Talk:Attacks on Clergy in the Syrian Conflict

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"Clergy" here is not exactly acurate - perhaps a re-direct is in order? For Islam, it's Ulema. Chritian clergy have been killed, # pending. Not sure the best way to say it. Will people find it like this? I guess if the content is what matters most? --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:55, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

Seems to be working okay. Ulema/Clergy/etc. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:44, 13 April 2013 (UTC)


(reverse chronological)

Aleppo Bishops, kidnapped April 22, 2013

On April 22, 2013, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that Greek Orthodox Bishop Boulos Yaziji and Syriac Orthodox Bishop Yohanna Ibrahim were abducted from a rebel checkpoint on the outskirts of Aleppo. Their abductors "are thought to be from the Caucasus."SOHR May 17 update, the SOHR "expresses deep concerns for the lives of the Bishops. Especially after one month of kidnapping and unsuccessful attempts by several sides to reveal their conditions and whereabouts. They Syrian Observatory demands all sides, precisely those with influence on the kidnappers, to pressure the battalion for their immediate release." After nearly a month with the bishops still not released or even acknowledged, no negotiations or ransom demands, they are likely dead.

That was me above. No one here has done this subject justice yet. The Bishops keep coming up, reportedly alive, but not located or freed ... or maybe located. I'm still hazy. They were abducted over nine months ago now. But this ...

This is a detailed report, rather long, which is good in the long run. It's supposed to alleged that, well, here's Ali Omek's series ot Tweets, where I got the link:

  • 1 - Turkey's role in kidnapping #Syria-n bishops. A detailed report but not including some more important points [1/3]
  • 2 - Bishops were kidnapped after Turkish FM Davutoğlu's attempts to convince #Syriac community to move their center to #Turkey were failed [2/3]
  • 3 - Some sources in Turkish Syriac community told daily soL that the bishops were used for more pressure on Syria's Syriac community. [3\3] --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:54, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

Reverend Fadi Jamil Haddad, October 2012

Reverend Fadi Jamil Haddad, pastor of St Elias Church in Qatana - Killed on or before October 25, 2012 near Damascus, after trying to free someone else held, apparently, by rebels. Greek Orthodox priest killed in Syria Published 29 October 2012 | ASSIST News Service

The body of [Reverend Haddad] was discovered in the Jaramana district of the capital, reported Agenzia Fides, the Vatican news service. The site was not far from the area where he was kidnapped by an "unidentified armed group" last Friday, the agency said. The Vatican agency quoted a colleague as saying the priest had been "horribly tortured".
According to the official account, the priest was abducted while seeking the release of another person who had been kidnapped by militants. However, the LA Times said, it was unclear ... The Vatican news agency reported that the priest's kidnappers had demanded a ransom equivalent to about $715,000 for his release. "It was, however, impossible to find the money and meet this exorbitant demand," reported Agenzia Fides.

See also:

Rev. Basilious Nasser, January 2012

New York Times, January 25, 2012: Syria Chaos Claims Priest and an Aid Group Official

The secretary general of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and a Christian priest have been killed...
The priest, from the Greek Orthodox Church, the Rev. Basilious Nasser, was shot and killed on the second day of heavy fighting in the city of Hama. The Syrian state news agency blamed an “armed terrorist group” for the killing, while opposition activists in Hama said the priest was shot by a government sniper.
The Red Crescent official, Dr. Abd-al-Razzaq Jbeiro, was shot and killed while traveling on the Halab-Damascus highway in a vehicle that was “clearly marked with the Red Crescent emblem,” according to a statement released by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Sunni Muslim

(a few cases, reverse chronological order)

Sheikh Omar al-Biassie

Imam of the main mosque in al-Bayda, Tartous province, he was reportedly a onetime revolution supporter but had a more contested and apparently anti-rebellion stance in recent months and reportedly, early on May 2, 2013, was tasked with helping the government negotiate the release of some 30 soldiers held captivebylocal rebels. He was killed that morning, along with a number of his family members. Pro-government fighters and/or army were blamed by opposition sources, but there are strong clues that this is a lie. They had reportedly said that once before and the Imam himself called it a lie on national TV. See here for details.

Hassan Seifaddine, Aleppo, Mar 30, 2013

SOHR, March 31:

Aleppo city: An Imam of a mosque was abducted and then killed by rebels in the eastern Sheikh Maqsoud neighbourhood of Aleppo. Sources in the neighbourhood also state that the body was afterwards dragged and paraded in the neighbourhood. The Imam was from al-Mardliya. He was a supporter of the regime.

Comments clarify the victim was named Hassan Seifaddine. More info perhaps coming.

Saleh1966, Allvoices, March 30: Syrian rebels allegedly behead pro-regime cleric in Aleppo:

Syrian activists from Aleppo said that after rebel fighters have taken control of at least part of a strategic Sheik Maqsoud neighborhood in the city of Aleppo, they captured pro-regime Sheikh Hassan Seifeddine, killed him then paraded his body on the streets of Sheik Maqsoud neighborhood.
Iran's Press TV as well as SANA news said Sheikh Hassan Seifeddine was beheaded and his head was placed on the minaret of Al-Hassan Mosque, where he used to lead the prayers.
The Syrian authorities accused armed "terrorist" groups in Homs for the assassination of Sheikh Hassan Seifeddine, who is a known Assad supporter and regime loyalist.
On the other hand, Free Syrian Army denounced the incident and said that it had nothing to do with the killing. FSA accused the Shabiha for this crime, which happened after the liberation of most areas of Aleppo from the regime's control.

Sheikh Al-Bouti, Damascus, Mar 21, 2013

Dr Mohammed Saeed Ramadan al-Bouti, one of the most senior and esteemed Sunni clerics in Syria, world-respected despite his steadfast, normal Syrian support for Syria's government to the end, famously ended on March 21. A reported 52 or likely more were killed alongside him as a suicide bomber detonated himself during an evening lecture in Damascus mosque. Some 80 or more were also injured but survived. Noone claimed responsibility, and everyone explicitly denounced it and blamed someone else.


AFP via Dawn (Pakistan) Suicide bomber kills pro-Assad cleric in Syria capital

Al-Arabiya English: Sheikh al-Bouti, the Syrian Sunni cleric who stood by Assad

Voice of America: Syrian TV: Suicide Bombing at Mosque Kills 42, Including Top Cleric

Syria Deeply

Al-Akhbar English: Death toll reaches 49 in Damascus mosque attack

SOHR: [ The number of casualties ... has risen to 45 Summarized final death for Thursday 21/03/2013

*** 52 Syrians were killed by the explosion that assassinated the muslim cleric Sheikh Mohammad Sa'id Ramadan al-Bouti while he was in the al-Iman mosque of al-Mazra'a neighbourhood in Damascus. The number of casualties is likely to reach more than 60 because of several critically injured civilians***

Bouti’s daughter denied that her father was planning to defect in an interview with Al Jazeera

Blame the regime for killing a cleric who backed Assad Hassan Hassan, the National (UAE), Mar 25, 2013

His unbridled support for the regime's crackdown, which is sweeping away everything including Al Bouti's own legacy of religious moderation, is unforgivable.
File under "Yes, that just might answer it":
Why would the rebels resort to suicide bombing to kill a cleric inside a mosque when they could kill him elsewhere? The bombing was designed to create a larger effect than just killing a cleric.
Regardless of who is behind his murder, the death of this moderate Islamic scholar comes as sectarian and extremist trends are growing in the region.

Sheikh Al-Bouti death video

One or two videos allegedly showing the exploasion that killed Sheikh Al-Bouti have shown up. The Angry Arab dismisses them as fake. Jim Muir for BBC News from Beirut thinks they are real.

Here is one YouTube upload containing two videos from slightly different angles.

The second video is said to be 29 seconds long, but this composition only contains some 18 seconds of it. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 00:51, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

Having looked (at the videos, not the arguments), it seems strange, how little he's clearly hit. But I guess those 52 human shields made a difference. Blood out the mouth, delayed flopping reaction, likely neck pierced as he turned his head was the main thing. I suspect it's real as the blast was and how/when/where the hell would you get such a good actor and set to fake this? Plus he is dead by all accounts. As for the cameramen, un-fazed. Wait ... will chalk that up to the tripods, unless another look says otherwise. --Caustic Logic (talk) 00:02, 14 April 2013 (UTC)
First video, tripod. Second, maybe. Very steady, but wiggling a little bit. If hand-held, it's significant. No more wiggling than usual as the blast happens, apparently a slight twist-tripods don't do that. Only someone expecting a blast and meaning to stay panned in despite it could do this. So whoever filmed it, and presumably whoever uploaded it, are on the side with people who set this up, and the cameraman knew that. Were they government supporters or rebel suppoerters? --Caustic Logic (talk) 00:09, 14 April 2013 (UTC)
The second video is a hand-held shot of an original video playing on some screen. Note the black borders. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 05:12, 14 April 2013 (UTC)

Other versions:

Did not get what they are saying here. Arabic words, and something pointed out. --Caustic Logic (talk) 00:09, 14 April 2013 (UTC)

Al Arabiya:

This is interesting, both published on Mar 22, 2013 -- Petri Krohn (talk) 01:26, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

Authentic video:

Don't know if it's in your links somewhere but there's a statement of the son and father of the two killed Bouti's here. --CE (talk) 03:18, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

Killers arrested?

According to this item with unclear source, the Syrian PM announced on al-Mayadeen TV that Bouti's killers (planners) have been arrested and their confessions will soon be revealed. --CE (talk) 14:09, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

Daily Starand others are reporting as fact that PM al-Halqi said “The group that assassinated [Sheikh Mohammad Said Ramadan] al-Buti and tried to assassinate me has been apprehended ... The confession of the [group’s] individuals will be soon revealed.” --Caustic Logic (talk) 21:40, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

Sheikh Abdullatif al-Jumaili, Aleppo, Feb. 8, 2013

see Shelling of Salah Eddin Mosque Sheikh Abdullatif al-Jumaili was reportedly shot by an unknown sniper outside his mosque in north-central Aleppo, apparently following someone's mortar attack on the mosque. He was a supporter of the government and rejector of the rebellion.

Saria Hassoun, Oct. 1, 2011

In an indirect attack on politically incorrect Sunni leaders, Saria Hassoun, 22, a son of Syria’s Grand Mufti, Shiekh Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun, was shot dead outside Ibla University on the Idleb-Aleppo highway. A history professor who was speaking to him, Dr. Mohammad al-Omar, was also killed in the drive-by shooting, which occurred in late September or October 1, 2011. source: al-Arabiya

Shi'ite Muslim

Have there been any specified Shia clergy-types killed? I presume so, but not sure if they really have Imams - Ayatollahs instead, IIRC. And shrines instead of mosques. Most reports mentions mosques and Imams, making them Sunni, I think ? --Caustic Logic (talk) 00:02, 14 April 2013 (UTC)

Sayyed Ibrahim Musa Mullah Eid, June 12, 2013

Very slow to add, there is at least one instance. Numerous shrines (Husseiniyas) and Shi'ite town have been attacked/blown-up, and likely some number of Shia clerics murdered. But the one prominent example we have some information on is Sayyed Ibrahim Musa Mullah Eid, a Shi'ite cleric in Hatlah, Deir Ezzour, martyred with several family members, including children, in the Hatlah masacre of June, 2013. Rebels claim they were provoked by alleged Shia militia attacks, and also were getting revenge for the rebel defeat in al-Qusayr. Mainly those killed seem to be Shia militia, a few rebel fighters, and several members of the cleric's family. He was not shown dead, but an alleged image of his son or nephew, aged 8, throat sliced, was circulated. Kuwaiti cleric Shafi al-Ajami, who sponsored and maybe staffed the group responsible, boasted afterwards "Today we took Hatla village and we slaughtered its religious leader ... Like you slaughtered our women and children in Qusair, we slaughtered one of your symbols ... and his son." [1]


The Alawi (Alawite) community is not historically big on clergy or even mosques. But Alawi clerics do exist, and whatever abuses of them we've missed before it, one of them was horribly killed alongside hundreds of his co-religionists in one of the largest Syrian massacres to date. During the now-infamous August, 2013 Latakia Massacres, popular cleric, government loyalist, and proponent of Alawi self-defense Badr/Badreddin Ghazal was abducted by Islamists in the town of Baruda. From a prominent religious family that has had advisers to the Assad family, he was in town for a religious holiday connected to the nearby shrine to Alawi clreic Sheikh Nabhan. Both the living and the buried cleric were despised by Sunni extremists, who first announced they would exchange him for some rebel women they said were held prisoner. Instead, he was handed over to Jabhat al-Nusra, who stabbed him to death. The shrine too was attacked, and Sheikh Nabhan's tomb dug up, according to Human Rights Watch. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:59, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

Other Muslim/Unsure

?? April 12, 2013

April 12, SOHR reports: "An Imam of a mosque was killed by unknown gunmen in the Masaken Hanano neighbourhood." Any further details should go here. --Caustic Logic (talk) 00:02, 14 April 2013 (UTC)


  1. Hatla Massacre? Rebels Accused Of Killing 60 Shiites In Eastern Town By Sarah El Deeb, Associated Press, via Huffington Post, June 12, 2013