Talk:Deir Al-Asafir Playground Bombing

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Why a Playground?

Obviously, whoever would intentionally decided to use an occupied playground as the site of a cluster-bomb massacre had the intent of demonizing the Syrian government. If it could be proven a fighter jet dropped it, it would be pretty well proven it was the government itself was responsible, but accident couldn't be ruled out, especially with as little as we know about what the place was next to. But until we can know this was dropped by the Air Force, there are two broad alternatives to what the rebels are telling us (which will sort out in likelihood as the research develops): 1) there was no cluster bomb, but something else, with the gathered bomblets being some sort of a fake 2) I imagine some cluster munitions could be owned by the gov. anyway but stolen, or bought in from wherever. And it could be some are made to go off by impact triggering sensitive enough to take advantage of the little mechanisms one would find in a playground, but only when occupied. A see-saw, in particular, might do the trick with a little digging. 3) There are kinds that can be fired from a mortar, etc. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:46, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

There's speculation and indications (f.e. here following) that what they really "captured" wasn't the Air Force base, but a helicopter graveyard near it. Could it be that the shown "bomblets" are some old stuff from that graveyard? Would there be really that many unexploded if it were really cluster bombs?
From what i've read I think the "playground" was more like an abandoned open piece of land, but i'll have yet to look into it (am reluctant to watch the vids). --CE (talk) 12:38, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
Playground, see-saw... western imperialist mentality. Indeed, the little chairs and tea pot and blood smears are in an open field. Should look for cratering or whatnot next. The tail end of the shell is also show, sticking realistically out of the dirt (three-part shell, it seems). The bombs, I'm not totally sure how they're triggered, how many are supposed to go off, what kinds of force are really needed to trigger them, how widely they really scattered, i they could scatter at all from the ground (I don't think so), etc. Similar questions arose with the MAT-120 bombs allegedly used (with no deaths) in Misrata Libya. Many duds. Seemed strange then, still does now. They do look pretty bent and randomly damaged (someone trying to hard to make it look like they really fell on hard rocks and stuff?) Need LEVEL expert assessment. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:27, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
Here are two articles about "submunition identified in Syria". The second one is from yesterday. The described "mother bomb" is a certain RBK 250-275, which could be where the 250 on top of your rotated picture comes from. Shapes seem to match. Thermite spotted (it's real! ;o)). High rates of unexploded bomblets seem to be typical. --CE (talk) 14:20, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
Just saw that the load of the bomblet AO-1SCh in the leaflet in the first article is described as 40g "A-IX-2" (73% RDX) which is seen as inscription on the bomblets you posted. --CE (talk) 14:37, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
Also, just watched the video you took the shots from and found this in the related videos. October 12, same place, guy shows a bunch of "unexploded" weapons of the same kind. No markings at all, no dirt, almost look like mock-ups. But strong deformations. --CE (talk) 14:59, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
Cool finds! Possible connection between the bombs and the November ones. Dropping the author a line about the new one. More later. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:51, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
Good idea to mail him. There's something wrong with the google maps link you posted. It ends up in a different village north-west at the "A" marker. If you zoom out there's a green arrow south-east which shows the place in Deir Al-Asafir which is really meant, I guess. --CE (talk) 13:09, 29 November 2012 (UTC)
Got a response even, but not rushing it -I'm making little mistakes like this. Good catch. Will fix later if you don't first. Somehow, the A came out centered when I googled the numbers, and the arrow was way off frame. At the arrow, I wonder if they mean the actual alleged strike area. Looks more like that than the unexplained drop-off and re-load area (maybe where the cluster bomb brigade left off and the activists took over?) --Caustic Logic (talk) 14:15, 29 November 2012 (UTC)
And as for the junkyard -I think that might be a sidetrack. The satellite image suggests that, months old. The video, less so. The choppers look fairly intact, but an expert could say more. It's the alleged warplane they destroyed I'm interested in. Was it a Mig? As for finding the bomb there-Syria could well be lying and have things like this around to steal. But in this case, my gut says the plan to blame dead kids on this bomb preceded the 25th, and the raid on an air base (maybe a very low-level one) was tacked on to make some kind of point in conjunction with this bombing that requires being dropped from the air. And then there's the possibility they took the base to get some jet (that may not have existed really) to carry out this regime bombing themselves. Then I'd expect triumphant videos of the actual jet swooping in, which we don't have. But it's a thought. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:47, 28 November 2012 (UTC)

Children making tea in Houla: Hula saw the suffering of the people and their daily lives. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 09:49, 13 December 2012 (UTC)

Further sources awaiting digestion

text sources

I suspect SANA will have something to say. Incidentally, the cited Sept. source is not cached-at least on my end, the site's available again. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:42, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

The London-based Observatory for Human Rights put the death toll at eight...
The Syrian regime has denied using cluster munitions, saying it does not possess them, but their use has been documented by human rights groups and activists with increasingly frequency.
(So either the government's lying, or someone else in Syria is somehow using them.)
The state-run news agency SANA also reported heavy clashes between rebels and troops near Damascus airport, without giving further details.
US-based Human Rights Watch said Tuesday that evidence showed government airstrikes using cluster bombs killed at least 11 children near the capital on Sunday.
The Local Coordination Committees (LCC) of Syria said on Monday that a MiG fighter jet dropped the cluster bomb in the village of Deir al-Asafir, east of the capital Damascus.
Rami Abdulrahman, of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, was hesitant in verifying the claims, saying it is not entirely known what happened.
The Syrian troops on Monday killed " terrorists", including non-Syrians, in the central province of Homs and carried similar operations against members of al-Qaida- linked al-Nusra Front near the capital Damascus and northern Idlib province, the state media said, as activists reported heavy shelling by the government troops on rebels' strongholds nationwide.
A day earlier, activists said the rebels captured an airbase near the capital Damascus but withdrew later. The clashes at Marj al-Sultan base on the outskirts of Damascus claimed the death of at least 15 rebels and eight soldiers, activists said.
In hotspots around the capital Damascus, SANA said, the army units eliminated several armed groups that belong to the al-Nusra Front in the towns of Hajjira, Thiabia, Mashtal and Yalda.
It said some of the most dangerous "terrorists" were killed during the army showdown in those areas.
Also on Sunday, activists said at least nine children were killed when Syrian war jets hammered Damascus' suburb of Deir al- Asafir. Yet, the activists' reports could not be checked independently.
  • NYT, Watching Syria’s War
The New York Times is tracking the human toll of the conflict in this feature. The primary source is the online video that has allowed a widening war to be documented like no other, and posts try to put the video into context. Edited by LIAM STACK
(how crowded? How big a playground with how many kids? They seem to have no clue or basis for that adjective.) --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:28, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
Activists said at least 10 children were killed in the village of Deir al-Asafir on Sunday, when Syrian jets bombed a playground using munitions that included cluster bombs. Activists said the strike was in revenge for a rebel victory at the Marj al-Sultan military airport outside of Damascus. In this graphic video, screaming parents rush their bloody children to safety. While filming a little girl sitting alone, the cameraman asks, "What did this girl do, Bashar? It is a massacre!"


The Bombs/Other

  •  ?? 11/26 [1] Title translation: "Effects of bombing Ancodehaly (?) village of Deir sparrows (al Asafir), Nov. 25. Seems to be a hair salon for men who don't mind the color pink. Its windows have been shot out with bullets, and that might be what caused the copious blood on the floor inside.
  • Orient News compilation: bombing shown? Probably not. [2]

The Dead (and Injured)

notes: The girl in purple, (Roba Youssef al-Ali, 13, as identified by HRW?). She has either a slash or a splash of blood across her forehead, and perhaps a discernable wound across the throat, from around which most that blood clearly came. That's one alleged non-dud and child-throat-cutting 1970s cluster bomblet. Ouch. None of these kids looks much different than the little victims of the Houla massacre, except dressed a bit warmer. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:15, 29 November 2012 (UTC)
notes: On the left, the young girl in red seen laying out front -same face, same angle, same tan collar w/red stripe. Still no visible marks or blood. On the right, apparent boy, very young, with apparent sliced/fractured skull, from hairline north, right side (clearer with levels adjustment). --Caustic Logic (talk) 04:37, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
notes: very young girl - doesn't look like the 13-year-old, but maybe the 8-9 yo in red - apparently one of the two remaining nameless (? second thoughts?). She seems to have two tiny holes visible in the upper chest for shown fatal wounds - effects of cluster bombs?
  • Possibly Roba/the 13-year-old, in purple, possible throat-slicing victim, was apparently filmed on black cushions elsewhere. A still for a related video says so, but that CNN report has no such scene. And her name might be taken now.
notes: her neck and forehead have been washed of blood, but not the middle of her face. There's no wound visible on her forehead, and no slice in the neck, above the collar anyway, which is pulled high. However it happened, she was apparently wounded in the neck (as well as the upper right foot), and bled massively and died. Maybe the shrapnel just poked a hole in her lower left jugular, right at the collarbone level, rather than slicing it like a sloppy Islamo-nihilist would? --Caustic Logic (talk) 04:37, 3 December 2012 (UTC)