, "thousands of fighters" is questioned, and fairly enough, etc.

The photo of a slaughtered child was not mentioned, except a suggestion (not illustrated) that "old photographs of victims made by the Syrian regime" were included with some reports. The ranting cleric Ajmi in Kuwait, bragging of the "slaughter" of a cleric and his son, has to be handled carefully. Check this out:

Other evidence produced by those who claim there has been a sectarian massacre in Hatla is a video showing the speech before the Lebanese embassy in Kuwait City by a Kwaiti Sunni extremist preacher, the Sheikh Shafi Al Ajmi , who, after a series of verbal attacks against Hezbollah and having said that in Hatla “bad people” were killed, he says (to Hezbollah):
How is it known he wasn't speaking more so past them to the whole Shia world? --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:56, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
“Today we have killed one of your symbols, Hussein, who lived in Hatla, and his son. “ According to some commentators, that Hussein would be a member of the local Shiite clergy but lacks any confirmation. I even doubt this Kuwaiti preacher refers to a real person.

AP's El-Deeb translated that same phrase to Hatla's "religious leader." [2] --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:56, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

In fact, Hezbollah has repeatedly presented the battle of Qusayr, and in general the Syrian conflict, as a re-enactment and revenge for the battle of Karbala, in which the Imam Hussein – the universal symbol and center of worship of the Shia faith – and his son Ali al-Akbar died. Probably, the Kuwaiti preacher means: “Today we, the Sunnis, won again and we killed again in Hatla your Hussein, who you wanted revenge. We are winning the new Battle of the Kerbala. “ It seems strange that the Kuwaiti preacher, speaking from Kuwait, may assume that his audience knows a certain Hussein of Hatla, and especially it seems quite unlikely that he points an unknowm member of the Shiite clergy in a village near Deir Izzor as “one of the symbols” of Hezbollah. “
No, as a symbol, again despite what Pisi wants to believe, of the sect they refer to as dogs and rejectionists and enemies of God. That town's religious leader. "with knives." --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:56, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
... in a video about the taking of Hatla you see one of the rebels carrying a big picture, partially destroyed, of Imam Hussein.
Maybe they slaughtered the picture, and its son, and so they're winning the battle? --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:56, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
In any case, even assuming that the preacher of Kuwait refers to two real people and knows something of what happened in Hatla and didn’t just read the news on media, the possible killing of Hussein and his son can not be an evidence – and not even a clue – of a massacre on sectarian basis, especially as Shafi Al Ajmi says nothing about the circumstances of the death of the two.
Uh, except to say that "we" slaughtered them, as a circumstance of overriding security forces in Hatlah. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:56, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
LOLWUT? The SOHR is known for lying for the regime? What is this person smoking? --CE (talk) 12:52, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
It's fun stuff. Another bit: "Osama Suleiman (using the usual pseudonym of Rami Abdul Rahman,) had contacted France 24, which also broadcasts in Arabic, to tell the death of “60 Shiites” as if they were killed for belonging to the sect and not because they were regime militants who had attacked rebel positions." That liar! It was a simple response to attack that happened to be by local Shi'ites. And when Ajmi said "As for tomorrow, we have a date with Nubl and Zahraa [Shia villages in Aleppo] which Hizbollah has come to save, nay. The lions and herose are besieging them," Osama got him to lie. Or, fighters from those towns had just attacked - whoever - and in the same exact way required their targeting by "we" and emptying - by slaughter and terror - of the rejectionists over there. Non-Shia towns are attacked too, just not mentioned in this thing about the non-sectarian re-enactment of Karballa. See, that logic's not so hard to untangle. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:26, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

Videos

Brown Moses has compiled a YouTube playlist with 15 videos.

One of the videos has been deleted by YouTube: This video has been removed as a violation of YouTube's policy on shocking and disgusting content. I tried to find a copy. The best I could ind on-line is this Facebook post by the Eastern Gharriyya Coordination Committee, with the title and description in Arabic. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 02:11, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

بعد تطهير مدينة حطلة من الرجس الشيعي وجه مقاتل من ريف دير الزور نداااء الى دولة الكويت : 11/6/2013
‏مقاتل من قبيلة العكيدات وجه نداء الى دولة الكويت بعد ماتم التحقيق مع احد الاذناب للشيعة وكشف عن التمويل من دولة الكويت من شيعة الكويت‏
After clearing city Htalh of abomination Shiite fighters face of Deir ez-Zor countryside Ndaaae to Kuwait 11/06/2013
Fighter from the tribe Aekadat face appeal to the State of Kuwait after what has been an investigation with one الاذناب of the Shiites and detect the financing of the State of Kuwait Kuwait Shiites
Rebels posting videos of their own crimes so disgusting Youtube pulled it? I remember the manled, naked 12-year-old girl with a dozen or more stab and slice wounds still bleeding, an arm and a leg nearly severed by possible shelling (probably not), her screaming face half-gone on a half-crushed head. Government crime it said, not sick heads-on-spikes terror video. Must document. (Homs, early February 2012, go figure) Anyway, it being pulled makes me want to see it, but I couldn't find anything either (I tried Live Leak a bit). --Caustic Logic (talk) 22:04, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

I'm finally looking at these videos, same Brown Moses list you and [Hassan Hassan http://www.hhassan.com/2013/06/rebels-carry-out-setarian-cleansing-in.html] cited. First, the second video on the list is also now gone: "private video." Petri, what can you share about that one? For the other 13, names and links and perhaps notes):--Caustic Logic (talk) 06:36, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

  1. لواء الحسم يشارك بمعركة حطلة ضد الرافضة في ريف دير الزور مدينة الشحيل (Brigade decisive taking part a Htalh battle against Shiites in the countryside of Deir al-Zour city Aahal)
  2.  ?? (private)
  3. تحرير حطلة "Edit Htalh" (liberating Hatlah)
  4. - الميادين ــ فرحة الاهالي بتحرير حطلة من الشبيحة الشيعة 11 6 2013 - (Fields delight locals liberation Htalh from Shiite shabeeha 11 6 2013)
  5. الارهابي الوهابي شافي العجمي الكويتي يتلذذ بنحر طفل في قرية حطله في دير الزور (The terrorist the Wahhabi Shafi Al-Ajmi the Kuwaiti delights in Bnhr a child in the village of Htalh in the monastery of Al-Zour)
  6. لقاء مع مصاب على يد الشيعة في حطلة (A meeting with the injured at the hands Shiites in Htalh of the)
  7. جرحى الاشتباكات بين الجيش الحر وقرية حطلة الشيعية (Wounded in clashes between the army and free the Shiite village Htalh)
  8. جرحى الاشتباكات بين الجيش الحر وقرية حطلة الشيعية (Wounded in clashes between the army and free the Shiite village Htalh)
  9. موكب ابطال لواء جعفر الطيار بعد القضاء على فلول الجيش الوطني في حطلة (Champions parade Ja'far al-Tayyar Brigade after the elimination of the remnants of the national army in Htalh)
  10. العثور على مستودع أسلحة وأقنعة واقية في حطلة (Find a weapons depot and protective masks in Htalh)
  11.  ?? (deleted)
  12. بيان تشكيل لواء الحسم بريف دير الزور الشرقي بقيادة ابو محمد الملحم العكيدي 10/6/2013 (Statement of formation of decisiveness Brigade Brive eastern Deir ez-Zor, led by Abu Mohammed Al-Melhem Aqidi 06/10/2013)
  13. تطهير بلدة حطلة بالكامل على يد ابطال الجيش الحر من ميلشيات الشيعة (Fully town Htalh, cleansing at the hands of the army free of Champions Shiite militias)
  14. قائد لواء المجاهدين يكشف عن وثائق تدريب الشيعة في بلدة حطلة (Mujahideen Brigade commander reveals training documents Shiites in the town Htalh,)
  15. الاشتباكات الاعنف بين لواء المجاهدين في سبيل الله وميليشيات الشيعة بدير الزور حطلة (Fiercest clashes between Mujahideen Brigade in the way of Allah and Shiite militias in Deir al-Zour Htalh)

At least some of these could be placed on the map easily enough. If I see a specific reason to do so, I might try. --Caustic Logic (talk) 06:36, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

Arabi Souri / Syrianews.cc, 25 July: -- Petri Krohn (talk) 07:15, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

Location?

Hatlah in Arabic: حطلة (per ABNA Arabic anyway) --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:01, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

Hatla is listed on Wikimapia here.

The description states:

small shia - sunni mixed village
Location of a battle / possible massacre on 12.6.2013
www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/12/us-syria-crisis-kill...

-- Petri Krohn (talk) 12:24, 12 June 2013 (UTC)

Easy. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:40, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

Prior Developments/Reasons

Hassan Hassan wrote that Hatlah is populated mostly by members of the large Baghara tribe, and the village at large, plus a neighboring village Al Hussainiya, had converted to Shi'ism starting in the late 1990s, and claimed "One of the prominent "callers" for conversion in Hatla is known as Hajj Yasin and Ali Al Musa Mulla Eid (who is a university graduate, said to be chased by rebel groups). Salafi web forums often discuss the spread of Shia Islam in Deir Ezzor, with one describing the trend as "painful"." [7]

Al-Manar: "the Hatla residents tried to resist the attack after fortifying themselves in one of the village neighborhoods, and clashed with the terrorist takfirist militiamen more than once." [8] Al-Manar: "The gunmen announced that they carried out the attack under the pretext of the fighters’ arrival of the Syrian Arab Army at the village. However, the al-Nusra Front stated that the attack was a revenge for the “slaughtered al-Qusayr,” as they expressed." [8] It should be noted that, while there was prolific fear of anti-Sunni massacres in the decisive Qusair campaign by the "Alawite regime" and its Hezbollah allies, these were never even reported, let alone actually occurring. But they still can justify revenge massacre that are deadly real, in some twisted minds. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:26, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

Good news: this isn't how the rebels really are - they were forced into this. Bloomberg News, May 21:

Communities inhabited by Shiite Muslims and President Bashar al-Assad’s Alawite minority will be “wiped off the map” if the strategic city of Al-Qusair in central Syria falls to government troops, rebel forces said.
“We don’t want this to happen, but it will be a reality imposed on everyone,” Colonel Abdel-Hamid Zakaria, a spokesman for the Free Syrian Army in Turkey, told Al-Arabiya television yesterday. “It’s going to be an open, sectarian, bloody war to the end.” [10]

Assad's fault. --Caustic Logic (talk) 21:44, 12 June 2013 (UTC)

Other reasons have been given: The New York Times heard "a rebel spokesman, Omar Abu Layla, said the fighters had captured militiamen who told them they were planning to attack rebel leaders." [6] More generally, Associated Press' Bassem Mroue heard from activist "Thaer al-Deiry" who "added that the village has been under opposition control for more than a year but some of its Shiite residents recently started collecting arms apparently to fight along government troops." [1] But the NYT also heard "Ragheb Bashir, an antigovernment activist from Deir al-Zour" who "condemned the attack on the Shiites, explaining “that he had visited Hatlah many times since the uprising began and that the small Shiite population had grown increasingly anxious. “They became armed because they were afraid,” he said. “My advice was, ‘do not attack us, and we won’t either.’” [6]

They reportedly countered that advice: SOHR director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP "Armed Shiite villagers attacked a nearby rebel post yesterday and killed two. Today (Tuesday) rebels attacked the village and took control of it..." [4] Activist "Thaer al-Deiry" told AP the attack was in retaliation for "an attack Monday by Shiites from Hatla that killed four rebels." [1] Abu Lilah, Free Syrian Army spokesman, said in an interview with Zaid Benjamin that the dead were "not civilians but armed men who had attacked FSA fighters and killed some. He said the armed Shia fighters worked with the regime to retake a vital check point near Deir Ezzor. Four fighters from Liwa al-Qadisiya, which controls the check point, were killed." He said they worked with a group called "the National Army," which "seeks to stoke tensions in the area by spreading news that Shia fighters from Iraq and Lebanon are in the province." Luckily, Syrian, Kuwaiti, and other Sunnis were there to calm things. "The FSA then decided to raid village and capture the fighters." [7]

However, as the Angry Arab news service noted: "the notion that a small group of Shi`ites living among Sunnis decide out of the blue to start attacking the sectarian rebels is just not believable. ... to attack the Sunni rebels when the latter groups are most angry: like about the retreat of fighters in Qusayr or the fall of Qusayr recently." [11]

The Kuwait Connection

SANA cited the Foreign Ministry, in a letter sent to the UN Secretary General and Security Council, speaking of Hatlah as a "Jabhat al-Nusra massacre, instigated by one of the sheikhs of salafis in Kuwait called Shafi al-Ajami who is involved in funding and sending thousands of jihadists into Syria." [12] AP, El Deeb:

In a video of a Sunni Kuwaiti cleric, Shafi al-Ajmi, hails the fall of Hatla and promises that other Shiite villages in the northern province of Aleppo will follow. "Today we took Hatla village and we slaughtered its religious leader," he tells a cheering crowd that raised banners calling for the expulsion of the Lebanese ambassador. He was apparently speaking in Kuwait. "Like you slaughtered our women and children in Qusair, we slaughtered one of your symbols ... and his son." [2]

Hassan Hassan gave a longer quote:

"The reality is what [Hizbollah] will see not what it hears. We are not among those who say and do not do. Today, we took the village of Hatla and slaughtered the bad ones with knives as you slaughtered out wives and children in Qusayr, we slaughtered one of your symbols, Hussain, who lived in Hatla, today we slaughtered him and we slaughtered his son with him. This is today. As for tomorrow, we have a date with Nubl and Zahraa [villages in Aleppo] which Hizbollah has come to save, nay. The lions and herose are besieging them. I swear by God that Syria will be a burying ground for Hizbollah."[7]

Did I see on video rebels complaining about discovered evidence proving Kuwaiti support for local Shi'ites, and/or demanding Kuwait now move against its own Shi'ites, or else be guilty of .... whatever got them so pissed to do this massacre? Maybe I was confused, but there's some other Kuwait thing at the rebel video end, I think, worth noting here in time. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:50, 22 June 2013 (UTC) AP, El Deeb:

One fighter then addresses the camera, accusing Shiites in the Gulf state of Kuwait of financing the Shiite fighters from the village. "People of Kuwait, Sunni people of Kuwait, you will be held responsible if you don't kill the Shiites in your country," the fighter, with a black al-Qaida type headband, said, explaining that signs of Shiite Kuwaiti funds were found in the village. "Help your religion, not necessarily the Syrian people." [2]

Hassan Hassan:

In the video, one of the rebel fighters who murdered the civilians claimed that Kuwaiti Shia were behind the conversion of the village. He sent a message to Kuwaiti Sunni to exterminate all Shia in Kuwait otherwise "they are responsible in front of God" for failing to protect their religion. He also called for financial aid from Kuwait Sunnis to their brothers in the area. [7]

Hatla Massacre Criminals Terminated

SyriaNews reports:

Yesterday, July 24, 2013, social media sites promoting Al-Qaeda & Wahhabism mourned the killing of Saud Fayez Al-Houeila Al-Ajami along with 30 of his mostly Kuwaiti followers from the FSA, the Free From Syrians Army, near Idleb, north west of Syria by SAA, the Syrian Arab Army. The killed terrorist was the head of Qumam Health Institute in Kuwait, the Wahhabi sites mourning him were proud of his financing of the terrorists in Syria, recruiting radical terrorists from all countries to operate in Syria under the FSA umbrella and its Nusra Front branch.

Good job, SAA. --CE (talk) 10:44, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

And that asshole cleric sponsoring the slaughter lost a relative, it appears from the group leader's name. And a health clinic has lost a level-headed surgeon, died during one of his more ambitious operations. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:06, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

Hypocratic oath doesn't hold any sway in Kuwait, I suppose. Takes the bite out of any 'hypocrite' comments that mention might spur. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:03, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

Rebels Report The Attack

Abu Lilah said, as Hassan Hassan wrote, "the number of fighters wanted by the FSA is over 265, a "large number of them have been killed". He said a few of the fighters have been captured by the opposition fighters and are being investigated about the National Army and other information." [7]

The Opposition Local Coordinating Committees (LCC), Informed by front-line fighters, should have the most direct tally of dead human being, counted by the killers themselves. In Deir Ezzor, the FSA has liberated Hatle village from regime forces, and bombed one of thugs’ centers in Rashdieh neighborhood which led to killing of a big number of regime forces and injuring dozens." Video: video: FSA Liberate Hatla, Deir Ezzor. Combined daily martyr toll for Deir Ezzor: 4. [13] (19 were killed the day before, in their tally, because "the FSA has liberated the Industrial Institution and the Industrial High-school, and also destroyed several regime forces’ armored vehicles in cities and towns across Syria.")

In contrast the LCC's report of many dead soldiers in the center bombing of "Rashdieh neighborhood" (Ar Rashidiya district, Wikimapia), the SCDV lists one regime fatality in Deir Ezzor in these days -a single unidentified man of unidentified rank killed in a building explosion in "Rushdieh." They also list none of the rebel fighters, Shia defenders, killed or missing civilians of the Hatlah massacre. Mammoth blind spot. (see below) --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:18, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

Hassan Hassan cited FSA spokesman Abu Lilah that the village of Hatlah was, immediately afterwards anyway, "under full control of the FSA for its strategic significance." [7]

Attacking Parties

Hassan Hassan named numerous parties in an article of running updates. Calling on declarations on video and other sources, he reported:

A rebel armed group calling itself "As-Sadiq Al Ameen" has committed what appears to be a massacre against Shia civilians in Deir Ezzor. ... Another video shows fighters from Jund Al Rahman rebel group were also involved, along with "several other groups" ... Omar Abu Lilah, spokesman of the Free Syrian Army in the eastern region, (in an interview with Zaid Benjamin...) said many groups took part in the operation, including Jabhat al-Nusra whose fighters blew out some of the Shia houses. ... According to Zaid, the rebel group that led the operation is "Liwa Mu'ta", which is close to Jabhat al-Nusra. [7]

Victims

Fighters vs. Civilian Deaths

This appears to be an area of contention. Many sources say the dead were mostly or perhaps all fighting men, while Syrian government-supporting sources tend to portray it as more a massacre of "mostly women and children." State broadcaster SANA reported:

Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said that Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist groups perpetrated on June 12, 2013 a massacre in Hatla village in Deir Ezzor against scores of citizens, most of them women and children because they refused to support their criminal acts. [12]

AP reported"In Damascus, a government official said the rebels "carried out a massacre against villagers in which older people and children were killed." The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media." [1]

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported:

Rebels also killed several inhabitants (civilians and combatants) of the Hatla village. It is worth noting that such atrocities were carried out on a sectarian basis. This came after rebel fighters took hold of the village yesterday after clashes and bombardment which led to the death of 60 civilians and fighters from Hatla. [3]

Citing SOHR head Rami Abdelrahman, AFP said "At least 10 rebels were also killed in the fighting on Tuesday, and Shiite residents of Hatlah were fleeing following the violence, Abdul Rahman said." As for the proportion, he said the killed were "60 Shiite residents, most of them fighters." [4] Citing AFP, Iranian ABNA came out somehow reporting SOHR "60 Shiite residents, most of them villagers." [5] Clearly AFP wins that dispute.

Al-Manar took the line of emphasizing civilian deaths, but admitted that "opposition websites admitted that around 33 terrorists were killed and dozens wounded during clashes, among them was chief of what they called “Ammar al-Hammad" battalion." [8] And therefore, a good number of killed Shi'ites would be the people who carried out that deadly defense. In fact, they cite only 14 specific civilian victims (see below).

These classes of report don't necessarily contradict each other. They could between them describe the same basic breakdown of about 45 fighters killed in the defense and only about 15 civilians. Sources report that there was a mass flight of civilians during the attack, as the defenders put up stiff resistance. It's likely more civilians would have died if it hadn't been for that fight stalling the rebel advance. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:50, 22 June 2013 (UTC) and --Caustic Logic (talk) 04:50, 23 June 2013 (UTC) Consider Madressa Imam Sajjad's report (in a comment) that "Families from Hatla fled when the Massacre happened with only their clothes , some were barefoot , they even didnt have time to get their shoes or get their IDs and documents , which were all burnt with their houses , even now they are in a moderately safe area , but not completely safe ,suffering the daily severe pains of displacing." [14]

And besides those who died is the possibility of others taken captive to abuse, trade with, or execute later on. Based on unclear information, Colmáin reported "'According to reports" (unspecified), hundreds of the remaining inhabitants of the town were abducted by the terrorists, who call themselves the Al Mut’aa Brigade. The location of the abductees is currently unknown. [9] Madressa Imam Sajjad reported 120 defenders, all killed, along with the cleric and his son (see below), plus "60 other women and children." Until we get more detail, this should be considered likely to be confusion of reports. But they also specify the attackers "TOOK THE SHIA LADIES AS ( SABAYA ) WAR CAPTIVES." [14] --Caustic Logic (talk) 05:53, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

Civilian Victims

Al-Manar reported "Part of Hatla martyrs," 14 in number, as follows:

  • Sayyed Ibrahim Musa Mullah Eid
  • Taha Hussein Mullah Eid
  • Mohammad Musa Mullah Eid
  • Murtaza Ibrahim Mullah Eid
  • Mustafa Ibrahim Mullah Eid
  • Wedad al-Badrani, Sayyed Eid’s wife
  • Ali Mandil Saleh
  • Basil Mandil Saleh
  • Yasser Mandil Saleh
  • Ma’soom al-Raja, his wife (Batoul) and daughter (2 years)
  • Hajj Omar al-Hamadi (85 years)
  • Hajj Issa Khalaf Al-Hilal (84 years) [8]

The horrible image with Al-Manar's report is “Hussein.jpg” - a young boy with a roughly-hacked throat-chin area, not a recycled image to my knowledge, but not unlike the injuries children often receive from “shelling” in rebel videos. "Hussein" likely refers to Taha Hussein: “The terrorist groups have also kidnapped Sayyed Ibrahim Musa Mullah Eid, a well-known cleric in the town, with his nephew, Taha Hussein Mullah Eid. Few hours later, both victims have been killed in brutal manner.” [8] Just where the image comes from is unclear at the moment. It seems unlikely to be the pulled video, which was apparently rebel-released. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:50, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

Gearóid Ó Colmáin added that "Ibrahim Said, a local cleric, his wife and two girls of 4 and 2 were taken out and butchered to death." [9] This is likely a confused relation of the same Sayyed Ibrahim Musa Mullah Eid, whose wife was killed, but the daughters are less clear; the other Eid names all seem to be male. The Facebook page of "Madressa Imam Sajjad (as) - Syria" shared the horrible photo in larger resolution (that is, not gotten from al-Manar). They reported "the Wahabis rushed savagely and burnt the Hussainia and slaughtered with their knives Agha Syed Ibrahim Issa with his 8 yrears old son (Syed Mujtaba)," and specified that's the boy shown in the photo. [14]

So, with the confusion acknowledged, recall that, as noted above, Kuwaiti extremist cleric and rebellion financier Shafi al-Ajmi admitted with pride how "we slaughtered its religious leader ... and his son." Sarah El Deeb's AP report added that "a pro-Hezbollah Facebook page said the Shiite cleric was missing." [2]--Caustic Logic (talk) 07:03, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

The app. 15-45 civilians-fighters split, mentioned above, is not gospel, but unusually consistent with reports from both sides. It would put SANA's claim that "most of" the sixty dead were "women and children" out the window. Manar lists, it seems, two women and at least two children (with no promise it's a complete list). Even among the civilian dead, it seems that most are men, or male anyway, two of them elderly. But mostly they were part of a specific, prominent, Shia family, and were killed with barbarity and cruelty, and based on their religion, primarily if not exclusively.--Caustic Logic (talk) 04:50, 23 June 2013 (UTC) and --Caustic Logic (talk) 07:03, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

Checking the Syrian Center for Documentation of Violations. They're about as on-the-ball as ever documenting human deaths, meaning not Alawi or Shia. Broad-set list, all martyrs in "Hattla" June 10-13 - 7 total. One death, Irtifaa Joma al-Barre (adult female, "Known as (Um Noor).") reported for the massacre day June 12, killed by "regime`s army shelling." Two rebel fighters killed there the day before, shot by regime forces. The 13th lists three men and a boy (6-year-old nephew of one man) killed by shelling. There are other Deir Ezzor deaths of interest (all in province, June 11-13). A rebel fighter killed June 11 in the other Shia village, Husseiniya (on Wikimapia). A 2-year-old girl Wadaq Aghi was "Martyred by the regime sniper's gunfire at the Siasieh Bridge while her family was trying to cross it, she was buried in Mayadeen." The Siasieh bridge, after its more famous twin was destroyed, is the crossing to Husseinya and the swathe called "the south-eastern sector the Htalh area" and then Hatlah. unidentified adult male died June 12, in hospital in Mayadeen, after being "found wounded on the Siyasieh bridge on 11-6-2013." Died of shooting. Mayadeen is south - Hatlah is along the way. a truck driver killed driving, ID unknown, Husseiniya June 13. Peripheral clues thus point to a violent rebel push across the river and in that direction in the days surrounding the Hatlah massacre, but seem to exclude it -the sixty Shia victims don't appear with fighter-civilian distinctions and method of death spelled out. The clerics and wives and kids, nor to be fair even the ten or so rebel fighters who reportedly died, seem to appear at all. Excellent documentation as usual where it exists, with nearly as informative blank spots between. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:36, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

Also, I checked The Syrian Observatory for Revolution Violation (Facebook). They posted on it, two posts (didn't save links), each sharing a video. Exactly, the one now pulled and the one now private, so effectively they share nothing but two mentions of the incident. Sometimes they have useful details and tend to get their info from regular, not opposition, Syruans, despite their usurpation of rebel green. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:36, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

I looked deeper at SCDV, other than "martyrs." Especially since about half the reported deaths were defenders, "regime fatalities" might be a good list to check. So I checked all categories. Setting each for Deir Ezzor, broadly June 10-13, I find this: No one was reported going missing. No one was reported detained. 33 people in those four days were martyred, meaning they died for a noble cause, I think. (same basic list above) And finally, there was one reported regime forces fatality: "Unidentified 25" (who are the other 24?), rank unknown, died June 12 in Deir Ezzor: Rushdieh (location? Ar Rashidiya district), from a building explosion. Anyone else, not documented there. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:10, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

World Reaction

SANA:

..."Putting those facts in front of the UN Security council, Syria calls on it to assume its responsibilities, in light of its relevant resolutions of counter-terrorism, to condemn the massacre in Hatla village and call on the countries involved in supporting terrorism in Syria to stop such practices which pose a threat to the security and stability in Syria and the region," the Foreign Ministry concluded. [12]

There seems to have been no real condemnation, even from Syria's allies, that I can see with a quick search of English-language sources. --Caustic Logic (talk) 07:11, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

Gearóid Ó Colmáin offered this:

Le Monde, who published two sensational reports recently which purported to ‘prove’ that the Syrian ‘regime’ had used chemical weapons ‘on its own people’-without presenting a shred of credible evidence to back up their claims-  attempted to play down the crime against humanity committed by the ‘rebels’ they support. The French daily reported that 60 shiite residents of the village of Hatlah were killed on Tuesday. There was no mention of the word ‘massacre’, no mention of the word ‘crime’, no condemnation of the barbaric acts. Instead, the report spoke of government ‘militias’ controlling local areas.
There was no condemnation of the massacre of Hatlah from the Quai D’Orsay either.  Thousands of massacres have been committed by the western-backed terrorists since the outbreak of the conflict in Syria in 2011, most if not all have been ignored by the French government. [9]

Later Events

FSA statement: all is cool. SOHR: A statement by the military council of Deir Ezzour regarding Hatla village:

The military council has released a statement giving the responsibility of the security and situation in Hatla village to the Uthman bin Affan battalions and the al-Qasas brigade, stating that this measure is to stop sectarian tensions after the initial events, stating that all illegal actors will be brought to the security office.

Colmáin: "In another video posted on the Syria News website, a small crowd of protestors in the town of Al Mayadeen celebrate the mass murder of the Shiite citizens of Hatlah." [9]

Shrine Destruction

SOHR: Islamic State of Iraq destroy Shi'i place of worship in Hatla village

Deir Ezzour province: rebels from the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham have exploded a Muslim Shi'i place of worship (Husseiniya) in the village of Hatla. Reports indicate that the destruction of the Husseiniya took place 2 days ago, after rebel fighters from various factions took control over the village, which had a minority Muslim shi'a minority inhabiting it.
Footage of the destruction of the Husseiniya:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Axe3dhr588I http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abdecDtT0Jc

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Activists: Syrian rebel attack kills 60 Shiites By Bassem Mroue, Associated Press, June 12, 2013
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Hatla Massacre? Rebels Accused Of Killing 60 Shiites In Eastern Town By Sarah El Deeb, Associated Press, via Huffington Post, June 12, 2013
  3. 3.0 3.1 SOHR Facebook post, June 12, 2013
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 60 Shiites killed in Syria as West seeks solutionAgence France-Presse via Global Post, June 12, 2013 00:33
  5. 5.0 5.1 Saudi-US Backed Rebels Kill 60 Shiite Villagers in Eastern Syria Ahlul Bayt News Agency, June 12, 2013
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Dozens of Shiites Reported Killed in Raid by Syria Rebels By Hania Mourtada and Anne Barnard, New York Times, June 12, 2013
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 Rebels carry out sectarian cleansing in eastern Syria By Hassan Hassan, June 12, 2013
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 Hatla Massacre: Sectarian Beasts Prey on Children, Women, Elderly Al-Manar, June 13, 2013
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 France Channels Weapons to Syrian Al Qaeda Terrorists Involved in Massacre of Civilians in Hatlah village, Der Ezzor. By Gearóid Ó Colmáin, Global Research, June 13, 2013
  10. Syria rebels threaten to wipe out Shiite, Alawite towns Bloomberg Business News, May 21, 2013
  11. Massacre in Hatlah: or how to report about--and justify--massacres by Syrian armed opposition. Some lessons from Anne Barnard, the newly appointed Beirut Bureau chief for the TimesAngry Arab News Service, June 13, 2013
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Syria calls on UN to condemn massacre of Hatla in Deir Ezzor Syrian Arab News Agency, June 13, 2013
  13. Syria Today 12-6-2013 posted by Abeer, Local Coordinating Committees of Syria
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 URGENT :Horiible Massacre - Shias in Hatla village - East SyriaMadressa Imam Sajjad (as) - Syria, Facebook Timeline photo (warning! Grahic!), June 12, 2013