Talk:Houla: Saad Street RPG Incident

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After moving

This whole page - not filled in, no more Google caches (five-day hold? What?) and I have whatever saved here, and nothing else? Bummer. Shumeriyeh page in the same boat? I better check my folders... --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:01, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

Petri sent both pages to us in an attachment yesterday. I'll restore them later today, needs a bit of puzzle work. --CE (talk) 12:13, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, missed that. Yes, the attachments I thought reduundant and forgot about. Jeez... what a night. It's all cool, but I need some sleep now, --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:53, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
Good news. I forgot, I instinctively saved exactly one cached page I pulled up earlier - this one. Re-build forthcoming. The Shumeriyeh page-wasn't that up for a while? Must be saved somewhere. I have a doc with all of the base material and links, needing formatting, and some of the later adds. Those were pretty new, surely lost. Ah, no biggie. It'll happen. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:16, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
As I said, on wikinet there was no database dump, so I had to maintain a manual list of pages, and those two escaped me. Also some talk pages of images are lost, and maybe a category or two. I already checked their export feature here - works like a charm and includes everything (except the images themselves), so that won't happen again. :o) --CE (talk) 12:24, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
CE, you have been recreating subtitles as H3 ("==="), should have been H2 ("=="). -- Petri Krohn (talk) 21:50, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
Yeah figured it on the last page I recreated ... minor fixes will be needed anyway, feel free to throw a second pair of eyes on it. Will fix the references on the Shumariyeh page tomorrow, am fed up for now - that was ONE ANNOYING JOB. :o) Both parsers are catastrophic, this one changes all links to intern and that one messes up special characters and internal links, not to speak of indents. --CE (talk) 22:02, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

Video Analysis: RPG-firing rebel

Moved from Talk:Houla, May 25: Who Was in Control?#Video Analysis: RPG-firing rebel. -- Petri Krohn 09:51, 17 October 2012 (EST)

Petri just caught the RPG-firing rebel video --كشف حقيقة مجزرة الحول 25-5-2012.avi (first portion, about 5:00, see also here at 2:38). I had seen this before, but somehow thought it wasn't real clear, but it's real clear. I'd like to maybe start a page just for it, gathering, for one thing, the edits of it used to prove government shelling of Taldou. The video is great evidence. It shows enough scenery details to place it, and once placed, we can get a time. The/a water tower is visible at 3:54, as a starter. I imagine someone else might be on that already, but if not, let me know. For now I'll just describe what I think we see.--Caustic Logic 20:50, 11 October 2012 (EST)

some of those scenes (and some others) are shown, and some texts translated to German, in this video I mentioned on the forum some weeks ago. The scene with the killer was also shown in the French documentary - with the killer cut out. --CE 23:21, 11 October 2012 (EST)
Thanks, I knew someone mentioned it, as "killer." It would be hard to show the shelling smoke and not show him. Probably they managed to cut while he was still crouching, not real obvious, but with his weapon horizontal. I don't feel like checking now without a time-stamp but I'm slightly curious what they did. --Caustic Logic 00:31, 12 October 2012 (EST)
Timestamp seven minutes. --CE 00:57, 12 October 2012 (EST)
Checking now ... There are other edits, it's not bad at shrinking all the actions down, minimizing the gore, but it waits until his face is almost readable (don't worry, it never is), cutting a few frames, but mostly the reaction (pan down and then ignore). I can't call them out for trying to excise the guy, but just losing those last frames feels odd when you don't see the camera does the same thing right after, so why bother showing the sidewalk? This is prime time TV. --Caustic Logic 22:01, 12 October 2012 (EST)
The location is the northern part of Saad street, south of the central mosque. The tree over the street seen in the initial scene is here. The time must be around 6 pm solar time. Analyzing the height of the sun will produce a more accurate result than studying its direction. -- The bodies are found right here. -- Petri Krohn 09:51, 12 October 2012 (EST)
That sure looks like a fit with the video. A bit late in the day. The massacre at the south end of the road should be getting mopped up, and the clocktower takeover pending soon. I'll do my own sort of double check on the location and the time. --Caustic Logic 10:14, 12 October 2012 (EST)
I got hung up on the unusual spire best seen at 0:40. It's apparently ON that foreground roof, so not that big, and thus the little spike faintly visible there. Otherwise, this seems a total fit. The minaret is where it should be, plainly visible in the smoke right up the road. The water tower's where it should be. It seems the bodies are in front of the long building, and Bazooka Joe is in front of the smaller one north of it, firing at any of those buildings northwest (likely the taller one that's nearest) The location is important. If this is north Saad, they drive off south with those bodies, and one, apparently, is seen later inside a maasacre home south on Saad street. Those details need worked out too. Following section for that. --Caustic Logic 20:48, 12 October 2012 (EST)
Time now. Light and shadows seem to run about perpendicular to the sidewalk, which would be almost 290 degrees, well north of west. A more precise try lines up the (ground-level) narrow gap between buildings to the sidewalk, a few feet past the (base of, estimated) the one power pole. That says (about) 286 degrees or so. NOAA calculator (time zone GMT +3, out of synch with north-south neighbors, in synch with Iraq) says (about) 282 is reached at exactly 6:18:44. I'll round to 6:15. 296 at sunset (7:38)? Surprising it gets that far north of setting in the (due) west. Confirmation, then. --Caustic Logic 22:01, 12 October 2012 (EST)

The four dead guys

First, the cameraman runs to the site of some recent "shelling," smoke filling the street. Others are running towards it to see what happened. Four dead men, all more or less seeming to be fighting age but in civilian clothes, lie on the sidewalk (one could possibly be fake, but I doubt it). We can't tell if these are pure civilians, civilian fighters for either side, off-duty soldiers dragged out and killed, or what. --Caustic Logic 20:50, 11 October 2012 (EST)

Two of them are recognizable from other places in the massacre. One, in a yellow striped shirt, looks like he had the back of head/upper spine blown away by, say, a rocket propelled grenade. He lays face down, blown out of one sandal. He's visible in some videos later (this one and at least one other), in maybe a field clinic, and in a mid-res photo here, laid face-up on a blanket in the bed of a truck. The other, apparently killed after, falling in the other man's blood, has pants down, legs blasted half apart, in a gray t-shirt saying "don't stop the rock." He can be seen laid out in one of the victims' homes, alongside five other dead men, about ten kids, and maybe one woman. This video at least shows him and the "CK" on his shirt, and this alternate video of the same scene probably does. It's quite possible the other three scooped up along with him are in here too - no detailed check yet. I didn't see the blasted, dangling head guy obviously present. --Caustic Logic 20:50, 11 October 2012 (EST)

All four are loaded into a black van. An older, balding man appears at about 4:00, possibly shouting after someone with a name like Michael. Just then the van drives of pretty quickly without him. --Caustic Logic 20:50, 11 October 2012 (EST)

The video is surrealistic. Too much interesting action happening for this to be a lucky shot. We cannot see or do not know what was the initial "blast" that put the camera rolling and the cameraman running. Somehow the video implies, it was what killed the four guys. Somehow the hearse is there in two minutes and the dead are taken away in three. Makes me think the guys did not die then and there on the spot.
I downloaded the two videos and used MediaInfo to check the time stamps. Both videos were published on YouTube on May 25th (what timezone?)
  • Bodies in clinic (this looks more like a real hospital, than a field clinic.) ? UTC 2012-05-24 20:52:52
  • Bodies in morgue (do you identify the bodies here?) ? UTC 2012-05-25 06:35:09
The time stamps cause us to reconsider the whole timeline. It is not possible, that the guys were killed 6:20 pm, May 25th. Also note, that on the street the brainless guy is bleeding heavily. Also plenty of blood at the clinic. (Could be his blood on the other guys shirt.) No blood on the truck bed. -- Petri Krohn 05:15, 14 October 2012 (EST)
Hold on now... those guys are dead in a hospital (could be, but these guys aren't the usual staff, let's put it that way) at 8 pm on the 24th? And then he's laying on the sidewalk the next day, and to the (morgue?) a whole 17 minutes after estimated pick-up? I was calling that a home, being before the mosque, and thought it was after dark.Gets dark inside early with no electricity though. So is that fake blood across the sidewalk? And why did the massacre of May 24 never get reported? 1:36 in the street video - why is that cameraman wearing rubber gloves?Did he come here expecting to pick up bodies? Or already dropping them off? The bodies don't look very stiff as they load him - suggesting he's been dead less than 12 hours. So, is it possible media info got the right time but wrong day? --Caustic Logic 08:51, 14 October 2012 (EST)
I am convinced the MediaInfo is correct. All this is happening far too fast for the UN to arrive on the scene in the morning of May 26th. Also, I find it unlikely the video would be uploaded to YouTube the same evening. (There is some way to get the exact upload time from YouTube explained here.) I suspect the street battle video is really from May 24th. -- Petri Krohn 09:19, 14 October 2012 (EST)
P.S. ? Are you saying you can recognize some of the four dead guys in the morgue / room video? Even if not, we have a timestamp for the presence for a large number of bodies in rebel hands in the early morning of May 25th. -- Petri Krohn 09:44, 14 October 2012 (EST)
P.P.S ? Interestingly, your [/wiki/File:Taldou_Burbning_Panorama.png Taldou burning] video from May 25th has a timestamp of UTC 2012-05-24 17:13:19. Also, another version of your bodies in a room video, titled Hula massacre of more than fifty children 05/25/2012 has a timestamp of UTC 2012-05-24 20:34:25 ? All four May 24th videos are uploaded by different YouTube accounts. -- Petri Krohn 10:20, 14 October 2012 (EST)
Continued: This video: Homs massacre Hula clear picture of the martyrs children 26 5 2012 ? published on May 25, 2012 by 20111Sham ? has a timestamp of UTC 2012-05-25 03:15:07 ? This one Montague _ ????? _ for the wounded city Hula massacre UTC 2012-05-25 16:50:19 ? – This is weird, shows scenes from events "known" to have happened on May 26th. -- Petri Krohn 10:39, 14 October 2012 (EST)
Update: I checked the timestamp of one video I had uploaded to YouTube. The timestamp was about 24h before the upload. I asked YouTube to stabilize the video, so the wrong time stamp may be related to the stabilizing feature. -- Petri Krohn 11:02, 14 October 2012 (EST)
Petri, based on that, I dropped the whole issue. That seems the best bet to save time, but if it seems to come up again and require the headache of a massive timeline re-consideration, let me know. --Caustic Logic 12:32, 15 October 2012 (EST)

Houla Saad Street Eyes Close.png

Awake at the same time, cool. It's problematic - no reports we know of from either side of such a disturbance, etc. But intriguing. I will say, at 2:09, the possibly fake dead guy - besides the goofy faint smile, lack of clear non-fake injury, his eyes seem to be open a slit until he confirms the camera's there, then close fully. I watched it on loop, and that's how it seems. Will do some slo-mo, frame-by-frame, something. --Caustic Logic 09:41, 14 October 2012 (EST) Graphic added --Caustic Logic 13:13, 14 October 2012 (EST)
I can see what you're saying, but I doubt the scene was staged. #1, there are several people running there from kind of different directions, a little tricky to coordinate. The sounds must be new (or the pre-recording "now film and run" command was new). #2 if you're trying to stage an in-home massacre, why have bodies out on the sidewalk? #3 why make it look like their own blaster did the blasting, so the cameraman has to pan down and awkwardly ignore the guy? Seems like a bad set-up. --Caustic Logic 08:51, 14 October 2012 (EST)
It is very difficult to see the cause of death. It is clear to see the brainless guy is dead, the blood says he died there on the spot. How were the others killed? If four were somehow hit, I would expect two or three to be wounded and in need of medical care. Did "Assad" score a 100% kill ratio? Or were there more wounded around that had already been taken to first aid? Two of the guys do not look very dead to me. -- Petri Krohn 09:51, 14 October 2012 (EST)
Oh, God -06:35, 6 in the morning on the day of the massacre. Momentary lapse of 24-hour format.This is interesting, as these off-times both line up. --Caustic Logic 10:13, 14 October 2012 (EST)
And yeah, the graphic is coming up - they're in that display, not visible in THAT video, but the other one with weird tracer effects. I'll post the graphic here and take the timeline issue to the main massacre talk page. --Caustic Logic 10:15, 14 October 2012 (EST)
Well, in case anyone else comes across the same issue, if nothing else, I already copied this over, with the update, to [Talk:The Houla massacre#Timeline Problems: May 24, Anyone?]

The video match: Four-for-four ID in three videos. First, the one taken outside. Then, the clinic/hospital (no problem with ID there) and then at the morgue/home. I amend the earlier rundown. Six bodies across the top row. left to right: 1) "Don't stop the rock" at 0:45 - 2) checked shirt at 0:48, 3) pinstripe shirt with orange undershirt and black under-undershirt, 0:50, 4) not one of the four, 0:55, 5) Yellow and brown striped shirt (of head-blasted man) faintly discernable (0:58), 6) not one of the four. I originally had 2) and 6) switched. Checked shirt is the possible faker with just a spot of blood, who has a look on his face and whose eyes close. Strangely, he or someone just like him got more injured later. Seen at the clinic, he now has his, or someone's, intestines outside his body, laid on top of his shirt, (overshirt pulled up partly, but not undershirt), along with lots more blood (see 0:33 and 1:12) (note - it's one of the stupidest things I've seen yet). If we need the graphics, I have some ready, but I don't think they even need uploaded (too gory? They're real guts, it seems, possibly even human). --Caustic Logic 20:06, 14 October 2012 (EST) and small inserts --Caustic Logic 12:32, 15 October 2012 (EST)

New morgue home video of the array in question, called ""first morgue," English subtitles.Better lighting. The striped shirt of blasted-head is more visible, the visible chin but otherwise apparent lack of a head. To the right and left seem to be the same guys but the left side has different bodies. Someone in a similar shirt to his but with wider yellow stripes, and a black-and-white striped shirt guy where "don't stop the rock" is in the other one. Pinstripe-on-orange shirt is here, pants down and hands bound (as I forgot to note, as in the other video). The row of kids is probably a bit different too. Some are the same, and there seem to be at least three women, one plainly shown at 1:56. Buckets and ice, 1:16, Select captions: "Al-Hula. Martyrs of the Al-Hula massacre which was committed by" not them, "thugs from the loyal villages." 1:28 "it may be a woman here. Is she a woman?" "God is our only savior." Not NATO. "We pour out our complaints to God and no one else." He watches Youtube, you know. "There is no God but God," and it's NOT NATO and human rights groups. (will add to victims page later) --Caustic Logic 12:27, 15 October 2012 (EST)

Early Tally

Here's a new-ish, developing twist I can't believe I never mentioned here (or did I?), from the 2014 Houla Massacre Facebook page, now unavailable. It had a post dealing with this scene. I didn't save it, but as I recall it said these four were victims of an RPG attack (unexplained)at about 6 PM, which I found interestingly specific and of course incorrect. Wonder where they got that from? But it names the four victims, un-verifiably but intriguingly:

  • Raad Isaac Al-zukahi (the one with legs blasted)
  • Mouhammed Shafq Abbara (head blasted)
  • Ammaar Abed Al-jawad Abbara (chubby, dress shirt)
  • Jacoub Houseen Abed Al-razaq (not present, apparently, but did wind up dead - see below)
Faker and Yacoub.jpg
From that site, a composite view they shared for whatever reason. At right, the guy who seems alive in the videos, with the red thing seen falling from under his shirt laid by his left shoulder. Left image, a different guy, apparently dead. Another composite image shows two photos of that guy, with the name Jacoub Houseen Abed Al-razaq stamped across the whole. This composite does not do that.--Caustic Logic (talk) 10:20, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

Anyway, since these are all either Abdulrazaqs or from interrmarried families, it's no conincidence they would up dead together at the north end of Saad street as the rest of the targeted family was being killed at the street's south end. From the few clues available, each of these four might be traceable to a home in an area not on Saad street (the Abbaras near the clocktower, Zegahi maybe by Military Inteligence HQ, and Yacoub maybe from the northwest of Taldou). These may be the scattered adult male relatives gathered before the rest. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:20, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

More mix-ups! I just did this blog post about an obscure photo of M. Abbara, misattributed to "Gheiyath Abed Samad Suliman - 28 year old. The first martyr at Houla massacre" (but not actually on their short list of 105). This has two photos labeled as him, one intact, and a second photo looking worse off, with a smashed head. But actually they show two different men, one of which seems to be M. Abbara, but apparently better off, with more of his head in place than we see otherwise. This might suggest deliberate body mutilation by the opposition. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:20, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

VDC first men.png

At any rate, that Suliman he gets mixed up with was described as the "first victim," and he is the first victim listed by the opposition VDC in the list of 24 men killed in Houla May 25, in order of entry number, sampled at left. Spelled differently, he's martyr #16970. These four tend to be listed next, with the Abbaras #16971 and 72, Yacoub #16973, etc. - killed by "shelling") Only Read Zegahi (17184, with the blasted legs, the only one listed as "field execution") was delayed a bit (last on the list at left). Between them, rebel fighters were counted first, then the al-Sayed victims, and some delay acknowledging they could get to and tally the bulk of the Abdulrazaq victims. But their scattered kin, it seems, were the first verified hits of the day. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:20, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

The "Shelling" Perp

Early in that loading sequence, at 3:15 a loud blast is heard nearby, jarring the cameraman. He foolishly pans towards the source, just a few yards up the street. In the same smoke cloud,refreshed with the new firing. There we see a man kneeling, with a horizontal bazooka-like device. He stands, the device sticking out at an angle. His compatriot at the corner, just a few feet away and wearing greenish robes, seems to have backed away at the noise, covering his ears (perhaps an inexperienced local suck-up?). The armed man confers with him, and he runs out in the street like a terrified local fleeing the "shelling." The armed man walks towards and past the camera, unashamed to be the guy clearly carrying the PRG launcher/bazooka/whatever (no weapons expert), held semi-tight against his right leg. As he passes, the camera pans away from him pretty quickly, down to the ground. He's only visible for a few frames here. Some unclear loud noises happen then (gunshots? metal door banging open? - that distortion happens with anything loud, even shouting), and someone goes into a doorway, but not our killer. He proceeds down the strreet, firing again and again. Further blasts happen at 3:45, 4:17. --Caustic Logic 20:50, 11 October 2012 (EST) and --Caustic Logic 22:21, 11 October 2012 (EST)

File:Houla Shelling Perpetrator.jpg

The men doing the loading don't seem genuinely afraid of him, as they would be a government thug firing rockets to kill opposition people. At least one guy might put on a show of cowering a bit (in the back at 3:50), perhaps realizing the significance of the camera running. --Caustic Logic 20:50, 11 October 2012 (EST)

The Running Sequence

The video anlysts here seem to think the children running in terror from the shelling are laughing. Sounds kind of like it. What else? They only start running after securing the bodies to shock the world with. --Caustic Logic 20:50, 11 October 2012 (EST)

Who are the loaders?

Any possibility that bazooka Joe is a Shabeeh, the dead guys rebels/protesters, the loaders regime thugs helping control the evidence, and the massacre scene they later displayed them (one at least) at is the site of part of their genocide against the always Sunni Abdul Razaq clan? What do you guys think? They almost have to all be one team, from how the loaders act unafraid of the blaster, fail to to gang up and stop his rampage, nor take much notice at all after getting accustomed to him. --Caustic Logic 20:48, 12 October 2012 (EST)

For good measure here, the van. Is , as I showed in the July report. This thing usually tasked with hearse work in Taldou? The blacked-out windows suggest that to me. As noted, it drives south on Saad, lining up with these victims later being seen amongst massacre victims from down that way. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:48, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

Houla Saad St van.png

Media Reflections

Since this is all part of a famous video, what's been said as it's been pimped is worth noting. And noting is worth compiling here.

  • Telegraph edit of the video "Amateur video believed to show Houla massacre" 1:09. Published on May 29, 2012 by telegraphtv. Desc: "Horrifying images from an amateur video uploaded on a social media website are believed to come from the Houla massacre which killed over a hundred people last Friday."
  • The Guardian "Video footage recorded on mobile phones by terrified Taldou locals shows some of the men trying to rescue the women, children and elderly men who were trapped in their homes, some of which were being splintered by artillery and tank shells. The rescuers scrambled to an area that had just been hit by a shell, killing at least two people who had been in the open. The video shows more shells crashing down as they tried to drag the victims to safety. Sometime between 3.30pm and 4pm, according to locals, the shelling eased. There was, however, to be no reprieve." A still is presented. Caption: "A photo [sic] taken by Syrian activists is said to show Houla residents fleeing shelling. Photograph: AP"
  • The page linked to This is the video, a 1:25 edit hosted by the Guardian. The video is shot around 6:30 PM, hours after the "the shelling eased." Description: "Unverified video uploaded to a social media website purports to show the shelling of Houla in Syria on Friday, which left 108 people dead. People are seen fleeing as explosions and gunshots are heard, and several people appear to help an injured person on the ground. Survivors have told UN investigators that most of the victims died in two bouts of summary executions carried out by pro-government militia"
  • And of course it was used in the France 2 docu
  • Stills, especially of the boy running, have been widely shown as proof of regime shelling.

Abu Usama Al Houla on YouTube

THis may be the original posting of the video (on May 27th).

-- Petri Krohn (talk) 01:05, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Thanks. WIll incorporate momentarily. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:51, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Another debunk video

This video is very similar to yours (Caustic Logic). Too bad we cannot read the Arabic.

-- Petri Krohn (talk) 23:38, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

Fake videos

Here is another fake wounded with guts coming out:

-- Petri Krohn (talk) 18:02, 18 November 2012 (UTC)

Rebel leader in morgue?

Our man, Lt. Col. Abu Al-Zeer wears the same headdress as this killer in Aleppo. He however prefers Adidas (in black) over camo.

Is the rebel leader in this video the same guy as the one in the morgue video? (part 1 part 2) What is the meaning of the black turban? Is he an al-Qaeda veteran from Iraq or Afghanistan?

Or is he this guy?

  • 02032011003 – Published on Jul 18, 2012 by written Farouk official page

Or this?

...or this?

-- Petri Krohn (talk) 23:29, 18 November 2012 (UTC)

He looks very much like this guy (see photo with al-Qaeda flag). "first version is the work of our brother captive Abu Zubair oppressed - Allah free him" – If he was a prisoner in 2009, how come he is now free to lead a battalion in Syria?

...well, he could not be Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, he died in 2006. Our guy in Syria is doing everything he can to become a look-a-like. Maybe a nephew? -- Petri Krohn (talk) 00:24, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

More videos:

OK. Maybe he is this local guy at 1:30: Secret of tasks battalion Arabad Ben force after carrying out in response to the massacre Altrimssh

hmmm... – In fact I do not think he is local. I think he is a Islamist commander in the Farouk Brigade, who only came to Taldou for the day. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 11:19, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

UN visit to the south Saad Street massacre site on May 27th: The man in charge is wearing a similas black Adidas track suits, carrying a similar combat radio. Farouk Brigade? -- Petri Krohn (talk) 06:18, 23 November 2012 (UTC)