Talk:Houla:Scene

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Great work finding these maps and putting them up, CE. I was working on a map that was going to take some work and have lots of blank spots. This is a solid base to start further visualizations from. --Caustic Logic 20:44, 28 June 2012 (EST)

Martyr's Square Timeline

Looking at the satellite images between Feb. and March, the lot that would become the rebel mass grave underwent changes. Some vegetation, and perhaps a small building were scrapped in the intervening three months, in favor of a dirt nothing that proved perfect once their "something big and special" came to pass. Thoughts? --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:43, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Damage Timeline

I found a video that raises questions about what the rebels did to Taldou on May 25. It's from Monther Hrfosh, September 2011. It shows the arches, and that crest or whatever is already torn down the same way. There's some graffiti, debris in the streets, and at least one power pole knocked down, broken in half. Workers are repairing it, regime shelling is blamed. I can't tell for sure if the arches already have bullet holes in them too or if those at least might be from as late as the massacre day. Also, I need to be more careful with damage seen after the day after. It seems there has been continued fighting, alleged shelling, massacres, and dead kids etc. running on and off ever since. For example, even by June 1 we have a scene I can hardly imagine the rebels not showing if it existed May 25-27. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:13, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

The blown-up building is the Baath Party headquarters. (Another video) -- Petri Krohn (talk) 22:16, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
This video from May 31 shows the party HQ still standing: Hula - dizziness of freedom after the withdrawal of gangs Assad 31/05/2012 -- Petri Krohn (talk) 00:18, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
I'll have to look closer sometime. Fascinating. Apparently this "house" blown up by artillery was blown the night of the 31st or so, at least a day after the army apparently left the place. Did they take away their APCs from the circle? That's a sweet video, BTW. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:43, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Photos

There are some photos on Panoramio of the bell tower and intersection from June 2012 with some additional battle damage , uploaded by user houla graphic.

Some overall scenery by rasslanr

I also had a look on Google Earth. There is a new image from September 3, 2012. not very good. Some better images from 2010. The February 22, 2012 image looks very deserted compared to the situation in 2010, very little traffic or parked cars. September looks totally dead. The FSA may control territory, but they seem not to control any population. -- Petri Krohn 16:52, 24 September 2012 (EST)

Yeah, seen the videos of September? Total ghost town. Winning hearts and minds. The June photos show an improvised roadblock at the clock tower that wasn't there on the massacre weekend. This panorama from rasslanr shows the mosque, definitely seems to be the main mosque. Clock tower to the right of it. Looks like it was taken from the hills at/above the water reservoir, maybe from the "upper checkpoint", what the first UN map calls "Water Company - Army Post 2". Thanks. --CE 04:46, 26 September 2012 (EST)

Shelling the big mosque

The big mosque at the roundabout is called Al Shohada Mosque. Here are two videos showing shelling and the effect to the dome and the structure (not dated, uploaded July 27):

--CE 02:04, 2 October 2012 (EST)

Just found those independently – thanks to your Al Hawla search link. I will start listing mosques and other public buildings in Taldou. -- Petri Krohn 21:22, 2 October 2012 (EST)

Page promotion

CE, I'm too impatient to see how to add things to the randomness filter on the front page, but I think as the main place 'promotions' happen it should be added. And while I've got your attention, off-topic here, I suggest this: The following pages should be added to that: Jisr Al-Shagur (complete enough to be compelling and a huge story-I'll add to it but later) Aleppo prisoners thing (when deemed ready?) Houla : Ali Houla : witnesses (both pages - very important)

The following should, as soon as deemed ready, promoted to Sari Saoud's spot on the main page: (spots perhaps re-arranged) September 26, the deadliest day

Sari added to the random list if not already.

Added to the side-bar: Sept. 26 Jisr Al-Shagur when ready ??

Modify or expand as you see fit. But could use some new connections laid down for the casual viewer we'll be getting a million of any day now. --Caustic Logic 21:58, 1 October 2012 (EST)

Could you add the ones you see fit to the table on the main talk page, with blurbs (and maybe sharpen the ones I have typed up)? I'll then add them to the random generator thingie. As to Jisr ... hope i'll finally get to finishing it later this afternoon and will then add it as well. Side bar ... hmm. --CE 22:04, 1 October 2012 (EST)
The Houla subpages are already linked in the text, btw, including Ali when you click on him. --CE 22:10, 1 October 2012 (EST)
Yeah, the blurbs... I'll work on that tonight. Ali already lnks, that's good.It would be nice if amateurs could be tipped off how interesting clicking it would be. Especially once he has France 2 updates. --Caustic Logic 08:44, 2 October 2012 (EST)
Thanks for the reminder what you set up - I'm getting it, and in the process of adding (a few) and improving (a bit), but it won't be finished right away. --Caustic Logic 22:07, 2 October 2012 (EST)

School near water tower / hospital

Houla Scene map Body Removal.png

The Arabad bin Valid Battalion has a sniper position in a school near a water tower / hospital. Where is this school located? How does it relate to the massacre site on Main Street? -- Petri Krohn 07:13, 2 October 2012 (EST)

Not as easy to read as I thought. Later.--Caustic Logic 08:50, 2 October 2012 (EST)
The school is built in 2003-2004. It is on Main Street just south of the gate right next to a massacre site. It is one building north of the building marked in orange as "South corner of block of buildings shown". It is in fact just south of the building where BBC first reported (later updated) the "second attack" to have happened.
The rebel brigade YouTube channel has several videos that show the school used as a rebel base and sniper position. -- Petri Krohn 21:17, 2 October 2012 (EST)
I'll note this kick-ass work. A bit north might explain the view, I dunno. Thanks for figuring it out for me! Will see about incorporating where appropriate if you don't beat me to it. --Caustic Logic 22:34, 2 October 2012 (EST)

When the UN enters through the gate on May 26th? there is no Army presence. Just when they have passed the school someone is heard announcing a warning on the radio there are some people on the roof! The UN chief hesitates, but they decide to push on. The men on the roof could be the rebel snipers in the school. When the UN comes back later in the day the street has been taken over by the Syrian Army. -- Petri Krohn 20:49, 3 October 2012 (EST)

Abdul Razak crime scene

Just stumpled upon this video of our young Houla Media Office friend - he revisits the "site of the massacre" with us, from Monday, subtitled (the army is after him). Not much to see, basically an empty little house with some damage. It's not on main street, so I thought it might be an Abdul Razzak home. Right now followed the link to Google Maps on CL's latest clue (didn't get it yet), and spend a visit down Saad Road. I'm quite sure that the red neighboring house in the video is the one here, exactly where the UN map has one of their two Abdul Razzak markers. Putting it here for now. --CE 05:43, 4 October 2012 (EST)

I agree with your locale, or at least it could be. I see the littlest house outside the wall, next to the red wall, so yeah - a spot just like that. Good eye. And Not far from the spot the BBC showed. It's actually a brand-new video. In case it doesn't stay there, my comment:

I like how the shells came "down" right through the walls of this Shia convert family home off Saad street. Same people who shot up all the army posts in town? Gangs. How many of these distant shells fell on that one home and the few by it? Over 60 people all ages of former Sunni Shia convert AbdulRazaq family were killed here and replaced with always-Sunni activist-supplied alleged witness pod people. I hope this intrepid truth-teller made it out safely!

--Caustic Logic 06:45, 4 October 2012 (EST)

Further, there's some unusualfootage I thought might have been from over there in L'Autopsie - somewhere before 10:00 in. Will check that later, just noting it so I don't forget. --Caustic Logic 06:45, 4 October 2012 (EST)

Two videos from the Saad Street massacre site, from alley 1515W.

-- Petri Krohn (talk) 00:57, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

More photos of UN visit

Photos from the UN visit on May 27th, from the Houla Media Office Facebook page. -- Petri Krohn 07:17, 4 October 2012 (EST)

Video

I just discovered a new YouTube channel of the Houla Media Office: Abu Usama Al Houla. These videos shows a massacre scene:

-- Petri Krohn (talk) 01:09, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Stellar find! Horrible stuff, even after the bodies were dragged out. Almost all are in floor-couch-lined living rooms, like that scene with the Free Army slogan and the scenes from Mazrat al-Qubeir. Being numerous crime scenes, it's mostly or all going to be the Abdulrazaq area. Scene 2, fancy place, has 'the sword' laying there at 0:15. Shi'ite inscription on it? F***n' genius. Scene 3, similar to the first, but the room focused on, dear God, that's where the blood was really shed. The experts are making chopping motions, and it seems this was the Shi'ite slaughter center for that home. A lot lost against that one wall, but with no bullet spray. A neck was likely cut there. #4 shows two home side-by-side. Visuals could place this one. The first hasan entryway much like the "shelled" home we studied on the re-visit, but that's not it. Fifth, starts with a slaughtered bull, less identifiable locale. I'm unable to get any of them converted ATM. Hopefully they'll remain where they are and we should start working them into things. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:27, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
A good guess for the location of video 4. here, dead-centered on the gate they walk through. The red trim isn't there, or isn't visible, on the right house, but it's closeness to the wall, the rise/window on its left match. The left house they enter is consistent in being set back, some shrubs in a yard, maybe a patio, it's kind of unclear. There's the higher wall around the gate, the (motor?) thing to its left, the light pole at the wall's SE corner, a single building with no wall, then another wall. Mainly it must be on a paved E-W street, which is about this one only, if we're even in the right area, and I see no other matches. The monitors video taken a bit north on Saad st. itself, the one with the fields, has long shadows suggesting PM, from almost due west, suggesting about 4:15. The shadows here not likely much different. Shorter and maybe more southerly, so this part of the visit came first - maybe 3:30. Time can be figured out more precisely later. Any better guesses for the location? --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:13, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
I linked to the videos, but I do not even bother looking. I hope you can mach the inside views to other known massacre victims or photos. If you seriously need help with the outside views, let us know. Note the two outside videos from alley 1515W linked above in section Abdul Razak crime scene. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 20:44, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
P.S. – You Google maps link above is to alley 1515W off Saad Street. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 20:47, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
OK – I can confirm location. This video starts from very end of alley 1515W, walks toward Saad Street, You can see the red house at 2:07. Same house at 0:37 on UN video. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 20:54, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
The UN monitors come out of house 1525W+205 on the south side of alley 1515W and enter house 1500W+215 on the north side. Use Google Earth and the ruler to find the exact houses. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 21:08, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
At 0:26 in the "dead cow" video the man in the back number 3 T-shirt is carrying a NATO sniper rifle – a clear indication that the rebels are now in control. (He also appears on video #2.) Is there any reason to believe government forces were ever in control of Saad Street during or after the massacre? Note, that this activist video was shot on May 25th around 7 pm from the orchard behind the massacre site, just some 190 meters away: Hula targeting the hospital 25-5-2012 – P.S.: Isn't that Major Jihad Raslan giving the guided tour on video #1? -- Petri Krohn (talk) 21:27, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
I'll check your place notes later. I was close to 100% sure, but will muster another open mindif there's any disagreement. Cool on finding another spot-will need to suss out your system now. Is that Jihad? From this alone, possible but unsure. Only a glimpse at 0:18. From the better views of the entourage, I think there's a guy who looks a little like Jihad in the group (but younger, and a leaner, less happy face), or so I think. Best guess is it's that guy. However, his posture and interest shown here suggest the energy of the other guy I thought once could be Jihad, meeting monitors the day before. Is it possible all three are the same? Faintly at least, but probably not. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:45, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
I think we're on the same page - other than video filming location (that, confusing...). Excellent tour video - It's just what I was seeing. note little or no battle damage here. IX converter, God Bless its, working again. Is there a Saad Street page I'm missing? I'll look into Google Earth, okay... no promise when. I'll check your further finds, and start some graphics but I suspect it's all confirmation from here on over on "alley" 1515W. Clearly, no victim matches, but better info than the UN passed on as to just where. We'll see how it all compares. A big leap. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:59, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
Oh, and as for "Is there any reason to believe government forces were ever in control of Saad Street during or after the massacre?" Well I have to note there is the evidence called some of the witnesses. Fatima in the house with 50 people killed by her secret-Shabiha husband, Abu Firas Abdulrazaq, who both hid in a barn while his family was killed and/or was "literally slaughtered" alongside them, Noura the witnesser of Koran stomping, all the blood-draining survivors who spoke up in the days right after on rebel videos and then never again with Spiegel or anyone, and the men and boys with sisters/daughters who laugh when they lie ridiculously. These people are quite clear that the Army and/or Shabiha were in charge of their homes when they all miraculously survived to tell us about it. God, I could just about -- I get angry with all these so-called "investigators" who can pretend to have bought any of that bull. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:04, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
Video #1 shows house 1525W+160 on the south side of the alley. The same house with the white painted gate is shown at 3:12 on the Suleiman / Abu Usama Al Houla video. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 22:04, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
There are only five houses on the alley between 1525W+160 on video #1 and 1525W+205 and 1500W+215 on video #4. The large rounded windows with fancy curtains make me believe video #2 shows 1500W+145 opposite 1525W+160. As for video #3, the way the light shines in trought the windows makes me suspect the stairwell and entrance is facing south. The Suleiman video shows that 1500W+180 has similar small windows. In the UN video we see that the room on the left has no window facing the facade, or if there is one, it is cowered by the cabinet. On the Suleiman video we see that the facade windows seem to be blacked out. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 22:42, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
I cannot make anything out of video #5. Could be Main Street. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 23:31, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
Off topic – There is an interesting compound south of Main Street at 1600W. It is seen at the end of the Suleiman video, it is right at extension of the alley. Built in 2010, multiple rooms of equal size: 4m x 7.5m. Could be a hotel, possibly a army base now. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 23:00, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
Nothing better for #5. You have #1. That's three sites within a block, all apparently denoted by the UN as A-1, not uncorroborated like A-2 to the north. The angry guy right at the start of video 5 is interesting. He sees a camera guy and points at him like 'hey, who's that interloper filming this crime scene?' Seems someone vouches for him, 'it's okay, he's one of us, he'll spin it right.' PS I do support one techinical form of non-lethal support for the rebels - more cameras, ones that never turn off, and constantly upload. Let us all see the out-takes too. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:04, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

Video scenes

Main Street on May 3rd. Camera suspiciously focuses on security APC down the road. From Houla Media Office guy "Jalal Solomon". -- Petri Krohn 07:42, 4 October 2012 (EST)

Mapping the crime scene

To understand the crime we need to have a full understanding of the crime scene. Most importantly we need to know if it the site of a single crime, or if two separate crimes – or acts of violence – just occurred at about the same place at about the same time. There is clear evidence that the security headquarters was attacked and burnt before May 26th. Nearby houses have been similarly attacked and burnt. It is naturally to assume these are the result of one and the same violent attack.

We would first need to list all the burnt buildings and all the graffiti in the vicinity of the security building. In fact I propose we create a complete schema on Main Street listing every building and the damage they have received. I would like the page to contain a photo of every building to assist identification of video and photo locations.

I still have one open question, should list the left side of the street in one section and the right side in another? Or should we just follow the street and list both sides at once? Maybe we can spit the page at the gate and then list sides separately.

We must give every house an address. Since we do not have street maps we have to invent our own. The solution is simple, measure the distance from the Clock Tower (in meters) and append E or W for east or west side. Ali's house will then become 730E. -- Petri Krohn 08:43, 6 October 2012 (EST)

Streams block east-west access?

HRW says the rebels could not access the massacre sites because the two streams would block any direct access from Saad Street to Main Street and from the west to Saad Street. This video of the UN visit to the Saad Street site on May 27th however shows "evacuees" crossing the larger stream and freely walking from Main Street to Saad Street. At 2:25 the camera zooms in on the spillpway. It is completely dry. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 06:50, 23 November 2012 (UTC)

Belated clarification: they say it's accessible by foot, just not by vehicle. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:55, 13 June 2014 (UTC)