Talk:Daraya massacre

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Thanks for the page start, Petri. Jeez, this isn't totally clear at all. Could use an intro section. Until I get around to reading and sorting, what's this 'massacre' even being said to have been? --Caustic Logic 21:34, 27 August 2012 (EST)

Death toll

Mazare Sub-Massacre

UNHRC report, Feb. 2013, has Daraya as one of its few investigated massacres they had an opinion on. Nothing (directly) about rebel hostages/human shields, Robert Fisk's or Addounia's interviews, anything. Many of the dead are rebel fighters, however, in the versions they heard, from rebel fighters. It has a whole new (to me) story:

46. Government forces shelled Daraya from 20 to 24 August, targeting anti-Government armed group fighters. Following the shelling, Government forces moved into the town together with members of the Shabbiha. Many young men, some of whom may have been defectors or anti-Government armed group members who had put down their arms, reportedly fled to an area referred to as “the gardens” (Mazare), where Government forces killed more than 100 people. Further accounts describe Shabbiha conducting house searches, looking for fighting-aged men. Bodies bearing clear signs of summary execution were later found in various shelters around Daraya.

My thoughts: First part, fine. Once again, "Shabiha" might mean rebel Black Ops units. This massacre at Mazare, the gardens, (outskirts? Southern?) might refer, by number/age/gender, to the big mass of people massacred at/found at the mosque as we've covered - 125-150 minimum, almost all fighting-age men. If these were killed fighters, by "the regime," they'd be taken away by the killers, not left for rebels to take back to their mosque. If battle dead, they'd be in worse shape in spots, not this intact, and also they'd be left behind more often, considering the defeat and retreat. Executed hostages, "Shabiha" kidnapped fighting age men could explain that array, maybe Daraya men they were hoping to recruit but who refused, controlled and shot and piled easily in trucks prior to the tactical withdrawal. Could well be some rebel fighting dead as well, or perhaps even mainly, but I still suspect hostages - maybe for the women and children too - play in here. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:21, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

Early Talk

Didn't yet watch all the videos, do we have the one with the alleged 150 dead in a mosque? Found this one, "18+ Genocide in Daraya - Assad Butchers Hundreds of Sunnis As World Watches in Silence 8-27-12", recently uploaeded and very gruesome. shows a larger number - but not anywhere near "hundreds" - of lined up dead fighting aged men, some burned, many look like they have been dead for quite some time. Notice the uploader doesn't consider them "civilians", but "Sunnis". I want evidence for the large number of "massacred" before I buy it. Remember Tremseh --CE 04:22, 31 August 2012 (EST)

oh, and great work so far, CL!--CE 04:23, 31 August 2012 (EST)

Thanks! I'm not sure what to make of that video. The dead could be as little as two days gone, possibly more. Looks like battle injuries in many cases (random burning, etc.) but they seem a little varied to be fighters - different hair styles, older men, a boy, and one has a sliced throat, looks like (0:57). Tops of heads missing, suggests execution too. Two acute chest wounds (one left, boy, one right, older man) look like stabs - possible eye removal (left, 0:52), They look roughed-up badly plus generally executed. Sounds like an open-air place, not a mosque interior.

There's a photo of what seems to be the mosque dead (150-ish) plus the videos I've heard of (not much video watching yet). "20 some bodies shown" --Caustic Logic 08:41, 31 August 2012 (EST)

Thanks. I think snippets of that scene are in the video posted by Petri which is now third on the list on the article page "...posed as civilians", watched that earlier in part. Funny that the "Syrian American Council" at your link can't distinguish between Daraya and Daraa ... "Daraya is famous for having held the first peaceful demonstrations in which participants carried roses and gave out bottled water to security forces. " (*rolleyesemoticon*) --CE 09:40, 31 August 2012 (EST)
Found the video and linked it in the article. Those are indeed 150ish. Tried to locate the mosque on the map but had no luck so far. --CE 23:45, 31 August 2012 (EST)


Robert Fisk describes the graveyard with massacre victims

Seen on this video at 1:34

It would be in the central intersection of Daraya. I have however not been able to find the exact spot shown on the video.

The central location would indicate that the victims could be the result for sniper fire from the nearby tall buildings. -- Petri Krohn 23:29, 30 August 2012 (EST)

The interview with the man in the blue-striped shirt at 4:45 seems to take place at this corner, notice the park and the water tower - or what it is - in the background at the end of the street section.--CE 03:00, 31 August 2012 (EST)
"Lady Sakina's shrine" at 10:00 is at the next parallel road to this here--CE 03:21, 31 August 2012 (EST)

That looks like the cemetery, other locales, will see later. --Caustic Logic 08:41, 31 August 2012 (EST)

FWIW, Abu Suleiman Al-Darani, patron of the main killing site mosque, was a Sufi sage born in Damascus who is considered to be a "real muslim" even by Salafists who are quite picky about Sufis. --CE 00:02, 1 September 2012 (EST)

Ha! Thanks to wikimapia I found the mosque, took some time to go through the arabic labels. It's a bit outside the city center, maybe 1,5 km from the cemetary, here on google maps. --CE 00:34, 1 September 2012 (EST)

Did someone already locate the WV pickup? It was also shown on a Press TV video shot from a fast moving car. This could help establish the location. -- Petri Krohn 17:30, 4 September 2012 (EST)

Petri, can you get us a date on the current GM sat images of the mosque/Daraya south? Any other clues from prev. images of that area? Should we see the truck in the images available? It was only a week ago. --Caustic Logic 21:26, 4 September 2012 (EST)
Checked two locations, mosques and graveyard. In both cases Google Maps used the newest image available to Google Earth: April 26, 2012. -- Petri Krohn 00:32, 6 September 2012 (EST)
Bonus! Thanks, being incorporated now. --Caustic Logic 19:02, 7 September 2012 (EST)

I notice there is now a photo in the Robert Fisk article. Shows the same scene as the panorama. -- Petri Krohn 23:32, 8 September 2012 (EST) – I see yo already found a better one. –– Petri Krohn 00:59, 9 September 2012 (EST)

Sources Awaiting Digestion

(rosy picture of rebel control prior to the attack)


Daraya Coordination Committee videos

    One video in this list - - shows people still living but gravely injured and suffering under very murky circumstances (are they wearing hospital gowns?). Do not watch this one lightly - it's upsetting. --Caustic Logic 18:39, 3 September 2012 (EST)
    This is outside, at night. Possibly on some field somewhere. What would a large group of men be doing there. The event may be described here:
    After a stunning night of heavy shelling during which Syrian army spotters detected concentrations of terrorists on the South side of the town, the terrorists were forced to try an escape toward the ebanese border, a move that was rewarded with a 100% kill statistic as our soldiers gunned them down like rats.Syrian Perspective, August 25, 2012
    -- Petri Krohn 02:46, 4 September 2012 (EST)
    Another - - shows bodies being buried on August 26 that have clearly been dead many days - puffed-up belly, face, tongue nastiness. The red dirt color of them says they were already buried once and dug up. The blankets are fresh. --Caustic Logic 16:07, 3 September 2012 (EST)
    Interesting. 0m:33s shows the location of the mass grave site. -- Petri Krohn 02:39, 4 September 2012 (EST)
    Oh, I got the whole panorama (see uploads). Perfect match for the big lot next to the FSA mosque/base we're increasing focusing on. Walls, trees, tall vs. low buildings, a red dome, 100% sure. --Caustic Logic 20:58, 5 September 2012 (EST)
Not much since their heyday there. Two weeks ago, two weeks, one week, one day. That's it? --Caustic Logic 20:58, 5 September 2012 (EST)

Off topic: What exactly is a local "Coordination Committee?" I think I now know the answer: It is the person / spy who has been given satellite Internet communication equipment by foreign sponsors of the "revolution." THis photo form Zamalka shows a Thuraya IP satellite router and two TP-LINK TL-WA5210G High Power Wireless Outdoor CPEs. -- Petri Krohn 03:03, 4 September 2012 (EST)

An interesting thought - I presumed just coordinating between fighters and activists, which would in large part mean coordinating the propaganda - one has the body count, one the (supposedly informed) media spin. --Caustic Logic 20:00, 5 September 2012 (EST)
Western propaganda claims there are Coordination Committees throughout the country. This is supposedly an indication of the "wide support" for the revolution. In reality, the Committees only exist in the Blogosphere, in social media, and in the "Activists say" corporate faux media. Their role is to provide false "proof" and "evidence" of Assad crimes and massacres - just like the hoax Al Baida Massacre in Libya on February 23, 2012. They may have a role in coordinating terrorist violence, but I think it is secondary. The game plan from the beginning has been to create a pretext for intervention and Western aggression. Nothing else matters. -- Petri Krohn 21:54, 5 September 2012 (EST)
  • This is even more more interesting:
    Shabiha ambushed in Daraya, Rif Dimashq
    Published on Aug 29, 2012 by cursethee
    (I guess Rif Dimashq could be translated as Road to Damascus.)
    The timestamp on the video is UTC 2012-08-28 11:40:22, one day earlier than uploaded.
    One comment say: The men firing are soldiers of the al-Furqan Brigade of the Free Syrian Army.
    lol, why is the car wobbling at the beginning? Seen that video, without the wobbling, before, but not certain if before August 29. "Rif Dimashq" means Damascus Countryside (Governorate). --CE 10:40, 7 September 2012 (EST)
    The video needs stabilization, like this one. -- Petri Krohn 11:28, 7 September 2012 (EST)
    WTF, I had written you a message about the rollback I did, before the page went down. CL has to get rid of the "guarding car" in his otherwise great image, as I told him at that dreadful forum, as the scene is from April as you told us. --CE 12:15, 7 September 2012 (EST)
Thanks for that video ... it's crass ... what are we seeing there, completely CGI with an editor with sick humour? Or what? Surreal. --CE 12:21, 7 September 2012 (EST)



Nothing new here really, opinion. Someone maybe reading this page though. -- Petri Krohn 02:35, 4 September 2012 (EST)


Just in:

High quality photos

Hostage IDs

  • Siham Sallum: An AFP article carried by Lebanese Daily Star and others on September 2 (and cited up-front) tells the story of Manal Shirri who watched the Addounia report with friends in the lebanese town of Khibet Silem and identified her 49-year-old mother Siham Sallum, who had lived in Daraya since 2006, among the dead shown on TV. The article reports:
Citing acquaintances in Daraya, Sallum's son Mohammed said his mother was kidnapped by the rebel Free Syrian Army on Saturday alongside her husband and several other residents of the town. The rebels, he said, promised they would set them free the next day. "The rebels were getting ready for a prisoner exchange with the army, but the operation went wrong," said Mohammed. "There was bombing and fighting, and the rebels killed their hostages."

While it adds nothing to the details related, the opposition VDC martyrs database confirms this report partly by listing Seham Abd al-Hassan Saloum Entry #49398. Adult - Female. From: Daraya. Date of death:2012-08-25. Cause of Death: Field Execution. Notes: Wife Of hassan Mohammed Ebrahem al-Shaker. He's listed: Hasan Mh Ibraheem Shaker, field executed same day. Entry # 30463. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:30, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

Cause of death?

The family killed in this picture looks to me more like the result of a stray artillery shell, not killed by shabiha as "activist say". There is plaster all over, on the right you see splintered wood. It is possible I have seen another view of the same room, with more damage. -- Petri Krohn 04:42, 3 September 2012 (EST)

Yeah, it's a complex scene, and that might be a more reasonable, straightforward answer. Clearly the room's been blown up/open, and there are the fresh dead people. However, something to me (the debris coating the floor on the left, mostly) suggests this room was blow up days earlier, got rained on once perhaps, and then these people were killed there, either while hiding, or after brought there to look like shelling victims. Not sure how to categorize it, but probably how I have isn't the best. --Caustic Logic 15:55, 3 September 2012 (EST)

Morgue videos

I have collected a playlist of videos of bodies at morgues and grave sites.

Petri-excellent work. I wondered about the mosque video. No columns seen, for one thing-only some thin beams/poles, like the kind that hold up awnings. Burning sites, I'll catch up. Feel free to add right to the main page if you get inspired. --Caustic Logic 18:49, 3 September 2012 (EST)

This dark video claims it is shot inside a mosque...

But it is in fact in the mosque courtyard at night. The same scene is seen in these videos (note the tiled floor):

Petri, good job. I double-checked. Didn't notice the floor tile, but it's a match. Also, all the photos of the main batch of bodies at a mosque or makeshift morgue, probably all of them, are apparently the same place by body arrangement. That means less massacre sites with multiple bodies than I feared, but more focus on this one. Do rebels still hold it? Just daring the gov. to attack a mosque? --Caustic Logic 21:03, 5 September 2012 (EST)

There are at least two other morgue sites. This video shows bodies of foreign fighters ather the first burn attempt.

Same spot with more burnig is shown on the Addounia video at 7:56

These two videos show unwrapped bodies in two different locations

Maybe they are brought to the burial place in this video:

Graves here:

-- Petri Krohn 05:38, 3 September 2012 (EST)

High-resolution photos from morgue in YouTube video:

-- Petri Krohn (talk) 23:50, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

Thanks. I had seen that, but didn't save it. That missing jaw man is quite horrible. Don't watch casually! And a lot else is horrible. Thanks for the reminder on Daraya. I had planned some updates but never did get around to them, and I'm sure there are more yet.It would be well-worth a news trawl for any recent development, investigations, etc. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:35, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

More bodies, maybe new.

Can't watch it for some reason ATM. If it says November and doesn't look familiar ... pretty much ignore it, I say, since we can't cover everything. --Caustic Logic (talk) 14:49, 13 December 2012 (UTC)

Have we seen this before?

New to me. Obviously pre-dates the massacre, so same as above applies, but less so as preceding events shape the events under study the way future ones can't. I suspect they were in fact kidnapped and it's related to the same overall story line unfolding in mid-August. Similar torture to the kinds we saw later.

Page Split-up

Main article: This is the main article

I saw a warning that the page is getting too big for some systems to easily edit. The others here will know better than me how serious that is. But if not now, eventually a split-up might be needed. I’m not sure at all how it should be broken off, each section a page for details and a summary here? Just a couple extra-detailed ones split-off?

We’ll need more sections too I haven’t started yet: burned fighters, for one … --Caustic Logic 20:00, 5 September 2012 (EST)

Edit individual subsections, so the total size does not matter. -- Petri Krohn 21:55, 5 September 2012 (EST)
Yeah, (hey Petri, first cross-post :D), don't think that this will be a problem, especially when one edits only sections of it. And the size of it for readers is still much smaller than your average webpage. Anyway, created a "template" like they have on wikipedia, see above. Usage here:
{{Main|This is the main article}}
Could be used on the main Houla page on occasion, too, to make a summary --CE 22:03, 5 September 2012 (EST)

New massacres

Daraya has seen heavy fighting lately. New massacers planned by Assad? Here is one from today: -- Petri Krohn (talk) 12:23, 13 December 2012 (UTC)

From Syrian Perspective today:

At Daraayya, still being decontaminated by the SAA and militia, three tunnels were uncovered, each connecting the Financial Center, Municipal Offices and the Anas Mosque. The tunnels were searched and drugs, ammo and weapons were found. After that, Syrian Army sappers blew the tunnels up.

Where is this Anas Mosque? -- Petri Krohn (talk) 23:28, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

This battle is going on for weeks. Some amazing footage from the ANNA news team (the Russian viewers crowd-sourced a helmet for Marat Musin :o)) All "massacre" claims at this point are moot as next to no civilians have been there for quite a while. --CE (talk) 01:30, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
There has been a battle going on the last days, centered around what we have as Lady Sakina's shrine on the map. In the Musin vids they (the subtitles) call it mosque, and they have been close to "freeing" it on Jan 25, here in a video where you can see an unfinished tunnel. Shrine/Mosque apparently rigged with explosives so hopefully it survived or will survive its "liberation". --CE (talk) 20:29, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

Here is 15 minutes of HD video from Daraya from 14 and 15 February via ANNA News. It might be worthwhile to locate the footage. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 14:47, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

Saw this too late. It's on the to-do list. Did not watch yet. --Caustic Logic (talk) 14:55, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
In fact there is a constant stream of footage from Daraya on the ANNA channel. A must for future wars: dashcams for tanks. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 15:09, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
Good to hear from you, Petri. This is some fascinating footage (the tanks). I only stopped watching because I have to get ready for work. Later, the other stuff. --Caustic Logic (talk) 00:07, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
I didn't come back to this yet. Why does it matter? Explain and I will look. (bought some time, new section coming ....)
FYI, Edward Dark and Robert Mackey are fascinated by the tank cams:

Home made RPG-29

I will post this here, although it is not related to the topic.

Interesting videos on the Syrian falcon channel.

The Wikipedia article on RPG-29 says this:

In January 25, 2013 an RPG-29 round - used by the FSA - was allegedly reported to have destroyed a SAA T-72 tank during an engagement in Darayya, Syria. A video uploaded to various web sites shows a man firing an RPG-29, then cuts to show a projectile striking the rear of the tank, penetrating its armor and causing the tank's ammunition to cook off

This video from Syrian falcon shows a RPG-29 rocket with a home made laucher.

Syria has RPG-29s, so it seems these weapons were not provided by NATO. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 09:39, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

August 2016: evacuation deal

  • Deal agreed to end long siege of Damascus suburb: rebel leader, locals - REUTERS, August 25, 2016
    Rebels and Syria's army agreed a deal on Thursday to evacuate all residents and insurgents from the besieged Damascus suburb of Daraya, a rebel leader and state media said, ending one of the longest stand-offs in the five-year conflict.
    "We reached agreement on the evacuation of all of the people of Daraya civilians and fighters," said Captain Abu Jamal, the head of the Liwa Shuda al Islam, the biggest of two main rebel groups inside Daraya whose fighters are drawn from its residents.
    The evacuation, which is similar to deals concluded in several besieged areas in the course of the conflict, could start on Friday and last for two or three days, he added.
    Rebels and local council sources said around 5,000 people would be evacuated from the suburb that, before the war, was home to a quarter of a million people.
    This would include around 1,000 fighters who would be evacuated with their light weapons to rebel-held areas in northern Syria. The army would reassert its control over the city and seize heavy weapons, state media said.