Talk:Hama Massacres

From A Closer Look On Syria
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Hader Police Station Victims Dumped in River?

Expanding on the July 31, 2011 incident on the front page - I've been working on this, but lost my last major part of work (corrupted file, backup too far behind, stupid computer and me) so for now, just a partial alert here ... so the VDC has 26 regime fatalities, 13 soldiers and 13 police, in Hama July 31, 2011. The police tend to be listed as killed at a certain spot - Hader Police Station on Wikimapia. I've got pro-gov records for many of them, ages and pictures.

The twist is where I decided these 13 police are probably the same 13 bodies recovered from the Orontes river (video) - just after at least 6-7 were dumped by rebels from a bridge, on video blaming "regime thugs." As CNN covered here August 2. Gray slacks, black socks, white shirt uniforms predominate, fresh blood, a throat injury, same day dumping likely, July 31. Note the ones they killed weren't left behind when the killers fled - they took the place over and gathered the bodies. That has to be a sizeable and well-armed group. And VDC knows 13=13, and director Razan Zaitouneh told CNN this video was faked somewhere else further from Hader station, not in Hama - the Orontes is dry by then. Doubtful. The scene is placeable - must be a roughly E-W bridge, probably in or near town from the number of people around. Best spot is here 1.8 km W-NW of the station (river flows north) Scenery clues seem to match, as far as I can see so far. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:41, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

I got this sorted out into a blog post here - Full list of 26 victims with details, some analysis of surrounding violence and dishonesty and video analysis: morning view, probably Aug. 1, 8 bodies total are dumped, location pretty certain. Activists said this was Shabiha dumping protesters, and/or it was faked somewhere else since the river is drier than that in August. But it isn't usually, by satellite images, just low like it is here. --Caustic Logic (talk) 05:35, 19 July 2015 (UTC)


I've been kicking ass, obviously, on the Homs Massacres page, and it seemed near time to do one for Hama. There are two ways to do this, inspired and normal. Inspired will require others to be inspired, by this idea, which seemed cool to me: replicate that effort with Hama but way quicker, a few people teaming up to get 32 massacres listed and analyzed partly, by the end of January - just before the 32nd anniversary of the infamous and little-inderstood 1982 Hama massacre. That way, I could simultaneously draft an article mentioning relevant previous work, but based on the gimmick of studying a new Hama massacre for every year since the one. Those commemorating the one always call for punishment of the regime, and to be different we can call for an investigation of the truth, of that and the new bloodshed ... Mm, typing it out, maybe it's not such an amazing idea. I may be moving to a different place this month too, cutting into my available time (that emerged after I first had this idea). Well, it's out there. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:18, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

Then the page start was lame, and the first tries at filling it in were confusing, and the whole scope thing is unclear, so ... it's still out there for anyone to grab, but now I'd rather go back to other stuff for now. Sorry for the mess, will fix this up fairly soon. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:25, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

Geographic Scope

(starting thoughts, no rush) Obviously this covers Hama, Salamiya, etc. Rastan is the big question. It may deserve its own page. Aqrab might best be included with the Houla page. To the north, I think maybe Khan Shaykhoun is the farthest city of any size (though I'm vague on what orbits would take in that further north). To the East, I don't know, up to Sheikh Hilal? --Caustic Logic (talk)

The southern part is the trick, and I stepped back for a solution. CE had identified a Homs-Hama-Rastan axis the rebels seemed to be aiming for. Of course there's also Qusayr to the south tying into the border crossing, and I think we can deal with the whole Qusay-Hama (and its hinterlands) axis in two big chunks, Homs and Hama. Homs will expand to include Qusayr and the border, areas to the west (up to or past Palmyra, I guess) and up to but not including the Houla and Rastan area. That's a monster already. Hama seems much smaller, or better-controlled. Whole days go by on the VDC database with no deaths for the whole province. And between Homs and Hama, these unclaimed semi-monsters, Rastan and Houla, straddling the border. So I think that will anchor the second set so it's not too asymmetrical a division - the border area and north. That would make both the Houla and Aqrab massacres fit. However much sense the breakdown makes, it's all arbitrary ways to break this up into workable areas with not too many new pages to keep track of. Especially if we manage to cover all parts of Syria, none of these need go into the kind of detail that Homs Massacres did. Just a place to outline whichever we do, and draw whatever conclusions we do. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:46, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

I've decided Houla belongs on the Homs page, as does everything al-Qusayr. Only Rastan stays here. This will be a smaller and lower-priority page, but a spot for anything relevant that does pop up. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:31, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

Complete Timeline


(until then...)

Existing Pages

(boy, that's not many) --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:18, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

New Suggestions

(forthcoming - gimme ten minutes) --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:18, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

I check VDC martrs for October, 2011, whole month, for field executed civilians from Hama province, kind of at random. Surprisingly, it shows only three. It's not that early. Is Hama that much smaller than Homs? Anyway, a Darwish man and a Sulaiman woman killed October 28th, in Malaab: south, and Janub al-Mala'ab. Janub means south. Not qualifying.

Up to end of the year, including more options for intentional massacre, and including non-civilians, alleged defected soldiers, etc.: 44 names. And there are two obvious massacres. I'll grab one. Anyone else want the other? Check suspicious "shelling" deaths for such patterns? Etc.? --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:49, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

  • November 2, 2011: Talf Massacre. This includes all 7 martyrs in all Hama province that day, listed as shooting, filed execution, or mostly as kidnapping-execution. All are adult males, listed as civilian, three with the family name Qasem. ... Rebels wound up with their bodies and made plenty of videos, with links included with each entry. v1 v2 [1] v4. Otherwise, there's little. No ages, no notes with the story. We're left presuming Shabiha or whoever did this, since they're listed as "martyrs." --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:00, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Ooh, odd... it almost fits here, but it's also one of the Houla Massacres I never looked into. Talf must means Talaf on Wikimapia. It's on the Homs side, actually, but right by Rastan, between it and al-Houla. The LCC's daily report lists nothing violent in Hama province this day:
Syria: 25 martyrs today, 21 of them are in Homs only, one martyr on Deir Ezzor, one martyr in Erbeen, one in Idlib and one in Damascus [1]

But this incident - 11 martyrs, not 7 - is the top story of the day.

Homs: Hawleh: The bodies of 11 civilians hand-cuffed and executed in a small factory by the security forces.
Al-Houle | Homs | (GRAPHIC) Security Forces Massacre, 9 Martyrs
Homs: Hawleh: The bodies of 11 martyrs, who worked in a block factory belonging to Mr. Mua'mmar Al-Khudr, from Kafr Laha, were discovered today. One of the bodies belonged to the brother of the factory owner, Mulham Al-Khudr.


This leads to checking if these seven Hama men are even related, or is there another batch from Homs? Nothing like that appears in Homs' list of 16 for the day. But a Mulham Ameen Al kheder from Kafarlaha at least does. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:28, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

Houla page, Homs, page, Hama page? I'm confused by now.--Caustic Logic (talk) 13:28, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

Obviously, checking later in the war helps. (Feb. 24)

Or a bit earlier. July 31, 2011 - about a hundred civilians killed, reportedly in Hama city itself. VDC shows 85, all civilian, all adult male. Another pops up in late April, 2012. These came up under a Google search for "Hama massacre" after "new Hama massacre" failed to turn up very many events. That yielded almost totally Qubeir and Tremseh, which seem to be the pre-eminent Hama massacres, especially the latter. The Halfaya bakery bombing appeared on page 3. Aqrab didn't fare so well. --Caustic Logic (talk) 01:47, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

Hama Security Scene

Hama is not Homs; whole days go by in the VDC (martyrs) records where no one dies, in the whole province (not a huge one) As the home of the infamous February 1982 Hama massacre that killed, like, a million protesters, saw no fireworks for the 30th anniversary in 2012, the first one to fall within the span of the current uprising. In Homs, the massacre record was broken with the Khalidiya Massacre of 138 (adult male hostages, it seems), but in Hama city and province "regime forces" managed no large-scale violence to mark the occasion (I've seen Feb. 2 and Feb. 3 cited) The VDC shows 6 Hama martyrs Feb. 2/3, 2012: a van driver and apparently two passengers "Shot dead by security forces near Ammar bin Yasser Mosque" in Janoup Al-Malaab, and three other men shot in different areas.

To some extent, the relative lack of violence and death in Hama province compared to Homs is a simple function of population - less people = less people to die. But there might also be a difference in security "tightness" (itself partly a function of less people), especially in the city of Hama itself. Consider the first big massacre that did get reported in Hama - about 80-100 adult males were shot dead in the city somewhere - details remain vague and perhaps partly fictitious. (see #July 31, 2011). Al-Jazeera reported the following:

JJ Harder, the press attaché of the US embassy in Damascus ... Asked if he accepted the Syrian government's contention that its forces were up against armed gangs, Harder said: "The Syrian government is completely delusional. They are making up fanciful stories that no one believes.
"Our ambassador Robert Ford was in Hama earlier this month, and he saw with his own eyes the violence that they are talking about. There was none.

"He maybe saw one teenager with a stick at a checkpoint, and the government is going on with these absolute fabrications about armed gangs running the streets of Hama and elsewhere.

"Hama has shown itself to be a model of peaceful protest. That was why our ambassador chose to go there. [2]

Those impressions might have been accurate enough, at that time, and in general. Hama is not Homs. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:33, 5 January 2014 (UTC)


  1. 1.0 1.1 Syria News - November 2, 2011 (Warning: Graphic Videos)LCC via Uruknet
  2. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named AJ_11_7_31