Talk:Houla Victims: Shumariyeh/Shomaliya

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

Slogan Translation

Crowd-sourcing time! Or, is it already solved? I'm looking at it, and I brought "Felix" into the loop. It's not automatic going. Two more heads reside here so far. Again, the words seen at a massacre site that could be the Alawite Abdullah family:

Houla Slogan.png

I was trying to look at it letter-by-letter, and you can try too, just pull up an alphabet chart and follow along. But even that's not so clear. Is this one letter or two? Middle of one word or beginning of next (affects the form greatly)? Is that a loop or a hump? Etc. Bottom line first. I thought that reads, starting, Aleph, Kaaf (K sound, written poorly, in the alone form as seen [here])... etc. Blundering. Thankfully, Felix suggests لجيش , Al-Jeesh, army. The kaaf would be a Jiin (middle-of-word form), making the J sound, but with some extra thing above it I can't explain. So that might be what's written. Following, I had no guess yet, but Felix suggests الحرة - Hurrah - free. Sloppily written, I can see this as one of the clearest fits, if missing the last thingee.

So, "something, Free Army" might be what's written. The "something." I thought it might be Syrian; the first part might be a siin, and it could almost be "Syria" something, but the word "Syrian" it doesn't seem to be. And of course "Free Army" without "Syrian" is how it's usually said around there anyway. Felix points to a video title مذبحة داريا من هنا مر الموت (Darya massacre from here over the death). The part "من هنا مر" "from here over" (per Google translate) is a very good fit with what we see. What it means is not totally sure. Possibly "from here on out," "forever."

In the video title, I don't know what that means, but what could be "from here on out, Free Army" is painted at the scene of this heinous crime. Can't spell out the Google pronunciation for that first part, but it ends with an "ah" sound, a handy rhyme with Hurrah, giving the translation plausibility as a slogan (the 5-4 syllable mismatch is not a problem - rhythm fixes things like that instinctively). --Caustic Logic (talk) 08:22, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

Translation: FSA Rulez! -- Petri Krohn (talk) 22:11, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
A simple Google search for "من هنا مر" shows this to be a SFA slogan. I will start with less important:
  • #3 in the search results is this photo on Flickr, with the text "من هنا مر التاريخ" which Google translates as "From here throughout history". I guess this means simply "forever" (This is the only top result that is nopt related to the Syrian insurgency.)
  • Result #4 is this photo on Flickr by DoumaRevolution, another massacre channel.
  • Result #5 is this FSA photo from April 22, 2012 on Flickr of a captured Syrian tank, with the slogan "من هنا مر الجيش الحر", which Google translates to "From here over the army free".
  • Result #2 is the Darya massacre video from a pro-SFA YouTube channel you mentioned.
  • Result #1 is getting too close for comfort! It is this YouTube video of a damaged mosque by SHAMSNN from May 11, 2011. If I remember correctly SHAMSNN has also published Houla Media Office material. The latest video, published just half an hour ago, features our Media office host Suleiman.
The whole phrase might be من هنا مر التتار which Google translates to "From here over the Tartars". -- Petri Krohn (talk) 23:26, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Searching for the whole phrase "من هنا مر الجيش الحر" brings an interesting video as result #3. You can see a very similar graffiti at 2:19.
I do not see the Syrian Arab Army stealing or writing graffiti, but how do I know – maybe they did it just before chasing away the SFA. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 00:10, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

If you read the US Army counter insurgency manuals you see that one of the most important tasks of the "regime" forces is to paint over rebel graffiti. The army or the shabiha do not go around spraying graffiti – it is unlikely they even have spray paint cans. Graffiti is always a clear sign of rebel presence. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 00:45, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

The law of reverse psychology I just now codofoed says as soon as you can say it's a clear sign, it can also be used by others for that same reason. I tend to agree with you, that this is the rebels just being arrogant, knowing that even if SANA shows it, the world will dismiss that as a "regime" lie and they won't suffer a bit. And it still sends its message to the people inside Syria who surely know what it means. I don't see how to prove it, however. The manual is good evidence, but far from airtight. The example digging was quite useful. Thanks! Looks like we (Felix) called it right. --Caustic Logic (talk) 04:43, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
The correct expression would be to say that graffiti is a prima facie sign of rebel presence. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 08:11, 23 November 2012 (UTC)

Could be the same slogan in this rebel checkpoint in Aqrab on December 10, 2013. (video Warning: Graphic!)

Fancy buildings

The supposed location has some extremely fancy buildings. Does getting paid well by the government make you an Alewite? -- Petri Krohn 11:02, 6 October 2012 (EST)

Not necessarily, but I imagine being an Alawite and living in a fancy building might make you Shabiha. Not thew additions coming up in a few minutes. --Caustic Logic 18:22, 6 October 2012 (EST)


Dropped the name of the place into youtube (corrected me to Shoumariyeh), here is Syrian TV with victim names. Sounds something like Mohammed Al-Binawi with his wife and six children, and ... no idea how to spell that ... with his son. CE 11:53, 6 October 2012 (EST)

Very good, had a listen. First name might be Mohammed Abu Nehi (?) and the other I hear "Rata Velo" (?). Will be added shortly. The video of course is highly valuable stuff I'm just now seeing. --Caustic Logic 18:24, 6 October 2012 (EST)
And of course, it could be: "The source mentioned that the terrorists brutally killed Mohammad Abdul-Nabi Abdullah, his wife and six sons in addition to the citizen Rateb al-Oulo along with his son." (SANA May 26) The video specifies the son's name as something like "Intha Villij";) --Caustic Logic 18:55, 6 October 2012 (EST)


Taldou map Greater Syria.jpg

There is a map in this blog with the al-Shumariya area highlighted.

It may be worth transcribing and transliterating the Arabic script. --

Petri? I guess I missed this, but did check the link elsewhere and saw it. Just now added. Good find. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:47, 22 November 2012 (UTC)
  1. ḥā’-yā’ (Al)-nūn-’alif-ṣād-rā’-yā’-tā’ – "حي الناصرية" – "Al-Nasiriyah district"
  2. ḥā’-yā’ (Al)-mīm-shīn-fā’-’alif maqṣūrah (Al)-wāw-ṭā’-nūn-yā’ – "حي المشفى الوطني" – "neighborhood of the National Hospital"
  3. ḥā’-yā’ (Al)-shīn-dāl – "حي الشد" – Should this be "حي الرشد" "district of majority"?
-- Petri Krohn (talk) 10:19, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
Sounds like a pretty good reading. Haya or Hay means neighborhood/district, as we learned in Libya. Which is the red district? In order, left-to-right, I presume? That would make haya al-Shindal (?) the one with possible Al-Shumariyeh in it? I don't know what to make of it. Perhaps majority. Meaning, perhaps, the favored minority - Alawites - in a strange admission? --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:51, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
Red is #1, Al-Nasiriyah. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 11:54, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
Ah ... majority then goes with the Saad Road area and could well mean 'of the dead.' --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:26, 23 November 2012 (UTC)

Al-Nasiriyah neighborhood

A search for "Al-Nasiriyah district" Taldou pops up the following news item from around November 19, 2012: Facebook

"كما استهدفت الجهات المختصة تجمعاً للمسلحين في مزارع حي الناصرية بمنطقة تلدو بريف الحولة مما أدى إلى مقتل أربعة مسلحين هم (حمود العليات متزعم المجموعة– حسام الحسين– ماجد العبد– صفوان بكور) وجرح آخرين عرف منهم (فطام بكار وأسامة بكار) وتدمير عدد من آلياتهم ووسائل تنقلهم."
Also targeted the competent authorities gathering of militants in farms neighborhood Nasiriyah area Tldo Brive Hula killing four gunmen are (Hammoud Alaliat Metzam Group - Hossam Hussein - Majid Al - Safwan Bakkour) and wounding others knew of them (weaning Bakkar and Osama Bakar) and destroyed a number of their vehicles and means of movement.

Do we know any of the people or groups mentioned? -- Petri Krohn (talk) 10:33, 23 November 2012 (UTC)

We know a hassan hussein as video reporter, a nidal bakour as rebel leader and three bakours as fsa guys (Akram/a ~ Osama? Maybe not). btw, was hacked or something and lost two weeks worth of news. Came back on the 20st. --CE (talk) 11:09, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
CE knew Mr. Hussein, now we do. Sounds almost like the same exact guy here. Bakour is a prevalent name there, and it's possible Bakkar is the same name coming through differently. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:43, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
HH has been active on youtube today, published the latest Friday demonstration yesterday and a little Hula-Demonstrations propaganda medley two days ago. Monther Hrfosh is missing since Oct 30, though. --CE (talk) 20:15, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
Also, this report makes sense if Nasiriyah (incidentally, it means Nazareth, or one from there, doesn't it?) is the area of al-Shumariyeh, or that area we've been calling that. It's high ground, a place rebels like to get to and hold to hit anyone below, but where there's a lot of open space to get surrounded in and killed if someone comes up from a surrounding area. The map says that's the area either way. It doesn't help us say it's where the Alawites lived, and the added name actually complicates it a bit (the village within the district?). But it suggests someone was massacred there, just off the Rastan rebels' eastern entry point into Talldou. AND, it adds another possible location for Shumariyeh-west of the Abdul Razaq homes,in that other area shown as having victims we don't yet know about. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:49, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
Or one that follows Nasser. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 16:11, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
On my trip through the wikimapia labels for the "connecting the dots" page I had found Al-Nasariyah - where the rebel defector said some rebels had gathered preparing the attack on main street. It is north of what we call Shumariyeh, and at the foot of the hill - where Suleiman and the guys start their expedition to the water tower. Here is "Nasariyah square" on wikimapia. I think it would make sense that two neighbouring little aggregations of buildings would be called Nasariyeh and Shumariyeh - even if I have no idea what the meaning is, just by the sound. Anyway, Nasariyeh is in the red area on the map, regardless of if our Shumariyeh is really Shumariyeh. --CE (talk) 19:50, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
That's right, I remember you pointing out that area, now, and it being called Nasiriyah. That's in, anchoring, the area in red, Nasiriyah district. You're right, the two names sound good together, like a set. So who was killed in that area? No one we know of acknowledged by the rebel side, right? --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:58, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
The Brigade YouTube channel now has two videos of the funeral of a brigade member – the one I had already named as "Fatso". I was going to add links and names earlier today, but the server was having difficulties. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 14:31, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

From Syrian Perspective, January 1, 2013:

At Al-Naasiriyya, near Taldo Town, SA army units came upon a concentration of rodents and killed the following:
  • Farouq Al-Bakkour
  • Jihad Salim Uthman
  • Hassan Shindbiyyeh
  • Majid Al-Youssuf

-- Petri Krohn (talk) 23:36, 1 January 2013 (UTC)

Happy New Year, Petri! Just located the TV announcement. --CE (talk) 23:59, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
Documents.Sy gives the names as Farouq Bakkour, Jihad Othman, Hasan al-Shandia and Majed al-Yusuf – based on " Syrian Official TV". It seems that SyrPer is closer to the source than -- Petri Krohn (talk) 01:45, 3 January 2013 (UTC)


This must be the video:

حمورية (Hmouria) seems to be somewhere near Damascus. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 21:41, 18 November 2012 (UTC)

Must be which video? --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:41, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
Which video?
I have seen this before, wasn't this supposed to be the Houla Massacre? Anyway the title says "Hmouria" = Shumariyeh. Besides, the pile of bodies looks very similar to the Shumariyeh bodies. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 11:58, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
Totally confused here.
  1. 1: Never seen it before, and I've seen many (most?) Houla massacre (victim) videos. Not a question.
  2. 2: Where does Hmouria = Shumariyeh? Phoenetically? Possible, but would need something else to even suspect it ...
  3. 3: how does that person's head keep moving? Aren't they dead?
  4. 4: I'm not sure what the Shumariyeh victims look like. Best guess, maybe, the ones SANA showed while naming the village (and seen nowhere else). These people are different, I think. There's a kid among them, and a baby, and the woman (?) in black is different. The other possible body arrays are even more different, I think. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:38, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
Looking back, I remember the woman whos head keeps moving was claimed to be from the Daraya massacre. With an upload date of Jun 5, 2012 that cannot be possible. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 16:50, 23 November 2012 (UTC)

On the transcription:

  • mouria = mariyeh (French vs. English transliteration)
  • Hbihh = Shabiha
  • -> Hmouria = Shumariyeh

-- Petri Krohn (talk) 06:20, 25 November 2012 (UTC)

I can see how that makes sense. H and Sh should clearly be distinct, not being vowels. But, eh... Worth a google search. The kids loaded in a van, posted June 2, dated June 1: 18+ HMOURIA, SYRIA. MASSACRE of an Entire Family by the Forces of Assad(2) 01-06-2012 another posting agrees, posted ON June 1 (though there could be older postings-Souria2011archive doesn't usually run things the first time, but after copying from someone else). Still, apparently post-Houla, wherever it it is. "Harasta Hmouria and Erbeen in Damascus countryside," says this page. Plenty bad things happening there, running back at least to January. As for Daraya re-branding, were you the one viewer who watched this Daraya era re-postof the video, under the same name, including date? :)
The video now has two views. How do you know I was the other one who saw it? (Don't remember seeing it.) Copy,
Yes, they are the same children. Copy -- Petri Krohn (talk) 14:48, 25 November 2012 (UTC)

Shomariyeh near al-Qusayr

This article mentions a Shomariyeh near al-Qusayr:

Just two kilometres from Ghassaniyeh lies the remains of the village of Shomariyeh where, two days earlier, the regime army had routed rebel fighters.

-- Petri Krohn (talk) 22:16, 12 May 2013 (UTC)

Funny, I just saw it getting liberated in a video today. It's here on the shores of Lake Homs. Too far away to be "ours". I first thought it is this one, a bit closer but still around 15 km from Taldou, but that name only matches roughly, same as the other village two kilometers from it, Ghuzaylah. --CE (talk) 22:35, 12 May 2013 (UTC)
I'm not certain we can totally rule this out. The sources make them sound together, and Ja'afari did specify "next to Houla." But both are in Homs countryside, and this is the only town with that name attached that we've found. The distance isn't huge, but a drive around the lake would be involved. Unless we're talking two whole distinct attacks by different people, unlikely. That rebels held it suggests it's not Alawite, unless they took it. I'm like 80% for saying this isn't it, with the previous best guess standing. --Caustic Logic (talk) 03:52, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
The real test here would be to check if there was any rebel activity Shomariyeh near al-Qusayr at the time of the Houla Massacre. I did not look, but this just came up: I searched for Qusayr on the Getty Images site. Found four photos from april 18, 2012.
Free Syrian Army fighters from the Farouk Brigade in Al Qusayr, Syria, prepare for battle April 18, 2012. (David Enders/MCT via Getty Images)
-- Petri Krohn (talk) 19:00, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
See below. --CE (talk) 23:51, 14 May 2013 (UTC)


Ash-Shomariya is here on Wikimapia. On the shore of "Lake Homs", two kilometers towards Homs. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 00:14, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

A Mix-Up?

Here's a thought that hit me. Maybe there was a high-level mix-up in village names that somehow came through in everyone citing al-Shumeriyeh. The name could be from this town on the south shore of lake Homs. but erroneously be attached to to this town about on the south shore of "lake Taldou" - Al-Sharqliyah, the zig-zag town listed in this BBC report as the other Shabiha base besides neighboring Foulah. We've kind of passed over that place, but Foulah's darn close, and this only two darns distant. Both are Alawite (Shabiha, surrounding) towns, so that makes this a possible fit for the "Alawite famil(ies of) (mis-named) Sharqliyah." --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:07, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

Further, there's the mystery spot maybe in Foulah. Most of the discussion here, especially further down is mewondering over it. The scene is where this May 25 Houla massacre video (moment of shelling) was filmed. I found one almost consistent spot, minus a building there in February images. No completed visuals, details now hazy to me, but as I said then "It's eerie how similar it is and how few other matches come close" and "this site is at the southern end of Fulla [sic], where the Alawite attackers allegedly came from, just one mile from the nearest Abdul Razaq massacre site." When rebels say Shabiha came from there, do they mean the opposite? Rebel black ops went in the direction of Foulah and even to the Alawite town 1.5 km south of this smoking home? --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:07, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

When I read Ronda Hauben's third article two days ago I realized that I never got to check Thomson's visit to the alawite villages, so I went to do that. He got told that they had nothing to do with that event which they say was a fight between opposing family clans, and there are no "Shabiha" in town. If there would be something to your theory I think the reaction would have been different. --CE (talk) 13:25, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
True, but this could be their way of avoiding more problems. The attackers said don't tell anyone, and when a journo comes, Alawites have nothing to do with it. Sunnis killed sunnis only. Not that I'm married to this idea, just keeping it alive just in case. --Caustic Logic (talk) 22:27, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
I agree that it can't be ruled out that the now liberated town at Lake Homs was the scene of that - then not directly connected - killing event and the "near Taldou" thing was exaggerated by poeple who don't know the area in detail. In the related videos to the one I linked above is one which shows Graffitis in that town - I first thought it was the one we analyzed, but it isn't. It's in exactly the same greenish color, though. See ~1:55 into it.--CE (talk) 13:25, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
This would suggest Shomariyeh was an Alawite town, or at least had Alawite families. Like Taldou, it would come under rebel control on May 25 or after, and get clobbered back later (like recently). And in support of that, this Syrian official says "'The terrorists started the offensive at 2:00 pm on Friday, attacking the area from al-Rastan, Talbiseh and al-Qseir..." Quseir is just south of our lake shore town. OTH, he refers to "the area," around which are five bases that don't surround that town. So everything else says the one area, but it's not so odd that it would all be fudged like that. And the article title is Armed Terrorist Groups committed Taldao, al-Shoumarieh Massacres. Two events. --Caustic Logic (talk) 22:27, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
The May 25 report at has several entries mentioning Qusayr and the area but none mentioning Shomariyeh specifically. --CE (talk) 23:51, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

What is the "village Al-Sama'aleel in Al-Houleh" mentioned in this news broadcast? -- Petri Krohn (talk) 04:27, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

I know I've seen it, could've sworn we covered it, but apparently not. Different town, just southeast of Taldou behind the Shia town "Al Gore," so likely also Shia or Alawi majority. (Here on GMaps). I don't feel like dealing with the video to see what happened there. Anything super-interesting? --Caustic Logic (talk) 08:45, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
Nothing interesting, arms warehouse busted by SAA. Only text shown. (No "dealing" really, the link goes directly to the 5m 33s spot.) -- Petri Krohn (talk) 09:48, 3 October 2013 (UTC)
I remember it as well. I think it has been a prime destination for people fleeing Taldou after the massacre/take-over. --CE (talk) 13:12, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

UN Monitors ?

The main page talks about UN monitors investigating the massacre including walking through the area.

the same one the UN monitors filmed bodies still inside of on the 26th.

Is this correct? I didn't think the UN had feet on the ground in that location at that time. --Charles Wood (talk) 00:07, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

Those monitors have been part of the Kofi Annan "peace plan" and there to see how the "cease fire" went, which was ignored by the "rebels" just like their masters told them, and used to regroup and reequip their forces. Houla happened, at least as much as Ghouta, at a point where even strategical consideration alone made it very unlikely that "the regime" was the perpetrator. Which it wasn't as we have shown in more detail than maybe anybody else. The event led to the closing of the "Western" Embassies and another round of intensified Assad bashing. Seems like you need a little history lesson on the "early" events of this mess. I recommend this eBook. --CE (talk) 08:25, 19 December 2013 (UTC)