Talk:Houla:Victims

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Sorting out the Sayeds

We hear of two total al-Sayed households, one seen with seven victims, named by SANA (Aref's house) - seen recovered by rebels with UN monitors present, on the 26th. The other agreed site is not seen (Muawiya's house) - minimum agreed three victims there. We also have two brothers of Aref, allegedly seen dead with him, at his house. Others, unclear. Signs say there was a third site at least with bodies, locale unknown. The UN CoI decided a total of 13-15 Al-Sayeds were killed (June report, p. 7).

Finally checking the VDC and correlating a bit, we have a total of 14 entries in three categories (few details given - my notes in parentheses):

Aref's House
  1. Fairouz Ali Al-Daher Married and has 4 children (SANA gives Izdihar Ali Al-Daher)
  2. Aref Mohammad Al-Sayed Married and has 4 children
  3. Aqba (Oqba) Mohammad Al-Sayed Married and has 4 children Retired Officer (Razeena's husband?)
  4. Adel Aref Al-Sayed CM (Two boys shown on SANA video - 6-9 age range, violently hacked and/or shot)
  5. Nader Aref Al-Sayed CM 10 (usually-meaningless guesstimate)
  6. Rasha Aref Al-Sayed CF 10 (way younger than 10, lifeless, not a mark visible, no blood - suffocated, one could guess)

- SANA cited the third man outside as Aref's other brother Imad. With no match, I can only call 6 matches. Ali says it was his older brother of a couple familiar names.

Muawiya's house
  1. Ahmad Muaweya Al-Sayed - AM Married and has 9 children - Retired Colonel (must be, otherwsise, Muawiya al-Sayed)
  2. Mohammad Ahmad Al-Sayed AM unmarried (must be the son, otherwise you'd think Ahmed Muawiya - soldier on leave)
  3. Sara Muaweya Al-Sayed CF (otherwise given as age 8)

Oqba/Other/unknown

  1. Razeena Rajab Al-Sayed Married and has 4 children (Oqba's wife?) (Razeena translated "Sober" in the DCHRS list she, but not Oqba, appears in)
  2. Adel Aqba Al-Sayed CM (Oqba's son?) (it seems there are 2-3 others, or maybe one is a girl.
  3. Shawqi Adel Al-Sayed Mother's Name: Fayruz Age: 23 single (Ali says his brother Shaoqi was the third man killed, replacing Imad... that he's the one kid specified as Fayruz's son makes me want to exclude him - he's too old, from another batch - he has Adel, not Aref in the middle, like...)
  4. Ali Adel Al-Sayed Adult Male (no notes - Ali sometimes says that's his father's name, and Aref is an uncle)
  5. Khawla Aref Al-Sayed AF age 32 (Aref in the middle suggests this is an alleged 6th Aref child, age 32, but that can't be, so ...???)

Next, the ones from the third locale - we've seen those at Aref's house being scooped up. Petri posted a video of fresh victim finds on May 27 (no need to watch the video). Listening, I realize I can partly make out the names. Anyone who thinks they can do better could try. I think it's Monther Hrfosh filming and naming, and man are those other people loud. They're blaming Shabiha of Assad, I can hear. Each starts with Shahid, martyr.

  • 0:15 Adel Sayed (Aref's Adel is younger, was picked up already - who's this?)
  • 0:25 Adel Aqba Sayed (very long hair, blood under chin - not a properly sliced throat anyway)
  • 0:30 (Younis?) Aqba al-Sayid? (toddler, hole in abdomen, forehead blown out) (the clearest name, match below - everyone there knows this is Younis! Younis!!)
  • 0:35 - Again sounds like Adel Aqba Sayid? (hole in chest, burned arm?) (one of this might be "Haider" and another somehow Isra, a unisex name but listed among the girls by DCHRS. Only one of those four looks like a girl, the second one, but that name doesn't sound like Isra.

The Syria Politik list (see front page says Oqba was joined in death by his wife and three children. That almost perfectly explains this - except three are named Adel? The four boys on video include the one apparent son listed at VDC, and three others not listed - possibly his four sons. Maybe partly nephews, but all Sayed, not Aref's seen kids, not Sara. They add to the total. Where were they laying at until the 27th? Not apparently on any UN pinned location. They found the dad at Aref's house, but they might have found these others as well. Alex Thomson reported from his visit on the 27th:

It is therefore odd that in the northern area of the city there are still civilians. The United Nations saw them today and questioned them.
The deputy head of the UN mission in Syria, Martin Griffiths, told me: “We managed to find one family. There was a woman, unfortunately dead, with her four dead children. We were able to remove the bodies.”
I asked him what conditions were like in that part of the town he replied: “We were near the centre of the town when a Syrian army armoured personnel carrier approached. It passed us and fired two rounds. That of course caused a firefight. It certainly slowed us up a little in our mission.”

Was this at massacre site 1 or 2 or other, unmarked? If 2, then where were the Muawiya house victims?

The tally of 14, then, excludes three boys, and possibly Aref's brother Imad. So the Sayed death toll seems to be at least 17-18. And there seem to be a total of 4, not 2, husband-wife teams with possible kids who were ... killed. Considering the DCHRS list and now, in a table form, it's coming together.

Victims by Source
sex/age VDC DCHRS S.Shuh. Other
AM Aref Mohammad Al-Sayed (4 children) 93 Mr. Muhammad Arif ... Aref Mohammed Al-Sayed (3 children)
AF Fairouz Ali Al-Daher (4 children) 78 Feroz Ali Daher ... Izdihar Ali al-Daher (Aref's wife - 3 children))
CM Nader Aref Al-Sayed 30 Mr. Nader Arif ... boy shown - 5-8 range


CM Adel Aref Al-Sayed 31 Mr. Adel Aref ... boy shown - 5-8 range


CF Rasha Aref Al-Sayed 48 Rasha Mr. Arif ... girl shown - 3-6 range
AM no match n/m ... Imad Al-Sayed (Aref's brother - three men shown)


AM Aqba Mohammad Al-Sayed (4 children, retired oficer) n/m (note: Oqba translates "obstacle") Ouqba Al-Sayed (Aref's brother)
AF Razeena Rajab Al-Sayed (4 children) 79 Mr. Rajab sober (Razeena=serious) ... "[Oqba's] wife and his children (3)"
CM Adel Aqba Al-Sayed 32 Mr. Adel ... Adel Aqba Sayed (heard)
CM missing? 33 Mr. Younis ... (Younis?) Aqba Al-Sayed - infant
CM? missing? 34 Mr. Haider ... (Adel?) Al-Sayed (heard - all confused aside from Younis)
C-M/F missing? 49 Mr. Isra (listed with girls) (note: unisex name) "Adel Aqba" has long hair... 4 kids seen
AM Ahmad Muaweya Al-Sayed (9 children, retired colonel) 90 Mr. Sid ... Col. Muawiya El Sayed
AF no match n/m ... "and his wife" (also says all 9 of his children died, but they were Aref's ??)
AM Mohammad Ahmad Al-Sayed (unmarried) 91 Mr. Sid Ahmed ... ...
CF Sara Muaweya Al-Sayed 47 Sarah Mr. Sid
AM Shawqi Adel Al-Sayed (Mother's Name: Fayruz Age: 23) Mr. Adel Shawki ... Ali: older brother, replaces Imad
AM Ali Adel Al-Sayed n/m ... Ali: his own name, sometimes his father's
AF Khawla Aref Al-Sayed (age 32) n/m ... ...
AM missing? 94 Mr. Mohammed ... ...
AM missing? 96 Mr. Mohammed (duplicate?) ... ...

DCHRS note: Sayed translated like Mr. or sir so those are the Mr. Mr. type entries. 15 total. Sid must be the fill-in for the offensive name Muawiya. Even Aref here gets his name as a middle name for his children, as does the others. Oqba's sons stand out for the lack, along with a lack of him. roughly matching the names given on the May 27 video. Note Shaoqi/Shawki here has a middle name suggesting he's the son of an missing Adel, not Aref and Fayruz' kid. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:13, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

Hmmmm

Little mysteries, belatedly taking shape --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:45, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

  • Ooh, Oqba's here apparently got a kid Haidar ... Ali alternately called some uncle (the evil one, one who died, or other, unclear) "Abu Haidar," father of Haidar - that's a different uncle from uncle Oqba, usually.... it's baffling.
  • Hmm... There's an Isra, and a Sara ... similar ages ... might be some conflation there. Might not.
  • Mohammed al-Sayed, listed twice ... considering Aref and Oqba share that middle name, there should be a grandpa Mohammed out there somewhere. Alex Thomson filmed an old man just then found for the soldiers to see, On the 27th.CNN video, somewhere near Military intel HQ. Hmm...
  • Doesn't it seem from the Channel 4 report the four kids (of Oqba?) and a wife that were found that day were, per the UN, somewhere in the center of town? What if that's where Oqba lived? Any significance that he alone wound up at Aref's front door? Etc.
  • Anyone else want to speculate on the Ali Adel mystery? --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:45, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

Watch for Casts

I've been thinking about the Muawiya Al-Sayed household. The detail about Ahmed's broken leg stands out as one of those things included to explain something we might have seen (like Ali's uncle on TV). I haven't noticed if there's a young adult male victim with a cast on his leg anywhere in the video record. But if there is and anyone else stumbles across it first, please take note. The leaving behind of the Aref Al-Sayed victims was clearly to "prove" the government held that area, and that's why they couldn't get the bodies. That was supposed to suggest the government did it, and the impression was picked up by the UN CoI whoput the front-line of rebel access totally north of both Al-Sayed homes. So... if there's any evidence they took possession of bodies from the Muawiya home, right across from the hospital they can't have conquered, that would obviously be a big clue. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:17, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

DCHRS

I have grave doubts about the credibility of this Damascus Center who provided our victim list. I didn't notice before, but they're a member of FIDH/IFHR. Libya's branch of that (LLHR) was notoriously shameless with regards to rebel crimes blamed on the Libyan government forces. Also the Syrian Network for human rights, I think, is one of the observatories re-named. If it's the joke one, I'm all for that. The names here are based on something, and worth considering, but for purposes of getting things right, I'll see about getting us a more reliable list and eventually comparing this to it. --Caustic Logic 18:12, 1 July 2012 (EST)

SANA victim photos

The SANA report is only linked to the cached copy on Google.

I understand this to mean you have not been able to access the originals. It also has photographs missing from the cache. I wonder if you have seen these? Some of the photos may be screen shots from rebel videos, some may be original Syrian Army photographs. (Saved copies.) -- Petri Krohn 12:17, 4 October 2012 (EST)

Saved where? No, can't see that link. --Caustic Logic 21:49, 4 October 2012 (EST)
I have seen a big cache of photos at Lebanese forum A Separate [sic] State of Mind. Two separate batches (one w/link to the other). If these are the same, I have them all. If not, will want. Great work video cataloging by the way, some new things to me there. --Caustic Logic 22:49, 4 October 2012 (EST)
For the record, I could eventually see and save these additional images and we've found even more. --Caustic Logic (talk) 00:04, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

Al-Shumariya

The place pointed out by Adam as Al-Shumariya is on the road to the water woks, at an elevation of 420m, 100 meters above Taldou. The geography is a strong indication that it is populated by Alewites, what ever its name is. It would have come under attack if the water works was attacked from the south. -- Petri Krohn 19:39, 4 October 2012 (EST)

Yep. I think that just might be it, though there a few leaps in there. It's definitely open to question, but I think this is a big clue. --Caustic Logic 22:45, 4 October 2012 (EST)
Saw your forum post - Samalil is here, two villages apart. --CE 23:25, 4 October 2012 (EST)

More videos

Oqba's CHildren

Who are these victims?

-- Petri Krohn (talk) 23:13, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

We don't know generally who's who, and these four don't even look familiar from the big photo set at the Lebanese forum or the few videos I've watched. Four young children, one just a baby with a hole in his/her head. They're quite possibly from the same family, likely an AbdulRazaq one, but who knows? Interesting the bloody neck on the one-doesn't really look like a sliced throat, but oddly someone holds his hand over as if he doesn't want it seen (0:18), while everyone want us to see the other two kids with holes in the chest/abdomen. It goes in the file and if I notice them again, they should be familiar. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:59, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
At first I thought they were Ali's sisters, handed over the rebel side. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 00:34, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
"New" and a similar number make it a reasonable impression, but no. Also, that family only had one sister, Rasha, as given. I was confused by the SANA video, where a pink ribbon made one boy appear like a girl, but that was actually a head wound (the raw footage helps). Two boys, apparently, like Ali said - he seems to be accurate there, but perhaps not for the usual straightforward reason of being their actual brother. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:12, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

Okay, according to the pointing narrator (Monther) these are Sayed family boys, apparently, one just long-haired. See above. However, it sounds like three are named Adel.That's probably not right. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:29, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

This tallies with the DCHRS listing, as worked into #Sorting Out the Al-Sayeds - Oqba's not there, but his wife is, and there's a set of four kids missing a middle name. There's a Younis, the baby. There's Adel (the only one listed by VDC too), and the last might be Haidar. The long-haired one is a girl. The hand over her neck area is maybe supposed to be over her exposed chest. Her hair is long. The fourth matching entry is Isra - a unisex name, but listed among the girls. The name Isra isn't heard, but listening closer, the narrator just repeats the last name spoken, while someone else might say Isra about eight times quick - there are audible hisses consistent with that, only while she's on-screen, not before or after. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:58, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

Others...

Interesting videos from May 25 on Meriem021 channel:

Googling around brings up strange word "تؤازرها", image search says "fire." Ended up on this forum thread from May 27 with FSA propaganda postings. One links to this video: Homs Hula 26.5 sister deposited brother martyr. I do not think this martyr is a massacre victim, more like KIA. Body seems to be lying on mosque floor. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 10:57, 23 November 2012 (UTC)

Burial uncut

Came across this while looking for new videos as Leith announced this morning that "A terrorist headquarter belonging to Jabhat al-Nusra was destroyed in the town of Taldo near Al-Houla". The channels are almost all dead - except Jalal who has uploaded two weeks ago and this guy who is uploading old material, mostly from 2011 (Hassan Husein channel is also still active). This is 28 min uncut from someone walking around between mosque with victims and burial scene, with UN observers and the known protagonists around. I don't think we've seen this before. --CE (talk) 12:33, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

Wow, still new material? The two-year is coming up, and I plan to release something new. I'll have to check this out, thanks. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:17, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

Other Victims

Osama Fares

Houla Massacre victims Osama Fares (name translating Osama Knight) stands out for having videos of his individual funeral, and being listed as killed by shelling, not executed. These (or more so, killed by "shooting" can suggest the victim is a rebel fighter. But arguing against that, the cause was later edited to say field executed, and his family was targeted before in Houla: as explained on the front page there was a May 17 Houla Massacre: VDC lists 10 Homs martyrs on May 17, including 5 from Houla. One man was shot, it says, and the rest killed by "shelling" A woman, a man, another man named Mohammad Al-Faris, and his possible son, Khaled Abdulkarim Al-Faris, age 4 (possible estimate), mother's name Nafia. Of the "shelling" victims, only the last has supporting imagery and it's not supportive. The kid was shot twice through the torso, it seems, and finished off by tearing out his throat, maybe with a claw hammer. He lived to experience that, the look on his face and blood on his hands suggest. The images, looking like two different children, became viral after the 25th as Houla victims executed by Shabiha, NOT killed by shelling. A week earlier, shelling was blamed, and unlike Osama's the entry hasn't been updated. Khaled's name, like his apparent father's and like Osama's a week later, translates "knight." No proof of relation known, nor further clues on who would have a motive to kill members of this family on a continuing small scale like this.

They were getting shot and shelled a fair amount throughout mid-2012. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:34, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

Later Alleged Victim Photos

Petri has brought these up somewhere, but not here, and I just stumbled acorss them again, so... Throughout 2013 and 2014, the Facebook page Hula Massacre continued, especially at each of 2 anniversaries now, to remind people of the massacre I don't mind people being reminded of. It has a bunch of newer atrocity pictures intermingled with Houla stuff, some old stuff recycled, some of it new. The informational centerpiece is an essay of some detail, in Arabic, with a map (little new info), a brief explanation of the rebel story, the controversy (UN probe, FAZ etc.) and countering that mainly with a re-telling of what the Spiegel witnesses said.

Later, on the two year mark, they posted some new photos of valleged victims we've never seen before. There is plenty of room for question, but I consider these most likely genuine Houla Massacre victims.