Talk:Jisr Al-Shughour massacre

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General Talk

Great work on this so far! This is a real monster of a story I never really heard clearly about. --Caustic Logic 21:12, 20 September 2012 (EST)

Thanks, same with me. Stumbled across a link to the SANA article in a blog article about mutilations the "rebels" commit these days, and thought "how the hell could I have missed this event?" And yesterday's research showed that it is a crucial event indeed, with the advantage of some good after-the-event stuff as it happened "so long" ago. Have the story halfway outlined in my head, including sticking it to Chulov ... maybe I get to continue it today, but likely not. Stay tuned... :D --CE 21:49, 20 September 2012 (EST)
Same sentiment 2.5 years on! The "Hero" Harmoush section and the Sığırcıkoğlu angle. What a story! Oh, and sorry Frank Nordhausen retweeted my retweet of you instead of you. As you know, it's largely about timing. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:07, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
Yeah. Just wish I'd finished it back then. Now I'd have to read all the sources again. Well, maybe "tomorrow". *rolleyes* ;o) --CE (talk) 12:01, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
At least I managed to make it to Chulov sniffing the Iranian connection... --CE (talk) 12:02, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
That was a good catch - I cited it. Also planning JaS massacre overview post, may update here along the way. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:07, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

More on Harmoush

Hey, CE, and/or anyone else - I decided the guy and his story needed a Monitor Post - incomplete draft is up, here (I needed the post as a platform for another on "moderate" FSA Islamism and cooperation w/JaN and even Islamic State - mainly via their teamwork in the Latakia Massacres). I think all I plan to include is there. Anything missing? --Caustic Logic (talk) 05:34, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

Hey, cool, looks good already. One thing: what you're quoting under "Back in Syria" is not AFP, but my attempt to make sense of reference 16, the actual, unprofessionally ENG SUBbed interview shown on Syrian TV. --CE (talk) 09:48, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
You linked to it on the Ahrar al-Sham article and I checked again: You are still quoting what I wrote here on the frontpage, my summary of the interrogation video, as coming from the AFP video. --CE (talk) 16:05, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, will check that. It was a translated transcript, IIRC, but I don't think I noted that - will add to list for tomorrow. --Caustic Logic (talk) 16:56, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
No, there are two paragraphs following "As AFP reported:", the second one in italic and indented, who are my words from the front page. It goes from "As he now says..." to "...received SYP 2 Million.[16]". That's my summary of the video linked under [16] and is originally one paragraph (which you are free to use without attribution, but shouldn't put into the mouth of AFP). --CE (talk) 17:21, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
Okay, was being sloppy there. I think I fixed it okay, the blockquote is not so useful, I just didn't feel like re-writing. And now it credits the right source. :) --Caustic Logic (talk) 02:33, 22 November 2015 (UTC)


He said “I’m going to tell you what happened, even at the cost of damaging the cause of the revolution,” in a token manner, pleading to a much lesser crime, in effect, at the lowest possible and basically no cost to the cause of the revolution, he re-brands the massacre at the Post Office. Yes, the protest had guns, yes, they wound up getting fired towards the postoffice, but y'see... (rolleyes) --Caustic Logic 21:18, 20 September 2012 (EST)

Victim Records

This was a sizeable massacre ... of soldiers. By ... other soldiers? And postal workers, and reportedly some protest and funeral-goers, and FSA fighters, if those existed. There may be some records worth considering about who and who and how they died. I'll start with the VDC, suspecting some interesting confusion about where to put the victims - the Martyrs list or the Regime Forces shit list? --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:25, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

  • June 3-5 (per front page killing span) all "martyrs" 156 nationwide - from Idlib = 76 (the latter should cover it, but might be some cross-over between the lists). 2 killed June 3, 20 on June 4, so 54 on June 5, by this list.
    • One interesting case with a horrible picture: Mahmoud Rajab Saeb, local civilian man field executed June 5. Seems had his teeth smashed out, later his eye area either blown out or cut out. The date can't be right anyway: the picture is in a Youtube video uploaded on June 2, which they link to in support. * Most seem to be like Yousef Shahoud from Jisr Al-Shoghour, killed by shooting. Nothing further. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:25, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

Orontes River

Liking a link to a story I know, I wondered about the Orontes river dump mentioned. The video I was thinking of was however circulating in early August. Great article here with most of what we'd need for a page on that. Same video, however, at Infowars and mentioned by CNN by July 4 at the latest. So maybe... --Caustic Logic 21:12, 20 September 2012 (EST) And then I remember we're even talking a whole different year here ... you got all historical on us. No wonder I didn't hear about this, wasn't even following Syria last year. --Caustic Logic 21:23, 20 September 2012 (EST) And then noticing the story (first link) is from 2011. Okay, sorry. I'll stop now. --Caustic Logic 21:24, 20 September 2012 (EST)

The Orontes River also flows through Tremseh... --CE 21:49, 20 September 2012 (EST)
Yep, and as I presume we've noted, some fifty bodies of 'farmers killed by the regime' were fished out and, in some counts, added to the tally of the big massacre there. --Caustic Logic 22:27, 2 October 2012 (EST)
Later I learned the al-Assi River in Homs is also the same river, just having different local names or stretches. There have been a hella lot of bodies floated down this river now. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:59, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
What a mess above. Why did CNN have it by July 4? Because it was 2012 ... no CNN reported on that scene August 2, 2011 after the video was published August 1, after a recorded 26 members of the police and army were massacred in Hama, July 31, by "armed gangs," the government said (see ACLOS section external article.

There was some contention about locale, based on river level. Everyone who's really looked can see the bridge over the Orntes in the NW of Hama is the spot filmed, and deny the LCC claim "there is no such bridge in Hama," and so their claim the river under it would be dry anyway is doubtful. They deny this was in Hama with the police station attack right before - "the regime can come up with no valid accusations against Hama, so they have resorted to making some up." Ironically, they tried to distance this by putting it where they knew killed police would be explained and then called them civilians anyway: "This video was most likely taken in Jisr el Shughur, and shows pro-regime militia disposing on civilian bodies." (source) --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:59, 21 July 2015 (UTC)

Hero Harmoush killed in prison?

(copied from Talk:Torture Photos from "Caesar")
  • Lieutenant Colonel Hussein Harmoush: Back in February, some people were being identified from a smaller preview set of images. One is the/a ringleader of the Jisr Al-Shughour massacre of Syrian soldiers in June, 2011. He's not one the gouged-eye victims here, but credible reports say his killers did that to soldiers in Jisr al-Shughour. He was seen as a hero to the folks at Zaman al-Wasl, who mention no fighting, just dissent, and floated a tentative ID on February 1. (English - Arabic) He was of course detained, as they put it, after being "kidnapped by Syrian regime in September 2011, from a refugee camp on the Turkish border." Reported killed by firing squad in Feb. 2012, but also reported alive at the end of 2013. Anyway, the Arabic posting has the picture match with victim 21. Arrows show how both men have eyebrows, a nose, a chin. The dead guy does not seem to have the distinctive dent in the mid-brow Harmoush has. So, as twisted as their praise for the guy is, I don't think this is him. And it's the best guess they could find, so he's probably not in there anywhere. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:17, 19 March 2015 (UTC)


How about this (from re-reading the intro,still hazy on the details)

Idilb province, June, 2011: Around 120 security personnel and an unknown number of civilians, especially postal workers, were killed by rebel fighters, and/or their own comrades, and/or mobs of civilians. They were reportedly killed either for trying to defect to the rebel side, for marauding in the town as rebels in uniform filmed themselves doing, or for simply geting in the way of the rebel agenda. --Caustic Logic 22:24, 2 October 2012 (EST)
Not bad, should be added that this created the first refugee wave to Turkey ... yes, yes, I know i've been slacking with this, will finish soon ... promised ... yesterday Houla distracted me. --CE 22:32, 2 October 2012 (EST)
No rush, AFIC. I think blank spaces can spur others (not me, booked) to help fill them in. We just need more not me's. :) --Caustic Logic 22:36, 2 October 2012 (EST)

Significance Notes

Not touching the front page, but wnting to see this page develop, I suggest a section for explaining the significance of the event, helping establish effect/motive (if predicatable) aspect as a clue. There's the refugee crisis (of what type of people? Etc.) One small thing I saw was the event's distinction by the BBC as a landmark moment (see their graph) of the death toll up to this May 29 2012 article. Only three events are given reference lines - "Jisr al-Shughur Fighting," June, then the Homs bombardment of February 2012, then UN mission in April. Implied at the end with a shudder, Al-Houla. Since then, whoo boy. --Caustic Logic 20:15, 21 October 2012 (EST)

I'll tackle this today - finally. The videos I just added were re-uploaded by this new account, 91 vids uploaded in the last days, many potentially relevant - also about Houla but I didn't make it there yet. List deserves scrutiny. --CE 20:24, 21 October 2012 (EST)

Another BBC thing, from December, with an interesting take: Timeline: Syria's bloodiest days

Jisr al-Shughour, 3-6 June 2011
In June 2011, the Syrian government announced that 120 security personnel had been killed in the north-western town of Jisr al-Shughour.
The figure may have been inflated but it was a major attack and, as the BBC's correspondent Jim Muir said at the time, it showed that the government was facing an armed uprising rather than mass peaceful protests.
Opposition groups initially denied they were behind the killings, but later investigations suggested that when protesters were fired on during a funeral, they attacked the state security forces. Some soldiers may also have been killed when they refused to shoot demonstrators.
Afterwards, thousands of residents fled Jisr al-Shughour fearing retribution from the army. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:59, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
This must be the oldest game in the book, except the book has never been published or made public. Therefore we do not know if this is from the CIA Handbook for Regime Change or Al Qaeda Handbook for Regime Change. It could even have been in the earliest anarchist manuals from the 1890s.
The plan is this:
  1. Get a martyr
  2. Gather a large number of supporters and sympathizer for a peaceful demonstration. A funeral march for the martyr is a perfect setup. After all, even dictators cannot stop burying people.
  3. Hide snipers in near-by buildings.
  4. Shoot at protesters or security forces or both.
  5. Blame the government for unprovoked acts of violence.
There is a long history of this tactic used for destabilization. I started gathering evidence on Wikipedia here. One of the earliest cases was Bloody Sunday in Northern Ireland in 1972. (The Wikipedia article now blames the government for everything.) -- Petri Krohn (talk) 02:55, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

Petri, too true. The Bloody Sunday example is new to me. Interesting possibility. Bosnia 1992 is of course going to be one of your more fertile hotbeds for examples, especially the high-profile Serb sniper killing of David Kaplan even the UN felt was a false-flag op. --Caustic Logic (talk) 01:32, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

Jabal al-Zawiya Massacre, 2011

Another incident listed in the above-linked BBC article is worth considering alongside the Jisr Al-Shughour massacre. It helps illustrate a common pattern and should have a page eventually. Also in the north, near Idilb, a mass-killing of government troops from later in 2011 who more clearly defected, once dead at least. --Caustic Logic (talk) 01:37, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

Villages in the area of Jabal al-Zawiya in Idlib province were the site of a massacre of army defectors in December last year.
Opposition activists said around 70 soldiers were mown down by machine-guns on 19 December after hundreds fled their positions between the villages of Kafrouaid and Kansafra. This was later backed up by eyewitnesses and a report by Human Rights Watch.
The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a further 111 people - also mostly army defectors - were hunted down by the army and killed the next day in an "organised massacre".


  • They may be fighting for Syria, not Assad. They may also be winning: Robert Fisk reports from inside Syria – The Independent, 26 April 2013
    Many were killed in Jisr al-Shughur back in June of 2011 when the Syrian army lost 89 dead in a rebel ambush. A villager called Fouad explains that there was one survivor who came from a neighbouring village. “I telephoned him to ask what happened to the other men,” he said. “He said: ‘I don’t know because they cut out my eyes.’ He said that someone led him away and he thought he would be executed but found himself in an ambulance and was taken to hospital in Latakia.” One of the Jisr al-Shughur dead was returned to Hayalin, but relatives found that his coffin contained only his legs.
Wow, what a potent addition. Was tempted to plug it in up front, but too much going on. Great article all in all. Always glad when Fisk speaks up. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:37, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, great read indeed. --CE (talk) 14:27, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
Tuesday, December 20 was reportedly the “deadliest day of the nine-month [Syrian] uprising “with the “organized massacre” of a “mass defection” of army deserters widely reported by the international press in Idlib, northern Syria. Claiming that areas of Syria were now “exposed to large-scale genocide”, the SNC lamented the “250 fallen heroes during a 48-hour period”, citing figures provided by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Quoting the same source, the Guardian reported that the Syrian army was:
“… hunt[ing] down deserters after troops … killed close to 150 men who had fled their base”. A picture has emerged … of a mass defection … that went badly wrong … with loyalist forces positioned to mow down large numbers of defectors as they fled a military base. Those who managed to escape were later hunted down in hideouts in nearby mountains, multiple sources have reported. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimated that 100 deserters were besieged, then killed or wounded. Regular troops allegedly also hunted down residents who had given shelter to the deserters.”
The Guardian’s live blog-quoted AVAAZ, the citizen political advocacy/public relations group, which “claimed 269 people had been killed in the clashes”, and cited AVAAZ’s precise breakdown of casualties: “163 armed revolutionaries, 97 government troops and 9 civilians”. They noted that AVAAZ “provided nothing to corroborate the claim.”
(continues with allegations, discrepancies, story changes, etc.)
...The truth of these two “deadly” days will probably never be known – the figures cited above (between 10-163 armed insurgents, 9-111 unarmed civilians and 0-97 government forces) differ so significantly in both numbers reported killed and who they were, that the “truth” is impossible to establish. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:57, 2 September 2015 (UTC)