By all measures, the largest portion of the Houla Massacre's 108-ish victims were from several households of the Abdulrazaq family (alt. Abdel Razzaq, Abed-al-Razaq, Arabic: عبدالرزاق). Most reports put the number of victims from this family at 62 or near that, and a huge majority of the children of all ages were from these homes. A closer analysis however suggests that number is of those with the Abdulrazaq name - of all those intermarried to, living with, related to but living elsewhere, who were apparently singled out, it's more like 85-90 victims. (see Houla:Abdulrazaq Families below.)
Opposition sources and alleged witnesses for a government/Shabiha attack claim this was another Sunni family, with noting but maybe its proximity to Alawite villages that set them apart to be killed - it was random, apparently. On the other hand, the alleged witnesses for a rebel attack say the Abdulrazaqs were targeted especially by the anti-government "terrorists" because they had converted to become Shi'ites. That's discussed at the page: Abdel Razaq family: Sunni or Shi'ite?
- 1 Murder Locations
- 2 Victim Records Correlation
- 3 Intermarried Families
- 4 Questionable Survivors
- 5 References
Main Area: Saad Street
Around 60 of the victims belonged to this family, including most of the children. Several families of this clan lived in a cluster of houses at the south end of Saad road, near the dam, some with multiple families in the same house. Human Rights Watch was told by alleged survivors that the family "owns the land and farms next to the national water company and the water dam of Taldou, and lives in eight or nine houses next to each other, two families to a house." 
Human Rights Watch reported that "local activists" handed them "a list of 62 dead members from the Abdel Razzak family." HRW also spoke to three alleged survivors of this family: a 10-year-old boy, his mother, and an elderly woman. The DCRHS victim list is dominated by names containing Abdul Razaq, a total of 60 entries out of 107. These include one of the soldiers (#107), possibly unrelated. The rest are clustered into four groupings (entries 1-21, 35-45, 50-68, 82-89) 
Victim Records Correlation
The various homes targeted, reported names, and even death toll are complex and a little confusing. In the effort to sort them out, first some details of the opposition version.
Testimony by "Akrama Bakour, Free Syrian Army," via the phone lines to the BBC, shows much knowledge of the crime scenes. He breaks up the whole clan victims into sub-families killed at at least three distinct locations. 
- "They then entered the house of Samir Abdul Razaq. He was killed with his children - Sawsan, Houda, Jouzila and Nada. And his daughter-in-law Halloum El Khlaf, six months pregnant, with her son Ala'a Abdul Razaq, and Samir's sister-in-law Khaloud El Khalaf, and her daughter, Rahaf Al Hussein - but her daughter Zahra Al Hussein was shot twice but survived.
- "Samir's wife was hit with the back of the rifles but she fainted and is now still alive. Also among the victims in this house were four kids whose father is Fadi al-Kurdi.
- "The next house they entered was the house of Qutayba Abdul Razaq, he survived and his one-year-old daughter was injured. He lost his wife and five of his children.
- "All of those I'm counting died by gunshots, direct fire. They were gathered in one room and shot. There was one kid however whose head was skinned with a knife. The knife was found among the bodies and we have its picture.
- "The third house belongs to Nidal Abdul Razaq, his wife and four of his children were killed, and he and one of his children are still alive.
- "Adel Abdul Razaq - his whole family, a wife and six children.
- "Mustafa Abdul Razaq was killed with his four daughters, his wife and his daughter in law.
- "Ayman Abdul Razaq - all of his six children were killed as was his wife, one of the children was disabled.
- "Abdul Khalek Abdul Razaq - his wife and daughter survived gun shots but he lost six other children and his daughter-in-law and her three children.
- "Abdul Rahman Abdul Razaq lost his wife, his five daughters and 11 grandchildren as well as his six daughters-in-law and four of his sons. He still has two who are still alive; one is called Firas and the other Rateb. This massacre was of 27 people in the same room.
- "Also killed in the massacre were Yaacoub Hussein Abdul Razaq, Mohammad Shafiq Abdul Razaq, Mohammad Abbara and his daughter Amina and her family of seven."
A total of 8 households in the main area (alley 1515W), the entrance to the neighborhood, and the site of Abbara-Amina family massacre - apparently at the overrun clocktower post. This lists 82 murdered at the main site, and 9 elsewhere, for 91 people killed in the Abdulrazaq or related families.
Further opposition sources considered:
- "Arabic correlated list" 113 entries, some duplicates 
- "2014 list" with family breakdowns (alleged), ages, and images of most of them, most of which were new to ACLOS. Very informative, if its added details are reliable. 
- The Violations Documentation Center (VDC) database
The original reading has the victims in 4 groups with Abdulrazaq families (app. 62) the largest, the Al-Sayeds and Other/unclear civilian roughly tied at about 15-20 each, and then rebel fighters (about 6), with defending soldiers not even mentioned, of course. Turns out on examination most of the “other” civilians are clearly intermarried with the Abdulrazaqs, and the rest might be, making their category a vast majority of the Houla Massacre death toll – about 85-90 of the 108 or so. They are to the Houla Massacre what the Biassis were to the Al-Bayda Massacre a year later.
How Syrians do their names seems complex, and opposition records add wrinkles of their own. Middle names tend to be the father's first name – wives tend to be listed under their 'maiden names,” showing the family they came from (why some and not others is unclear). So clearly, just counting all names “Abdulrazaq” (that's the usual tally of about 60-65) won't cut it to identify who was killed in this portion of the targeted family assassinations. Correlating details is what will establish that, and it drags in just about all stray names.
Al-Kurdi/Arouq: 9 entries - Ismael: 2 more - Zegahi/Moussa: 2 more - Al-sweiee: 4 boys - Abbara: 2 more entries - Bakour: 1 = 20 additional people apparently killed for marrying into this family -m and some of them it seems were tracked down across the Houla area, not just in the Saad Street homes. SOme of them have been presented as those random shelling victims, but don't appear to be random at all. Each link explained as possible below. Further Abdulrazaq victims appear as well over time and correlating lists - some may be phantoms, others ones left out at first, hunted down later, etc.
This is too complex to explain in full yet, but they have 2 or 3 points of intermarriage with the Samir Hussein (father) and Alaa Samir (son) Abdulrazaq households – two Kurdi women Haloum (and her daughter Rahaf Hussein) and Khalida, pregnant.
One intermarried Kurdi man - Fadi Mahmoud - had his 3-4 children killed at Samir's house, his unnamed Abdulrazaq wife shot but alive rebels say, and his own parents killed; Akrama Bakour says the father, Mustafa, was a shepherd killed at the entrance to Saad street, his kids and daughter-in-law either with him or at Samir's house or both. The intermarried home of Samir was hit first, Bakour says, where "also among the victims in this house were four kids whose father is Fadi al-Kurdi." Logic suggests this is a double-listing: the same four kids are Fadi's children and Mustafa's grandchildren. Further, Bakour says this same house hosted Samir's "daughter-in-law Halloum El Khlaf" and his "sister-in-law Khaloud El Khalaf."  All other sources list these women, but as Khloud/Khalida and Haloum al-Kurdi - so the names al-Kurdi and Khalaf are perhaps related (the larger February 4 Khalidiya Massacre featured on Khalaf and one Kurdi man.) Other sources say Mahmoud al-Kurdi was from Aqrab, north of Houla, and his wife was named Zainab Arouq, also from Aqrab, killed with him in the Houla Massacre. But perhaps that part of it happened to them at home in Aqrab: The 2014 list drops Zainab but says for Mr. Kurdi “he was resident of Aqrab village and lived in place where massacred happened.“ A straight reading says there was a massacre there too. 
There's another version putting the overall family massacre in Aqrab, however, Mahmoud is one of two fathers, not grandpa to all the boys. Rose al-Homsi heard on May 26,
- "The Al-Kurdi family has been found killed entirely in Aqrab village with the bodies not reachable yet due to the continued shelling. Names arrived from the Alkurdi massacre are father Mahmoud Alkurdi, his sons Fadi Alkurdi, Mohamad Alkurdi and grandson Omar Alkurdi. His mother is in a critical condition [Zainab Arooq]. Their bodies were found with severe torture marks and then executed with knives. This is the typical acts of pro-regime shabeeha [thugs]."
However, no other sources support an adult Fadi being killed. But that, Omar, Mohammed, and Mahmoud are the names of the 4 grandsons, and some lists do give them different middle names - one Fadi, and thee - Omar, Mohammed, and Fadi - have Mustafa, suggesting he's their father. But here Omar is a generation down and should have Fadi (or Mohammed?) as a middle name... so that's perhaps just a mix-up, but an unclear point. The photos of the boys given later (unverified) show boys around the same 5-10 age range, four of them, plus apparently a girl ... named for grandma Zainab. (link coming) By this Zainab survived, but everything else suggests she died eventually.
This name has 2 points of connection. Haloum Ismael (age 52) married Abdelrahman Khaled Abdulrazaq (57), and had at least three children: son Mahmoud 22 and daughter Salma 21, killed with them, plus a son Firas Abdelrahman, age unsure, who married a Safira Ismael, age 27. They had at least two kids age 5 and 9 who were killed along with her – and horribly (the flayed-open skull kid, and one of the ripped-off-jaw kids). Safira is also shown dead in blood, one of the few women shown. (image links in the 2014 list PDF)  Firas himself survived or wasn't home, apparently. This one has no known geographic implications.
The “Rebel Defector” told Marat Musin (ANNA News) the units he was with "oopened fire on the building of the military intelligence. The bullets hit the building, but also neighboring houses. One of the armed rebels fired from a bazooka, but missed the target. He has hit the house next door, killing two members of the family Al-Zegahi, which, as it is said, just have been sitting down and peacefully drunk tea."
Opposition lists have only one fatality of that name: Raed Ishaq Al-Zikahi (it's probably the same name), age 27, married with 4 children. He was killed by random shelling by most sources, not execution. Maybe he's not from the same group, who should live on Main Street by the Defector's narrative. The 2014 Houla Massacre Facebook page has one post suggesting Read is one of the four Saad Street RPG Incident victims they also discuss - intriguingly as RPG victims from about 6:00 - here. A good guess might be the young guy with his legs blown off, a wedding ring, and “Don't Stop the Rock” T-shirt. The same page shows a boy - Hasan Ahmad Al-zukahi, 12 years old - with half a leg amputated but alive (along with an Abdulrazaq boy missing half a leg – both with names suggesting they aren't in any of the known targeted sub-families of May 25, meaning ...?).
There's a second dead victim after all, but not killed there. Badria Qadour Mousa was the wife of Faisal Shafiq Abdurazaq and the mother of some dead children, prior records show. The 2014 list agrees, listing 4 children (14-year-old Shafiq had his right arm torn off) with their 45 year old mother, but here given as Bedreih Abed Al-Kader Al-zukahi. So she's called both Moussa and Zukahi, and interestingly, the other Zegahi was once given as Raed Ishak Mousa, 27 years old. So Moussa = Zegahi/Zukahi, and they were linked to the main target family. It wasn't likely an accident, but rather a part of the premeditated targeting all those who dared intermarry with this family, even blowing the legs off of relatives across town, wherever exactly they lived, and maybe even at later dates.
Shalaan Abdelkhalek is another of majority of the Abdulrazaq men rebel sources say did not die. But the 2014 list says his 25-year-old wife Fadia Ashraf Harmoush was murdered, along with 3 daughters (aged 8, 6, and 3) and a 4-year-old son.  So Harmoush is another name that, if it appears among random shelling victims, it probably isn't. It was somewhere else - Ouqba Meysar Harmoush's house – where they say Ouqba's wife Fadia Abed Al-Hakeem Harmoush (often Harfoush), 35 years old, was killed by shelling that day. 
Further, this name popped up when geo-locating the day's videos. Two of the famous views of shelling by the regime (and shooting by his own side from the roof above) were filmed in a house the Wikimapia label says belongs to an “Ali Harmoush.” Was this another targeted home? In case it's connected, the videos were timed at about 1:44 PM local – early in the violence by all measures. (explanation forthcoming)
The 2014 list has them (but not the Abbaras) listed among the Abdulrazaqs, and the Mother, it says, is one. Where they were killed, etc. is unclear. Family of Bassam Khaled Al-Sweeai: 21-Omamah Abed al-Rahman Abed Al-razaq,32 years old, mother. 22- Jaber Bassam Al-Sweeai, 10 years old, son 23- Hatem Bassam Al-Sweeai, 9years old, son 24- Hazem Bassam Al-Sweeai, 11 years old, son  No one else lists Omamah, but the VDC does say the boys (4) had a mother named Amama, who wasn't listed. Other agree there were four children, but the new list drops one as it adds the mother.
Despite what this says, they may relate another way – as the rest of the kids in a possible Amina Abdulrazaq-Mohammed Abbara marriage - re-named or oddly-named (2nd marriage, whatever). (explanation forthcoming)
Either way, these children add 4 more to the list one would get just looking at the last name alone.
Complex and confusing, poss. Al-Sweiee link – forthcoming.
Raghda Saeed Bakour - as listed in records - married Ayman Hussein Abdulrazaq, and their 5 children were all killed with her. Ayman aka Hassan aka Abu Firas allegedly survived by hiding nearby, but he's a questionable too-prolific witness who probably died, and mis-names his wife as Ghaida (see below) Bakour is a common name, so it's presumed there's no relation to Talal Bakour, a rebel fighter who died under leadership of his brother, Nidal Bakour.
All “other” entries that don't seem to be rebel fighters that don't clearly connect to the Abdulrzaqs: Three women, possible 'maiden-name' wives like usual - Fatima Abdulaal (poss. Al-Sayed family link), Dallal Abbas (unknown), and unidentified (obviously unknown).
Akrama Bakour's testimony says several male heads of household survived, by escaping or not being home, unclear. Most of these somehow managed to save one young child, but no more. Hardly a single home had no alleged survivors. These have spoken up on rebel videos and elsewhere blaming Shabiha and could be:
- real survivors telling the truth (the UN's investigators presumed this)
- real survivors made into virtual zombies, saying whatever rebels tell them to say
- rebel-activist impostors.
- Main article: Hassan Abdel-Razzaq
This alleged witness and miracle survivor calls himself Hassan in one interview, and Abu Firas ("father of Firas") in another, while others mainly call him Ayman Abdul Razaq. Several source clearly refer to the same distinct story; he survived but lost a wife - Raghda Seed Bakour - and 5 children. One eldest son, age 17, was named Firas. His twin brother Ghias is left off most lists, and Firas is praised for wanting to be a doctor and help his other brother, Abdullah. Aged 10 or 13 or somewhere in there, he suffered from Cerebral Palsy. Ayman also had a teenage daughter named Falak (aged 11 or 14, listed as an adult in most lists, along the twins) and an infant daughter named Safaa. The kids as listed all had the middle name Ayman. Abu Firas/Hassan had photos of all of them with those names, both alive and dead, to show the foreign media (but none of himself, with or without them). He claims he took the photos of his dead family, run by the Daily Mail with his interview, because “I wanted the world to see.” But the images – including one of Abdullah with the back of his skull hacked open and his brain fallen out - are part of the general set taken by activists at the Ali bin al-Hussein mosque on the 26th.
There's some disagreement on Ayman's survival - Major Jihad Raslan says the third and final house he inspected after the Shabiha left was that of “Abu Firas." "He was the only man in the house,” Major Jihad says, and “he was literally slaughtered.” "Abu Firas" as he once called himself was the only man of the house and the only plausible match - but he says he survived unharmed and most others agree. He says he hid nearby, thinking he was the danger, but his wife (named Ghaida, he says, not Raghda) and his 5 children (only Akrama Bakour says 6) were executed anyway. However, A video of what seems like seven wrapped bodies under ice in someone's house includes only one that is seen and identifiable - Safaa. That suggests Major Jihad's version is closer to true (see here). It's possible this video is why Bakour insisted Ayman had six children, not five, as he too reported the guy was alive and not one of those corpses.
The five people in this video
Video: Survivors of Al-Houla Massacre: Our Families Were Murdered in Front of Us May 27, 2012. (the list of alleged witnesses reflects a poor early reading of this video. This will be sorted out between here and there. First, just what it shows, by alleged survivor, in order addressed):
- "They attacked us in our homes, all of them. They were the size of bears. Assad's Shabbiha and his men, dressed in army fatigues. They stormed in and dragged us all like sheep into one room. Then they began shooting at us. My father died, my mother died, and my only brother died. My seven sisters were all killed. God damn them. There's no one left in the neighborhood. Is there anyone left in Al-Sa'ad neigborhood? Did they kill them all? A massacre took place. Then the rebels came, along with the Free Syrian Army. They saved us. God bless them. If not for that, we'd be dead by now.
The gallon bucket then being filled with her blood, from a tube in her left hand, is shown (0:40). It's hard to be sure, but it looks like it might be about 80% full by this point. From 0:50-1:18 she curses Assad and calls for his death, and refutes claims of rebel guilt, almost in tears swearing it's not true - "Shabbiha pieces of s--t" did it. "Those Alawite pigs. ... they said "die you pigs""
- "I was standing at the door to my room. I'd only been married for four months. The baby I'm carrying would have been killed along with me."
That's it. At 2:39 she swears rebel are unarmed "the only one who has any weapons is that pig Bashar! And his army and Shabbiha."
- As God is my witness, Assad's gangs killed my husband and kidnapped my daughters. There were 12 people in the house and they killed them all. This is my sister's baby daughter. They killed her mother, but my niece survived. I left my neighborhood after they attacked us. Do you want to see the marks of beatings on my skin? Do you want to see what condition my flesh is in?
There's no skin show, and it seems you're supposed to feel ashamed she even offered - of course you should just believe her. She shows no sign of any serious injury anywhere, about 36 hours afterwards, except maybe her left hand, base of the thumb. But of course, we can't see much. It was enough she claims she played dead with it:
- 3:08 - They stormed us from all sides. I watched them beat my husband in the head until his brains spilled out. After that, they shot him. Then they killed my four daughters. And my daughter in law and both of her kids. And my cousin and her four kids. And my sister-in-law as well, with her daughter. They were all killed. ... (described the killers: army uniforms, white trucks ... sectarian slogans like "with these guns we killed a hundred, oh Ali!") Then they shot my daughters. They thought I was dead. That's what spared me, and let me get out alive ... Alawites. Pigs. They're the ones who killed us.
She swears God is her witness it's all true, and everyone knows God is fine with lying to infidels, whom most end consimers of this video would be, and/or in the service of jihad (covers the rest of their mixed audience). Note: This woman, by her story, is remarkably similar to the unnamed wife of Samir Abdulrazaq, apparently, and also the otherwise accounted-for mother of Rasha Abdulrazaq (see below). Similar: husband and four daughters killed, no sons mentioned, a daughter-in-law with two kids, a weeks-old infant niece surviving, Differences: a cousin instead of neighbor with 4 kids, 12 people instead of 15-18 in the house, no surviving daughter(s) mentioned, the added older niece (below) in their stead.
5) Another niece (unnamed): At 3:52 the aunt briefly pauses between explaining her own survival and swearing to God about all of it, to address a little yellow-clad imp standing patiently behind her. "...and this little girl, my niece, was hiding among the bedding." That makes five alleged female survivors in this group alone. There are other groups yet making this attempted liqidation look rather sloppy as well as self-demonizing.
All these are unnamed, so how do we know they're (alleged) Abdulrazaqs, or even among those intermarried with them? The first one specified Saad (Sa'ad) Street, where most of the Abdulrazaqs were killed. The pregnant woman is less clear, but this clan and its relatives (Al-Kurdi, etc.) is the only one with so many families that ones fitting these descriptions might exist, at least on record - it might correlate, and it will be in that set if so. As noted, the "aunt's" family as described is a fairly close to a match with Samir's house, but if that's the best fit, it's not good enough that the sources actually line up.
Rasha Samir Abdulrazaq
Name guessed after correlating that she claims to be a daughter of Samir Hussein Abdulrazaq. BBC's useful compilation of allegations gave her as Rasha Abdul Razaq and gave her account, abbreviated here:
- "We were in the house, they went in, the Shabiha and security, they went in with Kalashnikovs and automatic rifles. We asked them what was going on ...They took us to a room, and hit my father on the head with the back of a rifle and shot him straight in the chin. ... We were about 15 people. Then they opened fire. After they shot us they started to step on us, and one of the men asked the other to check whether we were all dead. Then they went outside and started shooting in the air. ... I survived with my mother and the one-month-old girl and my sister. They shot at us but we survived." 
She gives “about 15 people” total, all in the house at the time. Below, everyone she mentions, compared to one family as listed by Akrama Bakour and/or the 2014 list – the only one with that many to start, and with too many matches to be coincidence but too few to line up:
A neighbor and 3 kids = “also among the victims in this house were four kids whose father is Fadi al-Kurdi.” The “neighbor” part seems to deny the apparent fact that this family was intermarried – she should know that, counting two other al-Kurdis among her core family. For that, she cites:
8 siblings – Rasha and 7 others (Bakour and the list agree 4 daughters aged from 7 to 24 were killed – did 4 others live?) + her sister-in-law, 6 months pregnant and her son = Samir's "daughter-in-law Halloum El Khlaf, six months pregnant, with her son Ala'a Abdul Razaq" + “my father” (Samir) + “his brother's wife and her daughter” = “Samir's sister-in-law Khaloud El Khalaf, and her daughter, Rahaf Al Hussein - but her daughter Zahra Al Hussein was shot twice but survived.” (not mentioned). Other records for the two Khallaf women here are just the same except they're called Al-Kurdi.
Finally she mentions an aunt “and her two daughters - one of them was only injured and she's here with me.” This sounds like a second and better reference to Khaloud al-Kurdi, whose second “daughter Zahra Al Hussein was shot twice but survived.” If that's a double listing, the total is 18 (or 19 counting Halloum's unborn baby) to her "about 15." Otherwise, it's not clear who this would be and it would up the total to 21 people.
Surviving mother = “Samir's wife was hit with the back of the rifles but she fainted and is now still alive.” Surviving sister is unsupported. Actually, Bakour cites no survivor to match with Rasha herself – it sounds like all four of his children died. Unless … she's the unnamed surviving daughter-in-law of Mahmoud al-Kurdi from Aqrab, wife of Fadi al-Kurdi, mother of the 3-4 "neighbor" kids killed, and implicitly a daughter of Samir's? “They shot them, killing them all except the daughter-in-law. She was shot in the thigh and belly area but she is still alive.” Is Rasha supposed to be her, here denying the family link she was central to?
Further, Rasha's mother undermines her daughter's credibility. Rasha says she and a sister both escaped, but speaking to the BBC, her mother begged "Please get me and my daughter some protection." (Maybe the other survived by being elsewhere, not by playing dead, etc.) She also doesn't mention the baby to clarify whether it's her niece or what.
Implied: 14 killed, 4 survived.
- her mother (unnamed, also spoke to the BBC)
- her sister (unnamed, spoken of only)
- implictly unrelated infant girl (app. her alleged cousin Zahraa Al-Hussein, spoken of as present with her)
Note: this family array is different from the one with the distressed first witness in this scene. She cites nine siblings, 7 sisters, one brother, and herself, all but her killed – no surviving sister. No surviving mother – both parents were killed. The baby here is no relation of hers. That infant was 1.5 or 2 months old, while Rasha's not-cousin is one month. The actors may or may not be the same, but the survivors they're claiming to be are different. Between them, these groupings imply at least nine strictly female survivors from the Saad Street Massacre area.
A 2018 article revisits this mystery, starting from this story's swift transformation into an alleged Al-Sayed family home, as told by survivor Rasha Al-Sayed ALi This more careful correlation of three different accounts concludes the real daughter of Samir this alleged witness claims to be is probably dead (or vanished) and was almost surely the wife of Fadi Al-Kurdi and mother of those 4 Kurdi kids, the link that got them targeted, by some reports way north in Aqrab where they lived, not even in Houla. Alleged Witness Profile: Rasha Whatever
- Houla, autopsie d'un massacre, France2 documentary aired September 20, 2012
- "Syria: UN Inquiry Should Investigate Houla Killings" Human Rights Watch, May 27, 2012.
- DCHRS victims list in Arabic, Excel-File, auto-translated by Google, compared to a slightly different Arabic list, with best transliteration for a total of 113 entries (some duplicates/unclear) (PDF)
- Testimonies obtained by telephone interviews by several branches of the BBC, published May 28
- 2014 List From the Facebook site Houla Massacre, with links to graphic images of the victims
- Searching for the Truth Behind the Houla Massacre By Christoph Reuter and Abd al-Kadher Adhun. Der Spiegel English. July 23, 2012.