Talk:Events of March 2011

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This is a talk page for discussing Events of March 2011. For sources, claims and narratives see the main page. (To see what is hot, see recent changes)

Page Scope

Should this be a page on the events of March 2011, on that time in Dara'a, or just the shooting of protesters there? Because there doesn't seem to have been very much outside Dara'a area that early, but within it was also child torture and other pretty important things. I suggest the shooting violence only here, and any others we cover on their own pages, linked together. And for that, I propose we have a page for the early months together, maybe all of 2011. Give everything room to breathe. Would require a move and re-direct, however. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:14, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

I thought it to be relatively narrow - your existing proposal on the "other research" site (Daraa 22-24) seemed to be too narrow - but in March just from harvesting that one BBC article below we have events in Daraa on the 15, 18, 20 (that sniper shooting on the funerals seems a central event to create outrage), 23, 24, then the demonstrations reacting to the events in other cities, I saw in your JREF summary that there have been sniper events in Latakia and elsewhere, etc. That's already quite some stuff to cover. Doesn't have to be strictly only March, but the idea was to investigate the fuse that was lid in Syria. We must assume that each of those events was reaching the target audience in the designed version over Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya, igniting. But we can broaden or narrow the focus at any time, let's see where it leads us. btw - move plus no-re-direct is practically a rename, which is also possible at any time as long as there aren't too many links from elsewhere to the article. --CE (talk) 13:37, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

One last thought before I crash out. I came back to this idea, forgetting the last round. We're winding up largely on Deraa here, and a lot happened there and there's contention to sort out. The mosque, the imam, etc. That goes forward in time, but connects back to March so it fits. Agreed though this page (or part of it) should be countrywide, but also March might be too narrow. It wasn't until what, July, that people recognized guns shooting can mean anti-government people too. Busloads of soldiers were being slaughtered in April, etc. I'm thinking a broad page for all of this, with one sub-page so far, for Deraa events. Unless there's a good reason just March should be singled out. I guess some of that points to pre-planning like later stuff wouldn't, but how clearly, really? Stuff to mull over. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:55, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

Well, both the arms transport on March 11 and the Saudi guy's testimony were already on the page ("March 11" and "General"), so the scope is broad enough to overlook something already. ;o) Good job on expanding, though. Some time ago I harvested just the Washington Post website for early articles, hopping from late articles to earlier ones linked, and that gave a list of 12 bookmarks from March 15 to April 17. It seems the first April week has been relatively calm, but then on the 7th another central event with snipers and dead on both sides happened in Deraa, which we should include here. You can even watch them shooting from the sidelines in this video on the WP site. --CE (talk) 13:45, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
Added the bookmarks below. I see they end on April 17, I guess I felt like the narrative was formed by then (just read their page description). So, maybe "The First Month" would be a good title/scope? --CE (talk) 14:13, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

Starting Thoughts

Always thought looking closer into this could be useful, quite a lot of fog over it, especially over what happened in Dara'a. As mentioned today on the new site, not even the names of the children are known, just the same story repeated over and over again. Checked the french report The Lebanonization of Syria for details, but only the usual story there as well. The documentary embedded in the linked article seems to be worth watching - on liveleak, trying to embed here (*previews* - nah, doesn't work):

<iframe width="640" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

A collection of links to early articles about the events in Dara'a is here - text in German but links to English articles. (see below, collecting --CE (talk) 18:30, 11 April 2013 (UTC)) --CE (talk) 12:14, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

Watched the film now. It's not that relevant really. Some mildly interesting footage from Jish Al-Shugour and the Lebanese border, for a screen shot or so, but not much more. First three min about Daraa, got us a screenie of the Omari Mosque Imam. --CE (talk) 00:03, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
I looked into this a little bit once and have always meant to come back to it. It is entirely possible the government would try to repress protests with live fire, but it didn't seem these worked. Rather, the one or two killed at each protest were taken as like a lottery. You're either the martyr or one of the hundreds driven by him, a chance you take. They don't disperse or get repressed, only provoked, and convinced that guns, not protests, will be the way. And that's familiar from Libya. See below, deserves a section. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:42, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, good add. I recently found that blog of the Homsi "freedom fighter" by searching for the "Shabiba" Ba'ath youth organization and actually read his whole story. Some odd things about it and I wonder to which extent it is made-up propaganda (armed groups don't feature at all in the life of that guy who lives with his parents and does basically nothing while the dictator is killing his own people). But the part about how it started is quite interesting. He was involved in laying the foundation of their Arab Spring with guys on twitter and they agreed on the date March 15th to start it. Problem: nobody came. At least not in Homs. And next to nobody in Damascus. So they retried daily at this or the other mosque. The first demonstration with notable attendance was not before a good week later on March 25, and he got severely beaten up by some thugs, he says, for filming the event, while no general oppression took place. And the reason why people were coming that day: "... many were already on the stairs chanting for the martyrs in Dara” بالروح بالدم نفديك يا شهيد” “We would sacrifice our souls and blood for the martyrs”". Lottery win. --CE (talk) 13:26, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
Where I looked into it (took a while to re-locate): JREF forum post, Oct. 29 As a piece of research, eh - it's a start. As a slam to the jackasses I was arguing with, it was grand. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:14, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Indeed, great cinema! And very useful as an overview. --CE (talk) 13:37, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

Daraa is directly at the Jordanian border, closer than I was aware of. Maybe 4 kilometers. The toll gate is directly at the outer city border. The Omari mosque is in the SW part closest to the border, here on wikimapia, here on Google Maps. So "infiltrators" wouldn't have had a long way. --CE (talk) 16:16, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

Hey Folks, nice new wikimapia feature! There's a new switch in the top right corner under the search field with which one can change the satellite/map material. Has Yahoo, Bing and some other options in addition to Google. The Bing view doesn't have the closest range in Daraa but quite nice additional info from the material at the not-so-ultra-close level. --CE (talk) 20:22, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

Arming Omari Mosque

Anwar al-Eshki – armed from the begining.jpg
SANA, March 10, 2011
SANA, March 10, 2011
SANA, March 10, 2011
SANA, March 10, 2011

Infographic to be copied over into text sources, etc. Guardian reports rebel weapons seized March 12, loaded in Iraq. Anwar al-Eshki, former Saudi commander, tells the BBC his country armed the Omari mosque, claiming this was 'to defend themselves and exhaust the army.' --Caustic Logic (talk) 21:16, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

Infographic source: [1] - oddly, backed up with another photo, a deleted report re-published in China. Coming up a bit shy on text-searchable and verifiable. SANA is cited. Maybe their article exists? I'll see soon if no one beats me to it.--Caustic Logic (talk) 10:37, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
Google Image search returns this video:
-- Petri Krohn (talk) 21:52, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
Interesting. Sounds like his arming came later than these early days, with people already injured. Says he himself told Raid Al-Assad to go to Turkey and form the FSA. But says they were storing weapons at Omari mosque prior to this, as the government had also said, at a suspiciously early date, like that ephemeral report also does. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:37, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
SANA April 17: "The authorities seized on Sunday a huge consignment of weapons in a refrigerator truck driven by an Iraqi in a bid to smuggle it from Iraq to Syria via al-Tanf border crossing. ...machine guns of various kinds, automatic rifles, sniper rifles, pistols, night-vision scopes, grenade launchers and large quantities of various kinds of ammunition." Pretty darn similar. August 23. Nothing earlier pops up right away. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:42, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
And then there's this from Syria's security forces seize arms smuggled from Iraq, 11 March. "This content has been removed as our copyright has expired." Too bad the Guardian's real website is, right?--Caustic Logic (talk) 11:03, 7 August 2013 (UTC) now redirects to -- Petri Krohn (talk) 12:43, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
And that this looks like a legit subsidiary anyway (right?). So where's SANA's article? Etc.? That's it for today. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:06, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
The Guardian story is just a dispatch from Reuters, dated March 11, 2013. It should be possible to find it on some other platform. What remains is just Guardian's own title for the story. It is of little help in Googling. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 12:43, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
Here is a mirror of the Guardian story. and here is the same story as published by the New York Times:
Syria said Friday that its security forces seized a large shipment of weapons, explosives and night-vision goggles this week in a truck coming from Iraq. The official news agency SANA said the shipment, intercepted at the Tanaf border crossing on Monday, was intended “for use in actions that affect Syria’s internal security and spread unrest and chaos.” It did not say how many weapons were seized, but published pictures showed dozens of grenades and pistols as well as rifles and ammunition belts.
"Monday, this week" would be March 7, 2011. Satisfied? -- Petri Krohn (talk) 12:48, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
Original SANA story dated March 10, 2011 with photos, in Arabic, Turkish, and translated into Spanish.-- Petri Krohn (talk) 13:08, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
Damn, March 7, a week before the peaceful stuff even began. That means something. Good job there! And that's a real shipment too, not one of these ten shotguns and some firecrackers like the Turks seize every so often. --Caustic Logic (talk) 22:31, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
There is still the question of the authenticity of the photos. They have been used multiple times after the March 11 story (See here: Gaza, March 16, 2011), but I cannot find any use on Google image search prior to the date. The arms are definitely from Iraq, it is an odd collection of Soviet and American weapons (M16), unlikely to be seen elsewhere. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 23:36, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

It just hit me this March 7 bust might be part of why they whined so much about being unarmed in those first days. They were supposed to be better armed. More protesters yet were supposed to be killed. It was not the grand spectacular it was supposed to start with, to follow the senseless torture of kids thing. It picked up soon enough, and the original sin was embedded well enough, but still ... --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:07, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

  • Frontline: Inside Assad's Syria, October 27, 2015: at 17:00 the host Martin Smith speaks to an anonymous former Mukhabarat member who saw action in Deraa in these early days. He describes being unarmed (plastic clubs but no guns, and no protective gear either) as armed men among the protesters began firing. Smith asks "Were any of you guys killed?" The man responds "Yes of course. By a sniper shooting from the minaret of the mosque. He died before we could take him to a doctor." I'm guessing it's al-Omari mosque, before it was busted. --Caustic Logic (talk) 06:01, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

Al-Eshki Didn't Arm the Mosque?

Anwar Al-Eshki, as mentioned, later told BBC Arabic how someone from Daraa came to him and asked for weapons, which “at that time” they were already storing at al-Omari mosque, against the wishes of the imam. He approved of the idea, as he says “to defend themselves and exhaust the army.” BVut he never says clearly that he delivered these weapons, to add to those they already had. Al-Eshki says only that the request came before the defection of Riad al-Assad and the founding of the FSA, on his advice ("after that, I called Riad al-Assad..."). So it confirms rebels were storing weapons there prior to July, 2011, and quite possibly as of March 23, like the authorities had said. But it doesn't say they came from Saudi Arabia or his "independent" center for strategic studies. --Caustic Logic (talk) 22:27, 9 August 2016 (UTC)

I read it about the same way on first review (see above) but wanted to clarify. For example Tim Anderson's The Dirty War on Syria says "Saudi official Anwar Al-Eshki later confirmed to BBC television that his country had sent arms to Daraa and to the al-Omari mosque (Truth Syria 2012)." This doesn't specify it was the March 23 weapons they sent, but really he's not clear if he ever did send more weapons to fill the mosque with (seems likely, but the hiding spot might change) and it wouldn't be Saudi Arabia doing it ... officially. So fair enough on that point. --Caustic Logic (talk) 07:56, 10 August 2016 (UTC)

Video on LiveLeak (one on Youtube linked above is no longer available...). --Caustic Logic (talk) 07:56, 10 August 2016 (UTC)

What was in the Mosque

It was said (as HRW did) "Syrian TV broadcast pictures showing weapons, ammunition, and large amounts of money that the government alleged the armed gang stockpiled inside the mosque, but presented no evidence linking the materials to the alleged arm gang" aside from claiming they were inside the mosque the "protesters had gathered" in. In contrast, AP report said "(State TV) denied that security forces had stormed the mosque, but also showed footage of guns, AK-47s, hand grenades, ammunition and money that it claimed had been seized from inside." (AP via Global Research) Maybe they had mosque members with civilian police escort go in - to minimize claims of planting - after the few gunmen there surrendered, and had them remove any evidence they found. Or, they raided it. Or, they didn't and just showed a bunch of stuff they had on hand and said it was from the mosque, as we're to presume. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:06, 30 July 2016 (UTC)

Video: I finally looked for that video, and this seems to be it: حقيقة أحداث درعا (the truth about the events in Deraa) posted March 23, 2011 by ghassan17. Rifles, pistols, grenades, assorted materials, ammunition, (blocks of plastic explosives?), and piles of cash (presumably Syrian, not US anyway...) --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:06, 30 July 2016 (UTC)

at 1:48 , looks like bigger metal jar in grenade box, with marking resembling ф-1 . ф-1 is actually small Russian grenade 'limonka' (adopted from French/British version long time ago); we see lots of similar ones in the video. This is defensive anti-personnel grenade type (shrapnel flies far off, so supposed to be thrown from a cover). Metal jar (photo here) stores УЗРГМ (meaning Uniform hand grenade fuse modernized), for ф-1 grenades. White boxes, I think, are paper boxes containing patrons, we see few broken ones like that in the video. Hand guns seen 1:17 : appears to be Stechkin pistol, higher end for officers/spetznaz; lower end is Makarov, used by police, etc. Not very clearly seen, could be Makarov or altogether something else --Resup (talk) 16:33, 30 July 2016 (UTC)

Omari Mosque destroyed

As if to give this a current connection, Al-Arabiya reports (uploaded April 14, 2013) that the minaret of Omari Mosque has been blown-up and destroyed, allegedly by government forces. --CE (talk) 01:52, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

Minaret shape roughly matches. I have a hard time figuring out the point of view, though. The minaret - as the mentioned Bing footage shows better than the Google footage - is in the NW corner of the mosque. The only spot I can think of from where this is filmed is from the next corner of the street leading north from the minaret - but it seems the whole infrastructure on the video is far too small to match the map. Thoughts? --CE (talk) 02:09, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
Hey, I had a minute. Looks like a site match, filmed from a block up the north street, at the little building at the intersection, centered here on Wikimapia. District: حارة المسالمة منطقة السيبة (مدينة درعا "Peaceful lane Saybah area." The one view looks dark, pre-dawn, and the minaret is smoking (different incident? weird exposure?) The one with clear sunlight where it comes down is afternoon, sun just south of west (back on summer time, GMT +3) = anywhere between 4:10 and 5:15 PM. Would "the regime" demolish it? Possibly, if snipers kept using it, for example. It wasn't a surprise, apparently,as they sat there filming that way, as if expecting something to fall. Would they do it just to blame the regime? Sure, if it had been somehow rendered useless as a sniper's perch. Oh, but they're good Muslims... yeah, who seem to think God buys the same propaganda explanations they sell wholesale to their Western sponsors. Is that tank in the street the rebel is filming? --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:28, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, yes, this is the spot I meant as a candidate as well. On second view the scale of buildings also seem to match, had the impression from the sky that the buildings are higher/more densely packed. Well, as symbol of the "revolution" I could image a motive for some thuggish elements of the "regime" to get rid of it, but in general the mindset to blow up mosques exists on the other side as we know. Here is a report from pro-government Al-Ihkbariya TV. Context makes it clear they blame the same guys who blew up the other mosques, and somewhere in the middle is some interesting footage where you can see the lone tank at the mosque through an alley and then the camera turns around to a bunch of goons who seem to leave the area after a successful operation. And here is the scene filmed from the spot north in a 1:17 min uncut version. Title blames gov. Nobody on the streets, the lone tank (abandoned?) in front of the mosque, and the filmer and his buddies loudly allahuakbaring across the street in the end. Would they do that vis-a-vis a manned tank in government controlled territory? Here a report from Al Jazeera Arabic - regime-blaming I presume, and they have the "blind Sheikh" in the studio, the same day it supposedly happened (April 13). Additional footage from directly at the minaret - allahuakbaring.
Anyway, this apparently was the first mosque in the levant, 8th century. Pure insanity. :o( --CE (talk) 12:13, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
The flash inside its windows at 5:04 in the embedded video is interesting. The one tank hit wouldn't do it. I'm not expert enough to call this, but someone could. --Caustic Logic (talk) 22:32, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
Here's a report:
"This regime of unrestrained barbarism targeted with tanks the minaret of the Omari mosque, a place full of symbols of civilisation and spirituality and humanity," said the opposition Syrian National Council.
"The minaret of this mosque, which was build by Caliph Omar bin al-Khattab, is the first in the whole of the Levant, and has been destroyed by the soldiers of the tyrant," it added, referring to President Assad.
The Council noted the mosque had played a pivotal role in the beginning of the uprising against Assad, which sprung in large part from the city of Daraa after the arrest and torture of two boys.
"It was the first place that embraced the Syrian revolution during its infancy, the first wave of demonstrations of pride and dignity came out through its doors," said the Council.
"The first martyrs were shot by snipers in its minaret, fell on its walls and the first wounded were treated on its floors."
(might have inserted one of those lines, but it could be true ... maybe it was grossly defiled long before being false-flagged down) --Caustic Logic (talk) 22:32, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
Yeah those lines are parroted all over the place, "SNC said to Reuters". On liveleak a cut-together of some perspectives results in this poll. --CE (talk) 22:48, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

Let's call it Deraa

With a whole bunch of spellings around, I noticed that most "reputable" sources like BBC, Guardian, Al Jazeera etc spell it "Deraa". Which has the advantage of no "know-it-all" apostrophe like in "Dara'a" and a lesser chance of getting confused with Daraya due to the relative sparsity of a's. ;o) So I propose we stick with that. --CE (talk) 15:16, 18 April 2013 (UTC)

That's a good idea, for the same reasons you specify. I'll stick with that. Know it all, lol. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:22, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
I've mainly stuck with that here, but it still doesn't look right, and I've used mostly Daraa or Dara'a elsewhere, as these seem most common. I will get linguistic in a try at true know-it-all-ism: Arabic درعا - four letters:

د = D

(implied vowel, a or uh sound? e could do as well)

ر = r

ع = ' or ʕ ("Voiced pharyngeal fricative" wp - sounds like another implied vowel, maybe like a, by the audio reading here)

ا = a

So Dr'a is maybe the best literal way (speaking in voice or in mind inserts some vague vowel there anyway, though it looks like Dr. A), Daraa has good reason, ten other ways could work, and Deraa is one of them. Now, it looks right enough for general use. --Caustic Logic (talk) 08:04, 16 August 2016 (UTC)

The Graffiti Kids

Regarding the kids allegedly arrested and tortured for writing graffiti, that set off the events, Steven Sahiounie writes "The fact that those so-called teenaged graffiti artists and their parents have never been found, never named, and never pictured is the first clue that their identity is cloaked in darkness," and implictly, might be totally invented. I would take this as a flippant comment by someone who hasn't really looked, but ... have we ever seen any of these specifics? It's said the governor was sacked over the allegations, so I imagine there was some truth, some real people in there, but ... maybe not. --Caustic Logic (talk) 06:58, 11 August 2016 (UTC)

Ah, didn't see your addition and just recommended that article down in the "general" link collection. What you write is one of the "minor inaccuracies" I noticed and mentioned. AFAIR there are several contradicting stories (in "western" media) about the kids, including different sets of names and degrees of suffering, not in the least convincing. See my older links in the "general" section. The author might be unaware of those while having access to info from inside Syria, so I thought it was a minor inaccuracy in the big picture the article paints. The events are certainly murky. --CE (talk) 15:21, 15 August 2016 (UTC)
I got it from the front page first. Some different accounts are confused on one end or another. Below is one BBC report taken as naming Hamza al-Khatib nd Thamer al-Sharei, but those are among kids killed later (specifically, April 29). So, not sure how hidden or confused it is. But not spelled out anyway, very often. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:10, 15 August 2016 (UTC)

I then took a moment to check the VDC's detainees list. BTW they have a whole new design, and were considered a threat by my computer, so ... But they do have a record with names. all February and up to March 15 arrests of boys in Deraa yields 18 boys, all arrested Feb. 27, all or most seem to be released March 20, by this. One has the backgroun: "One of the kids who were arrested after the incident of writing on the walls of their schools." And notes "Detained with 18 child,they were tortured and humiliated and pulled out their nails by Regime's Forces just because they wrote slogans mocking the the Syrian regime.And all were released after nearly a month with the exception of Ahmed Thani Rsheidat Abazaid stayed for six months in detention." --Caustic Logic (talk) 07:47, 12 August 2016 (UTC)

So, as reported, here are the names, in order listed:

  • Nedal Anwar Abazaid
  • Abdulrahman Nayef Rsheidat Abazaid
  • Ahmed Thani Rsheidat Abazaid
  • Akram Anwar Abazaid
  • Bashir Farouq Abazaid
  • Alaa' Mansour Rasheidat Abazaid
  • Yousof Adnaan Swedaan
  • Mo'aweyah Faysal Sayasnah
  • Samer Ali Sayasnah
  • Ahmed Jehaad Abazaid
  • Isaa Hassan Abo Al-Qayas
  • Mustafa Anwar Abazaid
  • Nayef Mwafaq Abazaid
  • Ahmed Shukri Al-Akrad
  • Muhammad Ayman Mnwar Al-Akrad
  • Ahmed Nayef Rsheidat Abazaid
  • Muhammad Ameen Yassen Rsheidat Abazaid
  • Nabil Emad Rsheidat Abazaid

Name notes:

  • Abazaid (or AbuZaid) = 12 entries!
  • Sayasnah = 2 entries - name of the 'blind sheikh' who opposed storing weapons at the mosque --Caustic Logic (talk) 07:47, 12 August 2016 (UTC)

Sam Heller reports this from that recent conference for western and domestic journalists:

“We want the real story on the Daraa children,” [a Syrian audience member] said. “We want to know what our story is, the correct story. At least we can give our local media this story, and they can mention it so people know.”
Breidi, the senior intelligence officer, told her the government had hastened at the time to form a committee to investigate the alleged detention and torture. “It reached the conclusion that the issue didn’t exist,” he said.

So that seems to be the official story. Didn't happen at all. --CE (talk) 11:54, 24 November 2016 (UTC)

Deraa Fatalities

Let's take a closer look at the steady stream of "protesters" killed by "regime" in the second half of March 2011 (and maybe beyond). It was these few dozen initial fatalities that "sparked a fire" so many have poured petrol over, endlessly referring back to this one apparently crystal clear first chapter, as the storyline gets ever murkier and more brutal. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:26, 27 October 2013 (UTC)


CDV Early Death Records

The following are the first entries in the CDV regime forces (otherstatistics) database. I thought it should all go together somewhere; though it goes a bit beyond Deraa, it's mostly about there. Each page is headed "Report a Regime Army cascualty," but a couple seem to not be, and more are a bit vague. Note several entries since moved/passed over, etc. Not sure what those mean. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:54, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

  1. 1 Ayham Ahmad al-Hariri, from Daraa (Hirak), March 18 video 1 video 2
  2. 2, 3, 4: (deleted/don't exist) 5 Rafat Ahmad Krad, March 20

If you check the first entries in the martyr's list, you'll see there was a copying-over. Somehow all entries were first put in this category and some remain, as well as their spaces. How many? I don'tknow, but it's padding the slim "regime forces" casualties by that much. It continues up to 100 at least, as do late-listed victims of the violent day of March 23.--Caustic Logic (talk) 13:54, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

How many March 23? The reports we heard in the news sound like 7 (morning) + 6 (evening) + 6 (found later) = about 20. CDV lists 56 martyrs nationawide on March 23, apparently all in Deraa. Two victims are from elsewhere, but these are soldiers stationed in and killed in Deraa. Three children: the Masalmeh girl (11 - see below), and two older boys, one 15 (Ibrahim Jamel al-Mahmed, "Praise the Demonstration which Lifted the Siege on Omari Mosque") and another 17 (Fadi Khalid Al-Masri). Four men of al-Hariri family were picked off, thee Abazaids, three al-Masris (including the 17-year-old), two Salamats, seven Mahameeds (or 8, including the 15-year-old?), and the Masalmehs were hit hard, six victims that day. Single names include Turkmeni, Kurdi, Akrad (means Kurd), and there's a Palestinian. Many of these are listed as victims of "al-Omari Mosque Massacre" while others are not. The Mahameeds and Masalmehs at least are. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:54, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

Later I noticed the Krad family. One member Malek Mahmoud Mufdi al-Krad died March 23, while two - Raed and Rafat died on the 20th. Just one of the two was mentioned in this report (Arabic) as having a funeral that sparked new protests:
Thousands of residents of Daraa Tuesday [sic], 03/21/2011 at the funeral of the young man martyr Raed Alkrad who at the age of 23 years and who fell during a demonstration in the city, and mourners chanted slogans demanding political freedom and an end to corruption...'

Big Families

Who were the original arrested and tortured boys? The exact names don't seem to be reported usually. One Bashir Abazed said he pulled the paintcan trigger, but only came out in April, 2013 (then 18) to the Daily Fail. But as Hugh Macleod heard it in April 2011, authorities detained and tortured 10-15 boys of the same age range, on suspicion of sowing dissent, soon after their March 6 antisocial display. Macleod explanation makes it plainly clear what a poor alleged choice this was as far as an effort to quell dissent, followed by consistently disastrous escalations:

The disappearance of Syrian citizens, even children, inside the cells of one the state’s notorious security branches may not have been anything unusual for people accustomed to living for half a century under emergency laws.
But the arrested boys were from almost every big family of Daraa: the Baiazids, the Gawabras, the Masalmas and the Zoubis.
In the largely tribal society of Syria’s south, family loyalty and honor run deep. So when security forces opened fire on the families of the missing who had marched to the governor’s house to demand their release, the regime had started a fatal feud.
“When the people saw the blood, they went crazy. We all belong to tribes and big families and for us blood is a very, very serious issue,” said Ibrahim, a relative of one of the boys arrested.--Caustic Logic (talk) 11:26, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

Very interesting report, claiming to be an Israeli plan some Israeli posted on the Internet for how to overthrow Syria's government by exactly what's happening. I don't buy that, not sure if I'm really supposed to. Either way, it's a fascinating read put together by someone with insights.

1. Push each sect to commit very horrific bloody massacres against sects that oppose it, film it and publish it on the media as fast as possible and to start such massacres in areas away from Damascus, not to use too much blood so people won’t withdraw.
In Latakia and Tartus, the Alawites from the network would slaughter young men from the Sunna and mutilate their bodies chanting Long Live Bashar, and in Aleppo Salafis from the network would attack Alawite villages, burn their houses, terrify them to leave their villages and chant: “death to Nasiris, death to enemies of Sahaba (prophet’s companionships), in Hasaka Arabs from the network would slaughter and lynch some of the young Kurds visually with un-understood language that the Kurds would only understand without translations, killing some Christians especially Armenians, and in Daraa, snipers from outside the city would kill young men from Al Jawabra and Al Mahameed families and avoid approaching the Aba Zaids and Masalma.

Intereting use of real family names in that example, but it seems all of them were "approached." Not the big Christian families, I suspect. Not at first (Are there any? I briefly mixed Qusayr in with Daraa). --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:26, 27 October 2013 (UTC) and --Caustic Logic (talk) 14:16, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

The Hugh Macleod report above, and likely other sources, say these certain families were picked by the government to first rile up with child abductions from each one, then opening fire on the members who came to ask for their release. Likely that story is missing some details, and perhaps has details the reality never did. I don't know how much of this can be known, how real these abductions were, by whom and where, on whose authority, unclear. But for riling up the biggest families in this way, is clearly in line with the interests of those seeking overthrow, confrontation, and war. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:41, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

Masalmeh Family

Anti-Government Side
Mohamed Masalmeh -- a Halifax, Nova Scotia-based Syrian activist whose family hails from Daraa -- said Daraa residents broke the people's "wall of fear" by defying what he and others call a police state and taking to the street. "What people did in Daraa was unheard of," he said.
On April 25, 2011, a man held up a video camera in Daraa. He was not an experienced videographer and he did not have a tripod. He stood in front of a group of Syrian army soldiers with tanks and filmed them shooting their machine guns towards civilian targets. Each time he watched the clip on his laptop, he noticed the footage was shaky due to his trembling hand, so he would go back to his dangerous and exposed vantage point to film once more. He did this 24 times before he had a somewhat stable clip. 
His name was Mohamed “Abu al-Nimer” Masalmeh. On January 18, 2013 — after 22 months of reporting as a citizen journalist from Daraa— he was killed by Assad snipers in the village of Busra al-Harir. He was armed with a microphone and his camera.
Ibrahim Nayef al-Masalmeh, a member of an extremist terrorist group in Daraa, said the armed groups’ activities in the city started when the security forces began withdrawal from Daraa. The Syrian TV on Monday broadcast confessions of Ibrahim Nayef al-Masalmeh, a member of a terrorist group in Daraa city, to killing and terrifying citizens in the city. The withdrawal from the city came after President Bashar al-Assad promised Daraa dignitaries to order the withdrawal of security forces. Al-Masalmeh said he and Yasser al-Mahamid, another member of the terrorist group, distributed 20 rifles and ammunition to people, not to mention the huge amounts of cash received. Al-Masalmeh said one of his friends told him that there are mass protests all over Syria on Friday and that they will start after noon prayer. He said that the armed groups started at night guarding with sticks and some people brought their weapons from their houses. Al-Masalmeh added that Yasser al-Mahamid provided the group repeatedly with ammo. He added that the number of those groups’ members is about 200 people, pointing out that as the army entered the city they fired against soldiers and told Sheikh Ahmad al-Saiyasneh that they have decided to prevent the army from entering the city and he said, “If this is what you want, may God protect you”.
Pro-Government Side

?? --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:26, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

Death Records, March 2011-present

Before and beyond the 23rd, The first 14 deaths of the Masalmeh familiy of Deraa: all in the regime forces list, first on March20 the first child martyr, the only one to die from inhaling tear gas while protesting.

Notes: He was martyred by suffocation after being exposed to tear gas" (March 19, NYT: "The authorities used tear gas, but the gas seemed more toxic than ordinary tear gas, witnesses said. “Many suffered near suffocation and paralysis symptoms,” said a witness reached by phone.")--Caustic Logic (talk) 13:54, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

Three days later, they were hit hard in the alOmari mosque massacre, six members killed including the first girl victim Ibtisam Mohammad Rasheid al-Masalmeh age 11. Not even out protesting, "She was shot while she was standing on the balcony of her house," towards which bullets were flying as this family was singled out? Otherwise, only adult men are listed that day and beyond, 12 of them. Ashraf Ahmad al-Masalmeh, Daraa, engineer, killed in the massacre. The others give depressingly little detail.

One of the al-Masris killed that day was an engineer too:

Ashraf Abdulazeez Masri, Daraa, 40, wife and 3 kids, engineer, (photo)صفحة-الشهيد-أشرف-عبد-العزيز-المصري/255300004492427 --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:54, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

For a month and a day, no deaths, then April 24, a member shot, and another the 25th. On the 28th, the first one is listed as killed by shelling. Haytham Ibrahim al-Masalmeh, no more details, maybe the first mutilation victim. Another was shot the 30th, an older man, says the photo. May 2 and 3, one more each day. And finally May 13, Ahmad Abdullah al-Arsan al-Masalmeh, age 60. Then no more up to the end of June (as far as I checked). --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:54, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

Okay, to end of year adds only two more: 13-year-old boy, shot July 15 - man, shot Sept. 4 Following year, 2012, 21 total One non-civilian (rebel) - none the year before, an improvement. Also killed, 16 civilian men, two women (one shot, one in shelling), two boys (shelling). All 2013: 38 21 non-civilian (rebel) - 9 civilian men, 3 civilian women (shelling, all), 2 boys, 3 girls (mixed shelling/shooting). --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:54, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

Mahameed Family

Apparently the first victim from this family was March 23: Ali Ghassab Mahameed, doctor, one of the three medical personnel killed apparently in an ambulance at or near the rebel al-Omari mosque in the pre-dawn hours. This "al-Omari Mosque Massacre" would claim the lives of several family members of his, or people with the same name, by the end of the day. Mahameed/Mahamed = 7 Mahmed= 1 (a 15-year-old boy) = likely 8 total including the unfortunate doctor. --Caustic Logic (talk) 15:19, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

Reading that, it could seem whoever killed him decided then that they hated all his kin too and tracked them down. A bit extreme ...But this is big rebel family, and that fact seems to precede slightly and supercedede Ali's death ... so why was their family's doctor first killed? Was he using the ambulance to help the rebel cause when he/they wound up fighting the army? Was he fetched there for some reason, like to help smuggle the weapons out before they were found, and killed for non-cooperation? Or is the family big enough they're half the town and this is a total coincidence? --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:53, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

By the end of 2011, the toll was 21, one rebel fighter, 20 civilian adult males. Seven were killed in Daraa al-Balad on April 29. --Caustic Logic (talk) 15:19, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

Military Deaths

CDV, March 15-March 31: seven March 15-April 15: 61 That two weeks makes a difference. Of the first seven, three at least died in Deraa:

Soldiers killed elsewhere (or perhaps Deraa) in March: 3-26 Idlib: Kafrenbil 3-30 Damascus Suburbs : Douma 3-26 unstated (from Homs) "Killed while guarding the officers club" 3-29 unstated (from Lattakia] "As he was driving the patrol's car , An armed group shot it , and accordingly the car exploded , and he died instantly"

AP report, via Global Research notes "The London-based Syrian Human Rights Committee reported … that Syrian authorities shot and killed soldier Khaled al-Masri for refusing orders to take part in storming al-Omari mosque." Checking VDC:

  • Khalid Abdulkareem al-Masri from Talkalakh Homs, non-civilian, soldier (on the martyr's list) from Talkalakh, Homs, shot March 23 in Daraa, because he "Refused to open fire at the peaceful demonstrators." Picture, young guy, maybe 20-ish.
  • They also have Ashraf Abdulazeez Masri from Daraa province (where, not specified), civilian, an engineer, age 40 (photo, looks at least that old) shot the same day in "al-Omari Mosque Massacre"
  • And Fadi Khalid Al-Masri, civilian, a barber, age 17, from Khirbet Gazalla, Daraa (on Wikimapia). By name, this could be a son of the killed Khaled, but by given ages that makes no sense. Are these three killed Masris all a coincidence? It's a fairly common name, but a fairly small "massacre." --Caustic Logic (talk) 07:42, 31 July 2016 (UTC)
Al-Masri means 'the Egyptian', FWIW -wiki--Resup (talk) 12:03, 31 July 2016 (UTC)




Date Unclear, but reportedly in April, 2011. Two videos, both apparently leaked or intercepted, and both very graphic - The victims are civilian men with bags looking like grocery bags lightly filled with pasta and such. One at least has his skull split open, apparently by a blade:

  • A new Massacre in Daraa April 2011 uploaded May 22 by opposition sympathizers. Description: "In this video tape, 5 people from Daraa in Syria were attempting to provide the food to the children under blockade in the region of "Daraa Albalad". The security guards killed them brutality. The video shows the security guards of Bashar Al-Assad dressing as Syrian army uniform and telling jokes, mocking, and abusing on the dead people." So not really soldiers, but dressed that way, and actually from deep-state ranks of the Alawite death cult, whose video gets made and then gets out ... No one very identifiable except the fair-haired (commander?) with mustache and distinctive ring)
  • Syrian security and military crimes in Deraa 2011 Undated, uploaded in June. Same scene but different light, app. later, bodies flipped over-re-arranged a bit. App. different soldier looking people - also in costume? - also film their massacre and it gets to rebel sources somehow. Plenty of pround and identifiable faces in here, whoever it is. Note: the killing doesn't seem to have just happened. These soldiers apparently heard about a massacre here, by them or someone else a day or so earlier, and they came back to make these leak-prone videos. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:48, 30 July 2016 (UTC)


March 10

Syrian Authorities Uncover Large Quantity of Weapons in Iraqi Truck at al-Tanaf Crossing Point

Syrian authorities on March 7, 2011 stopped an Iraqi person driving a truck owned by another Iraqi while he was entering the Syrian territories through al-Tanaf crossing point coming from Iraq.
The Syrian authorities uncovered a large quantity of heavy, medium and light caliber weapons, bombs and night vision binoculars in secret hideouts in the truck.
The driver admitted that the owner of the car loaded the weapons in a garage in Roz Avenue in Baghdad and asked him to transport them to Syria and hand them to someone whom he will contact through cell phones in return for USD 5000.
The weapons are meant to be used to destabilize internal security in Syria.

March 11

Syria: Weapons Intercepted – Reuters, via The New York Times, 11 March 2011

(Syria's security forces seize arms smuggled from Iraq – same story, via The Guardian)
  • Syria has revealed that its security forces have seized a large shipment of weapons, explosives and night-vision goggles in a truck coming from Iraq.
  • The official news agency Sana said the shipment, intercepted at the Tanaf border crossing on Monday, was intended "for use in actions that affect Syria's internal security and spread unrest and chaos".

March 16

Middle East unrest: Syria arrests Damascus protesters, BBC, Lina Sinjab in Damascus

  • around 150 people demonstrated in Damascus, 35 arrested and mostly released again, following "hundreds" of protesters the day before
  • Funny: The SOHR at this point is an organization on the ground advocating political prisoners rights: "After a long wait and rumours of an impending release of prisoners of conscience in Syria, our hopes have vanished," said a statement from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The organisation - which groups together the families of 21 jailed human rights activists - had said it planned to demonstrate in front of the ministry on Wednesday.

Israel Unveils Seized Arms Cache From Cargo Ship

  • Israel intercepts weapon shipment (from Turkey?) in international waters in the Mediterranean, claims arms were from Iran, going via Syria to Gaza.
Hm! Not rifles and night goggles. "advanced anti-ship missiles" that could cancel a blockade of Gaza, or cancel a Syrian government blockade of rebel-held Baniyas, for example. Otherwise, due to the unusual nature and ambition suggested, it might be more like what Israel said. They say it left Syria, went to Turkey, then was stopped en route to Egypt. Anything on board could be loaded in either, but it doesn't sound like the best route to smuggle weapons into Syria. --Caustic Logic (talk) 14:21, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

March 18 (Friday)

Middle East unrest: Three killed at protest in Syria, BBC

  • At least three protesters have been shot dead in the south Syrian city of Deraa as security forces clamped down on a protest rally.
  • Two of the dead people were named by witnesses as Hussam Abdel Wali Ayyash and Akram Jawabreh
  • Activists claim up to five dead, helicopters involved, "hundreds" injured and "snatched by security forces" from hospital and moved to unknown locations.
  • Sana said violence and "acts of sabotage" had broken out at a demonstration in Deraa on Friday, prompting security forces to intervene. It accused "infiltrators" of seeking to "provoke chaos through acts of violence which resulted in damage to private and public property".
  • Arrested children are not mentioned as cause for the protests, just general slogan shouting and Assad bashing

Violence erupts at protests in Syria, Al Jazeera

  • generally contains the same as BBC report about Deraa
  • Has video of two water cannons used against protesters on some main road (from a casual look at the town this spot is a very good candidate for the bridge and the road - filmed from roughly north)
  • quotes SANA more extensively: "Infiltrators took advantage of a gathering of citizens near the Omari Mosque in the city of Deraa on Friday afternoon to provoke chaos through acts of violence which resulted in damage to private and public property," the agency reported. "The infiltrators also set cars and shops on fire, which obliged security forces to intervene in order to protect citizens and property. They were also attacked by the infiltrators before the latter dispersed."
  • protests in Banias, Homs and Damascus (says video, shows Banias, says information can't be verified ... the birth of a mantra? ;o))

March 20

7 Syrian policemen killed in Sunday clashes, report, YaLibnan based on report from Xinhua and NYT

  • Seven policemen killed while trying to drive protesters away, according to xinhua
  • protesters attacked the communication centre, the national hospital, burned the headquarters of the Baath Party and the court house in Dara’a, according to Al Jazeera
  • Interior ministry formed Committee to investigate happenings
  • Omari mosque turned into field hospital, police sprayed tear gas, then opened fire, say witnesses to NYT
  • city is surrounded by police, roads are closed, phone and internet teporarily shut down, according to NYT
  • "As on previous days, the Syrian authorities denied any role in the violence and characterized the protesters and those who shot at them as infiltrators." NYT says SANA warned against “infiltrators who are working in a number of security branches pretending to be high-ranking security personnel and officers and claiming to have strict instructions from the police to use live ammunition and violence to end any suspicious gatherings.”
  • small scale protests in Damascus and in Quneitra

Syria: Seven Police Killed, Buildings Torched in Protests, Israel National News

  • On Friday police opened fire on armed protesters killing four and injuring as many as 100 others. <-- that would be on the 18th, while other sources say the 100 injured occured on the 20th at the funerals:
  • At the funerals of two of those killed opposition leaders handed authorities a list of demands, which included the release of political prisoners. In an uncharacteristic gesture intended to ease tensions the government offered to release the detained students, but seven politice officers were killed, and the Baath Party Headquarters and courthouse were torched, in renewed violence on Sunday. The latest clashes occurred after unconfirmed reports that two more protesters had been killed began to circulate.
  • One minute video report by Euronews
  • 40sec Euronews report from a day later shows torching of Ba'ath party headquarters, court house etc.
  • claims there were also protests in Banias (on the Mediterranean coast), in Homs and with "large number of arrests" in Damascus
  • 4:19 min raw video footage from the protests, burning cars in front of court house, etc.

March 23

Syria unrest: 'Protesters killed' at Omari mosque, BBC, Lina Sinjab (allegedly from Deraa but not allowed into city center)

  • six dead protestors at Omari mosque in Old City, say activists (already SOHR among them), shot by security forces
  • four dead says government: a medical team of three (doctor, paramedic, driver) and one security force member. Killed by armed gang. Weapons from inside the mosque were seized
  • that makes total of 12 dead according to BBC count. Six at the mosque, 4 at an earlier protest on March 18 (fire from security forces), one at a funeral on March 20 (sniper) and a 11 year old boy from tear gas inhalation on March 21
  • There were shots at two funerals on the 20th of people killed on the 18th, with the one mentioned killed and "around hundred"(!!) wounded
  • Deraa Governor was sacked by Assad, his name is Faisal Kalthoum
  • 15 children detained for the Graffitis were released
  • Author Lina Sinjab: "As we were leaving, we saw a long convoy of army vehicles and soldiers heading towards the city. A crowd of government supporters was also going towards Deraa, shouting pro-regime slogans. There were hundreds of them in cars and on motorcycles."
This is the date I had in mind and looked at a bit. Two sources I found useful here: Human Rights Watch (aka Inhuman Wrongs Whitewash) - (Physicians for Human Rights (aka Inhuman Wrongs Plastic Surgery Brigade, confirms and names ambulance crew killed by someone) --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:14, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
This might be the video. (The "February 2011" date in most likely wrong.) -- Petri Krohn (talk) 18:22, 31 January 2018 (UTC)

Syrian forces kill at least six in midnight mosque attack, say Deraa residents, Reuters/Guardian

  • killed Doctor ("by sniper") is named as Ali Ghassab al-Mahamid
VDC Ali Ghassab Mahameed. Iwonder why seven or more people with the same family name were killed by the end of the day (see above)? --Caustic Logic (talk) 14:43, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Before the attack, the electricity supply and telephone services to the area were cut off. Cries of "Allahu Akbar (God is the greatest)" erupted across neighbourhoods in Deraat, close to the border with Jordan, when the shooting began. It was not immediately clear whether the protesters had any weapons.
  • Tents erected at Omari mosque. Preacher gave interview to Al-Arabiya, said protest is peaceful, his name is Ahmad Siasneh

Syrian forces shoot protesters, kill six in mosque – Suleiman al-Khalidi / Reuters, March 23, 2011

Despite regime's grip, Syrians rally on – Mona Alami Special for USA TODAY

Syria: Hospital reports 37 bodies after anti-Assad protests (UPDATES) (VIDEO) – Globalpost

  • A picture shows courthouse that was torched a day earlier by angry protesters in the southern town of Daraa, 60 miles south of Damascus, on March 21, 2011 following a demonstration demanding "freedom" and an end to 48 years of emergency laws in Syria under President Bashar al-Assad and his father Hafez. (Louai Beshara /Getty Images)
  • Deleted Guardian video ("our copyright has expired") "shows bloody scenes on streets of the southern Syrian city of Deraa as Syrian forces appear to open fire on hundreds of demonstrators. At least 15 were shot dead"

CNN March 24: 15 killed in clashes between protesters, security forces in Syria

Escalating violence between Syrian security forces and anti-government protesters claimed 15 people Wednesday in the city of Daraa, witnesses and rights activists said. ... There was no breakdown on the casualties. According to activists and witnesses, seven people died shortly after dawn prayers near al Omari mosque. ... Later, about 3,000 protesters from neighboring towns gathered outside Daraa and clashed with an army unit ... Eight more people died in the later clashes, bringing the death toll Wednesday to 15, according to the sources. Overall, at least 21 people have died in unrest in the city since Friday.

AP, March 23:

Syrian police launched a relentless assault Wednesday on a neighborhood sheltering anti-government protesters, fatally shooting at least 15 in an operation that lasted nearly 24 hours, witnesses said.
At least six were killed in an early morning attack on the al-Omari mosque in the southern agricultural city of Daraa, where protesters have taken to the streets in calls for reforms and political freedoms, witnesses said. An activist in contact with people in Daraa said police shot another three people protesting in the Roman-era city center of Daraa after dusk. Six more bodies were found later in the day, the activist said.
Aren't protesters supposed to stick together better than that? Note between the last two, two different ways of getting at the same number, about 15. If all the different parts are taken together it's 6-7 at dawn, 3 in protests, eight in clashes, six executed people = 23-24. Counting soldiers and police, or not? --Caustic Logic (talk) 14:09, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

March 24

Anything? Seems to have been a hangover day? CDV shows one death: Mohammad Mahmoud al-Ghuthani, civilian, from Daraa (Inkhel), shot. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:12, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

March 25 (Friday)

  • Deleted Guardian video ("our copyright has expired") subtitled "Some reports claim up to 20,000 people attended funerals of nine people killed by the military at a mosque in the southern Syrian city of Deraa"
  • Guardian's Brian Whitaker briefs the audience with 20 things you need to know about Syria - last point: 20. Assault in Deraa: Deraa, the centre of the 2011 uprising, is where TE Lawrence ("Lawrence of Arabia") was captured during the first world war while reconnoitring in disguise and, according to his account, was severely beaten and sexually abused by the Turkish governor. The incident affected Lawrence deeply and is said to have awakened his masochistic tendencies which later resulted in him paying military colleagues to beat him.
  • Amnesty International claims at least 55 deaths since the beginning, including: Al Jazeera aired comments by a man who said security forces had killed 20 people on Friday in the nearby town of Sanamein. Nearby Deraa, that is. --CE (talk) 15:06, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Tishreen News reports that "an armed gang" attacked the army headquarters in al-Sanamin, 50 km south of Damascus. Several attackers die.
  • How Saudi Arabia and Qatar Became Friends Again - Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, Foreign Policy, July 21, 2011
    As early as March 25, Egyptian-born Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a popular religious scholar who for many years maintained a weekly show on Al Jazeera and who is a longtime member of the Muslim Brotherhood, declared his full and emphatic support for the Syrian revolution in a Friday sermon.

March 26

Security forces kill 2 in Syria port city, activist says, Jerusalem Post

  • 260 prisoners, "mostly Islamists", released by Gov
  • Activist Ammar Qarabi tells Reuters from Cairo that two "protesters" were killed while trying to torch the Ba'ath party HQ in Latakia
  • Reuters (in a different article) says the two bring the death toll in Latakia up to six ("I have the name of four martyrs who have fallen in Latakia yesterday," exiled dissident Maamoun al-Homsi told Reuters by telephone from Canada on Saturday.) and that The official Syrian news agency said armed groups had "shot citizens, passers by and security forces" from rooftops in the city. The agency did not give details.
  • In nearby Tafas, mourners in the funeral procession of Kamal Baradan, who was killed on Friday in Deraa, set fire to the Baath party building and the police station, residents said.

March 27

Syrian clashes leave at least 12 dead as government delays concessions, Guardian, from Damascus

  • 12 dead in Latakia
  • A government source blamed the deaths on "attacks by armed elements on the families and districts of Latakia", according to the official Sana news agency. But activists accused the security forces of opening fire on protesters in the city, where they say the offices of the ruling Ba'ath party have been torched.
  • On Sunday night, there were reports of gangs of young men, some armed with swords and hunting rifles, roaming through the seaside city and roughly questioning passersby.
  • etc pp, long article on "ten days of unrest"

March 30

Assad gives speech to the nation.

April 1

More video footage from Friday's protests in Syria have emerged and some of the clips claim to show disturbing scenes of unknown assailants opening fire on demonstrators and chaos in the streets.


Saudi official Anwar Al-Eshki later confirmed to BBC television that arms had indeed been provided to groups within Syria, and they had stored them in the al-Omari mosque. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:38, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
Who is in the streets? According to Al Jazeera, the protesters are in the streets together with the soldiers, and both the protesters and the soldiers are being shot at by “plain clothes secret police”, by “paid thugs” and government sponsored snipers. The impression conveyed in the report ["Daraa under Siege" - good codeword for further search it seems - CE] is that these casualties are attributed to infighting between the police and the military. But the report also says that the soldiers (in the “thousands”) control all roads in and out of the city, but they are being shot upon by the plain clothed secret police. The purpose of this web of media deceit, namely outright fabrications –where soldiers are being killed by police and “government snipers”– is to deny the existence of armed terrorist groups. The later are integrated by snipers and “plain clothed terrorists” who are shooting at the police, the Syrian armed forces and local residents.
  • Video, BBC Arabic with English subtitles uploeded April 2012, Interview with "Anwar Al-Eshki", a Saudi Ex-Military and now president of "Center for Strategic studies" in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He tells how someone from Daraa came to him and asked for weapons, and he says that they stored weapons at the Omari Mosque, and that the preacher there was against using arms. He calls him "the blind sheikh" and it's the same name given above by Reuters, here (in the comment) spelled Ahmad Al-Sayasinah. Also claims to have advised Riad Al-Asaad to go to Turkey and found the FSA there.
    Mirror with additional details. Link (dead?) to SANA. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 09:27, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, yeah, link to SANA is unfortunately dead. --CE (talk) 12:40, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
SANA link: HRW cited it in this PDF 4 “Instigators Mingle with Crowds of Prayers Trying to Cause Chaos in Daraa & Banias,” SANA, March 18 2011, (accessed May 29, 2011) (“a number of instigators tried to create chaos and unrest damaging public and private properties and setting fire to cars and shops”); “Official Source: Armed Gang Attacks Medical Team in Daraa Killing Doctor, Paramedic, Driver, Security Member ,” SANA, March 24 2011, (accessed May 29, 2011);. Context was "The Syrian government-controlled media denied the security forces’ role in the violence, blaming it on “instigators,” “armed gangs,” and “foreign elements.”4." Current link then, from the title: - date bumped back? --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:15, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Interview with "Sheikh Ahmad Al-Sayasna" (in Jordan) by (Saudi?) newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, March 15, 2012. "I met with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad on 14 April last year, and [during this meeting] he generally listened but did not talk. I told him frankly that “if you want reform then you must prepare an atmosphere of reform, but if you kill people and besiege cities, then this will not bring about safety or security.” I explained what was truly happening on the ground to him, and told him that he was being misinformed about the situation in Deraa and who was responsible for the massacres and scandals that were taking place." Blames violence on Hezbollah, Iranian Revolutionary Guard and - a new one - Iraq's Mahdi army. All Shi'ite evil combined. --CE (talk) 12:40, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Inside Deraa, long "tell-it-all" Al Jazeera feature article, April 19, 2011, "Huge McLeod and a reporter in Syria" ... It was here on March 6 that the spark that lit the Syrian uprising was struck: The arrest, detention and torture of 15 young boys for painting graffiti slogans of the Arab revolution - "As-Shaab / Yoreed / Eskaat el nizam!" "The people / want / to topple the regime!" on a wall, copying what they had seen on television news reports from Cairo and Tunis. [...] the arrested boys were from almost every large family of Deraa: The Baiazids, the Gawabras, the Masalmas and the Zoubis. --CE (talk) 18:42, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Syria: The boys who helped spark a revolution, BBC, April 13, 2013. Short video piece interviews two veiled boys apparently in Deraa. They say they wrote graffiti but apparently were not among the 15 arrested, but from the same school. Wall with graffitis is shown. Two torture victims are named (not written so spelling could be different) and pictures shown. Hamsa Al-Khatib, 15, "brutally beaten, mutilated" and Tamer Al-Shari, 15, "tortured and killed". --CE (talk) 15:12, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
  • The Daily Fail has the big story on The boy prankster who triggered Syria's bloody genocide with slogans sprayed in his schoolyard, April 27, 2013 - last update 32 hours after publishing. They have the kid who wrote the Graffiti, the ring leader of seven boys: Bashir Abazed, interviewed in Lebanon. There's not even basic consistancy regarding the timeline so I'd say the sickest thing about the story is not the torture described but the guy who dreamt it up. At least he seems to have missed that some of them are supposed to have died according to the general storyline. With Bashir in the dungeons was his best friend Nayaf, and a couple of cousins (Nedal, Mostafa and at least a third one) and other family members were detained as well. All because the Assad goons suspected a huge Islamist conspiracy behind the Graffitis ... *pukes* --CE (talk) 00:45, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Two subtitled videos by "Arabi Souri" - The first one is new and centers around an interview with some alleged Deraa activist, the second one is from March and is a translation of a Syrian TV report. Both deal with the very early events and deserve closer examination than I could give them right now watching in passing. As does this topic, I think. If no WWIII threatening events happen in the near future, I think we should make this subtopic more accessible, as this is a major fall-back position for people adjusting to the new media narrative: "but but but in the beginning he REALLY was killing his own peacefully protesting people". --CE (talk) 00:55, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
Agreed on more work needed in this area. Perhaps the single most common phrase, more or less, is "the conflict began when peaceful protesters were met with deadly force," most likely by instigators of Jihad, we need to show in whatever detail possible/reasonable/actual. Not today, but soon. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:04, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Syria: The hidden massacre, Sharmine Narwani, Mai 7, 2014 - Long article with many interesting details about the early violence and especially victims among soldiers. An Eissa Shaaban Fayyad is named as the first soldier killed in Homs Province, on April 10, 2011 - In Taldou. --CE (talk) 22:20, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
Injured security forces member Samer Wassouf, who was shot in the leg, said that armed individuals attacked the police department of Talldaw, opening fire randomly on officers and the building and setting fire to several cars.
Likely that event caused the dead officer mentioned by Sharmine Narwani for the 10th of April. --CE (talk) 10:37, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
  • The day before Deraa: How the war broke out in Syria, Steven Sahiounie, American Herald Tribune, August 10, 2016 - Using Deraa March 11 as focus from which the author zooms out, this is a useful "very short version" of the whole mess, without sources and with some minor inaccuracies, but pretty close to reality as opposed to the usual "Western" narrative. --CE (talk) 15:06, 15 August 2016 (UTC)
Sensible 'short version' but with one exaggeration: it was about crushing that cornerstone of Palestinian rights into dust. --That was a complicated affair running back to 1983 when a breakaway Fatah al-Intifada was set in Damascus; followed by hostile reception of 1993 PLO's Oslo accord (as it was separate agreement, not a deal with the whole Arab block); followed by a Syria-PLO thaw around 2001 under Bashar. The year of 2011 was not particularly special in that respect to be a reason for things to unravel. It seems more to do with 'Arab spring/color revolution' enterprise, and (confused) geopolitics, than with Syria in relation to Palestine. --Resup (talk) 16:42, 15 August 2016 (UTC)
Well, to be fair your quoted sentence starts with The US policy to attack Syria for the purpose of regime change was not just about the gas lines, the oil wells, the strategic location and the gold: but, and that was following a whole paragraph about how Jordan's "King Playstation" (Pepe Escobar) deals with that issue (bending over without a sound). --CE (talk) 21:42, 15 August 2016 (UTC)

Abdul Halim Khaddam

Is the former vice president and brother-in-law of the Saudi king steering events from Belgium and will become Syria's Chalabi? Collection of sources going back to 2006. --CE (talk) 17:30, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
Quoting from the article: Khaddam, who is a relative of Saudi King Abdullah and former Lebanese premier Rafiq Hariri, used his great wealth to form a political group with the aim of toppling Bashar al-Assad. The triangle of Khaddam-Abdullah-Hariri is well-known in the region as their wives are sisters.
I looked up Wikipedia, but could not find anything on the three sisters. Nazik_Hariri has this stub on Wikipedia. King Abdullah had over 20 wives. One of Abdul Halim Khaddam's granddaughters is married to Rafik Hariri's son. But I found this interesting:
  • Khaddam's Revelations: Is the Asad Regime Unraveling? - Robert Rabil, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, January 6, 2006
    Abdul Halim Khaddam, who was vice-president of Syria from 1984 to June 2005, gave an explosive interview to the Dubai-based al-Arabia TV on December 30 implicating the Syrian leadership, including President Bashar al-Asad, in the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri. Khaddam's action widened irrevocably the crack in Syria's political system.
--Petri Krohn (talk) 12:35, 11 July 2017 (UTC)
I wasn't able to find much as well, although there are indications that the author confused Rafik Hariri with Rifaat al-Assad, because one of the latter's four wives, Lina Al-Khayer, has a sister that was married to Saudi King Abdullah. Couldn't find a connection between her and Khaddam's wife Najat Marqabi, though, or the name of the King's wife. Here is an interesting report about Khaddam's fortunes, and that shows that the connection to Rafik Hariri was indeed very close. It was easy to find Khaddam's described palace with own port in Baniyas on wikimapia.
In context it should be noted that Landis reported that it was rumoured after the April 10 massacre in Baniyas that the killers were sent by Khaddam. --CE (talk) 13:48, 11 July 2017 (UTC)

Washington Post

These are the WP articles I mentioned above, exported bookmarks. Here as a package for your digestion.

Provocateur Sniper Precedents

Moved to Talk:Unseen Snipers in the Syrian Conflict#Provocateur Sniper Precedents

Past examples of what we could be seeing with these mystery snipers in Deraa and surely other areas, is worth its own space at this new page: (moved to Talk:Unseen Snipers in the Syrian Conflict#Provocateur Sniper Precedents) --Caustic Logic (talk) 14:21, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

Revolutionary tactics

There are most likely similarities in the tactics used by Islamist in Syria with those in Libya and elsewhere in instigating violence. The common link may be al-Qaeda. Here is fresh report from Xinjiang, China.

-- Petri Krohn (talk) 16:13, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

The latest from Bahrain:

Bahrain police have confiscated weapons and ammunition from a warehouse in Bilad Al Qadeem.
The spokesperson of the Capital Governorate Police said the warehouse was discovered on Friday morning by the police while patrolling the area. He said that police forces confiscated weapons and tools used in committing ‘terrorist’ acts. He pointed out that the seized items included two locally-made bombs, a mock bomb, eight locally made rifles with 20 bullets, three locally made ‘gas weapons,’ and four shots for them, a number of Molotov cocktails ready to be used ( about 150), in addition to a number of iron skewers.

Meanwhile in Syria... -- Petri Krohn (talk) 11:50, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

Un-published part two of that story: those arrested were pardoned, death sentences commuted, in trade for going to Syria with professional waepons this time, various drugs, and a set of fatwas guiding their behavior. It's hoped they'll help destroy that government and also never come back. The iron skeweres were intriguing. The Bahrain intel service urged them to keep those and related plans, and given a few crates more of them. Mellon ballers too. (did I make that all up? Yes. Is it half-true anyway? Likely) --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:07, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

Ukraine 2014

As I said, to understand history you have to study the present. We are now seeing the start of a civil war, this time in HD with English subtitles. It is worth studying very closely to understand the early events in Syria and Libya.

From the Right Sector (Пра́вий се́ктор, Pravyi Sektor) YouTube channel today:

-- Petri Krohn (talk) 22:33, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

This may be the head shot that ignited the Ukrainian Civil War for real:

Already removed from YouTube as "a violation of YouTube's policy on shocking and disgusting content." Several mirrors exist. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 15:59, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

Blackwater forms secret army in 2010

Vladimir Suchan​ notes on Facebook:

Here is an article from the New York Times, published in May of 2011, on US paramilitary, private security companies being suddenly (back then) in big demand in the states of the GCC for training Arab men for war based on the templates of special forces. The article mentions that this training began in earnest in the summer of 2010--thus approximately just half a year before the beginning of the regime change wars in Libya and Syria. This timing fits in very well. Too well. Besides the early article by Seymour Hersh, this NYT article might be one of the earliest articles, which somehow made it into the public mainstream media, about the US role in training and deploying al Qaeda-led brigades for the invasions of and regime changes in Libya and Syria.

-- Petri Krohn (talk) 11:24, 27 September 2015 (UTC)

Hm. Without reading anything yet, I'd suspect a connection. Maybe a direct connection as speculated there, but since that's already speculated, I'd get nuanced and suspect this: these were some home-front forces to make sure the involved monarchies are able to withstand any blowback from the enhanced operations they were just then initiating in Libya, Syria, etc. (in case some of the riff-raff they send survives and comes home to roost, a problem they hope to minimize) --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:41, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
Great. I've heard about this at the time and tried several times over the years to look it up, without success. --CE (talk) 15:55, 27 September 2015 (UTC)