Talk:Karm al-Zaytoun Massacre

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Start Notes

No promises on this page, but I have enough specifics I'm stumbling on that it needs a space. And I may go off on this, fascinating and hideous stuff, according to reports. The surface-level reports say is happened on March 11 in Karm al-Zaytoun, but what I see in the death records is a horrific two-day span, each centered on a different area but with several deaths in others too. The CDV database shows 129 fatalities of people from Homs province between March 11 (Sunday, 72 dead) and March 12 (Monday, 57 dead), mostly in districts of the city itself. Victims listed as from Alawite-majority districts appear in these two days (a real rarity), as well as other more commonly violent areas where there were only a few (and shrinking) Alawites lived. Other stuff will emerge --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:36, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

Two Stories

Rebel Story

Activist Waleed Fares told Reuters via Skype that Syrian army forces with 30 to 40 tanks descended on al-Zeitoun on Sunday night. "We know now that four families have been killed by shabbiha," he said, adding "we have 21 names and we are trying to confirm the names of the rest." Fares explained why they got the bodies, but not how, considering the alleged circumstances; after weaving their body recovery pickups around the Shabiha and the tanks, Reuters reported: "The Free Syrian army helped move the bodies to one place. Otherwise the regime forces would have hidden the evidence, [Fares] said." [1]

Israeli Arutz Sheva cited "reports of reprisal operations in Homs by the Syrian regime" that were "confirmed" by rights activist Hadi Abdullah speaking to Gulf News. They cite a massacre total of 47 (21 women and 26 children) Abdullah "solidified" (Hadi Abdullah). They quote him saying "some of the children had been hit with blunt objects on their head, one little girl was mutilated and some women were raped before being killed." He described bodies "with their throats slit and others with stab wounds," found in the Karm al-Zaytoun and al-Adawiyeh neighborhoods. [2]

A medic and activist in Khalidiya, Homs, "who called himself Yazan" was quoted "We received the bodies in two batches ... we tried to go to see if there were any survivors but they were all dead," Arutz Sheva quotes him more fully as Yazzan [2] while Reuters just provides the worse half from "a medic in Homs":

I saw two females who were raped, one was around 12 or 13 years old. She was covered in blood and her underclothes were off. One of the women was strangled; she had bruises on her neck. Some of the bodies I saw, especially the children, had their throats slit. [3]

The Telegraph reported:

Hadi Abdallah, a Syrian activist in the besieged central city, said the bodies of 26 children and 21 women, some with their throats slit and others bearing stab wounds, were found in the Karm el-Zaytoun and Al-Adawiyeh neighbourhoods.
"Some of the children had been hit with blunt objects on their head, one little girl was mutilated and some women were raped before being killed," he said.
The main opposition group, the Syrian National Council (SNC), called for an emergency UN Security Council meeting to discuss the "massacre", which it said took place on Sunday. "The Syrian National Council is making the necessary contacts with all organisations and countries that are friends with the Syrian people for the UN Security Council to hold an emergency meeting," the SNC said in a statement. And in a clear reference to Russia and China, the SNC said that allies of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad shared responsibility for the "crimes" committed by his regime.

Non-Rebel Story

still image with March 14 SANA report
CNN reported how on Monday morning (the 12th), "state-run TV aired a montage of telephone calls reportedly from Homs. The anchor listened to callers denouncing the killings and blaming the Karm al Zaytoun massacre on what they called anti-government armed gangs." [4] I cannot find the original March 12 SANA report, but there are different re-postings around. One re-posting on Facebook features five low-grade photos of victims apparently left behind by the killers - several women in coats executed in a living room, and several men executed on the ground outdoors. [5] It features interview excerpts. One man, Abukhald al-Abdullah, from al-Naziheen district "said that the attacks by the armed terrorist groups, have turned their life into hell under house arrest, using their houses as prisons, kidnapping and killing the citizens casting their corpses at al-Siteen Street, Homs." Further, three callers claim specific knowledge based on recognizing victims shown on video. This will be discussed below.

Further, the report says:

The so-called al-Farouq Battalion documented its responsibility of the bloodbath by writing: " al-Farouq Battalion passed here," where all members of a family fell victim to the terrorism perpetrated by this militia.
A citizen said that the family targeted by the terrorists were simple and poor people including a 75-year-old man, as another neighbor clarified that the family members were killed for not responding to the gunmen's dictations.
Local residents said that the terrorists were using a deserted under-construction building to commit crimes of killing and mutilating against kidnapped innocent citizens and then they filmed them and send the videos to Gulf-backed sedition channels, particularly in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
A woman from the neighborhood said that militants rape, kill, throw bodies in the streets and then film them and send the clips to Aljazeera and al-Arabia TV channels.

The March 12 SANA report says in part: "Minister of Information Dr. Adnan Mahmoud said that armed terrorist groups committed a most atrocious massacre against women, children and elderly citizens in Karm al-Zaytoun neighborhood and mutilated their bodies in order to put pressure to elicit international stances against Syria." [5] (see #Timing.) Indeed, SNC leader George Sabra cited the events when hen told reporters in Istanbul, on the 12th, "we demand military intervention by Arab and Western countries to protect civilians," including a "no-fly" zone (air war) over all of Syria. [3]

On March 14, SANA reported that "a number" of terrorists were arrested in connection with the crime, but seems to have supplied few details. They cited Hadi Abdullah's account, especially the part about the FSA scooping up the evidence and spiriting it away "to the district of Bab Sebaa ... enabling activists to film the bodies ."[6]

An analysis of one of the rebel videos found online was aired by Addounia TV on or before a March 25 Youtube posting as Homs Massacres were Committed by the so-called "Free Syrian Army" (turn annotations on for the English). LinaSy also had a crack at translating this dialog for me, and she confirmed these points as having the suggested meaning (I'm not 100% convinced, but...) The points:

  • "Some terrorist says :I swear to God that the history is writing you (this means in Arabic that they have done an important job and will not be forgotten through history )." (consider the timing with the UN Security Council meeting on Syria planned for the next day - it was hoped this would do it).
  • "Another terrorist says: you go befor me to the room , and take from me this sheep ( that is disrespect to the dead body to call a dead man a sheep !!)"
  • "while covering a dead body with a white sheet a terrorist says "Alahu Akbar (God is the greatest ) this is the free Syrian Army .( and the body is still bleeding ,he is still alive he has been recently shot )"
  • "at the end wile stepping out says : an eye is for an eye this is the Free Syrian Army ."

Per the video's subtitles, as two men carry in another body, wrapped in green, for the Security Council's consideration, a guy in charge is caught telling another man "you, take this sheep." The program notes: "unfortunately, they regard the human bodies as "sheep." Dramatic music drives the point home, as slaughtered people are laid out in rows. A later interview with a self-described perpetrator adds context. This was only aired ten months later, on or before this English-subtitled re-posting by Eretz Zen (Jan. 16, 2013).

Announcer: a member of that gang decided to share the story of his criminality and confess what his partners in crime didn't.
There was a man who used to bring us individuals. It was him, Zakaria Qar Khaled and Jawad al-Khabbaz He took us to an aopartment full of people who fled other areas, I and Hussam and Abdel-Hamid al-Khabbaz in order to slaughter them. ... they started bringing us people to the apartment in Karm al-Zeitoun so we can slaughter them. I and Abdel-Hamid al-Khabbaz. On the first day, we slaughtered 25. On the second day, 24. On the third day, we slaughtered 10... and, after that, we slaughtered 15.

Total=74!

...the sheikh (cleric) used to make the slaughter legal. We used to say "In the name of Allah, Allah is greater. Blessed and praised is he that allowed you to slaughter..." and then we would proceed to slit (their throats) and cover them with comforters (or blankets) and film them on our mobile phone. ... to present it such that these were Shabbiha who slaughtered them."
Q: Where did you do that?
A: Close to waste water holes or near a garden... it's a mix.
Q: How many did you slaughter?
A: Around 50 individuals.

The man might be bad at math, or using some division of labor to say which were his. He describes slaughtering 5 soldiers and 3 colonels kidnapped by rebels on Masyaf road, blamed on Shabiha and tossed on the street like the others. The usual dumping spot he calls "the street of al-Kharab," and when pressed with "where?" he adds ""the Ayoubite Square" (???)

Back in context, sheep are sub-human things one slaughters, either for meat or in this case, for better foreign intervention. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:33, 19 June 2014 (UTC)

Two Massacres

women and children killed on March 11 as seen on rebel video
I've chosen to focus on two massacres on consecutive days under this more known reference to just one. The one publicized at the time was in the large district of Karm al-Zaytoun on March 11 - death toll not clear at the moment but said to include 45 women and children. CDV records help fill in the details of what was recorded/alleged (grain of salt). They have their way of differentiating these two events from each other - by day and name.

March 11: Those listed as included in the day's massacre, as opposed to just killed (mostly by field execution) in another part of town, have the note "in the massacre of the neighborhood," or usually a shortened part of that, or sometimes nothing (but implicitly included). It's not named, this massacre, and apparently only 28 people altogether are so noted as belonging. 13 adult males (AM), 6 adult females (AF), 7 male children (CM), 2 girls (CF). Many but not all KaZ entries are so noted, and none from the other areas. 53 KaZ martyrs that were recorded here: 35 AM, 7 AF, 8 CM, 3 CF. (one man field executed in Karm al-Zeitoun: Ashera (Ashira on the map) but not noted as part of the massacre) You'll note the discrepancy between 45 women and children and the 15-18 women and children listed. People they didn't feel like documenting carefully might explain that, but there are plenty of other possible explanations. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:53, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

March 12: Things were less clear for area, happening in a north-south strip of smaller districts just to the west of there (see map below). But this time the CDV had a name handy. Included victims have this note or some variation of it:

Adawiya massacre: The regime forces, army and shabiha entered the neighborhoods of Adawiya, Rifa'e and Karm Al-Zaitoun, stormed the homes and conducted summarily executions for dozens of these neighborhoods' residents

Searching for massacre name suggests these 23 people are the victims, but it seems to be bigger than that. Rifae is clearly the winner for death tolls that day - 40 martyrs - being the natural name for the event. They say it includes Adawiya, Rifae, and Karm al-Zaytoun - but the one KaZ entry is not listed as part of it, the Adawiyeh entries - just two adult men - also are not labeled part of the Adawia massacre, and the five Karm al-Louz entries including children are so noted. So we can include at least the three killed in areas said to be included, for at least 26 people listed as "in the massacre," and add an area they didn't list in the notes - it's in the Alawite part of Homs in an info-graphic by the Guardian, cited on the map here (roughly the purple circle). Few martyrs from there have died ever, and been noted by the CDV that way. all martyrs from Homs, "Karm al-L" to allow different spellings. Five on March 12, and one girl the previous September, who happened to be on the roof and was shot. None since. This was apparently a special day. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:53, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

Other sources accompanying videos are less clear about a distinction between one day's killings and the next: the massacre is said to be in KaZ and in Adamiya from the 11th on. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:35, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

The early sources said 45 women and children, and apparently 63 men, for 108 civilians total killed "on Sunday." [4] By whatever means and apparently combining both days, a much larger death toll was reported later. In October, the Syrian Revolution Facebook page announced

Documenting the massacre clan neighborhood in Homs 224 martyrs in two days without having to hear their world !
Clan neighborhood = حي عشيرة = hy 'eshyrh (Ashira/Asheera?)
After two months and odd ongoing work by one of the activists Syrian network for human rights in the city of Homs, we were able through meticulous work, continuous and field visits to a large number of families and communicate with dozens of families were able to document the 224 names with great difficulty and effort exceptionally including 44 children and 48 women. [7]

That's 92 women and children, 132 men. 224 names follow. --Caustic Logic (talk) 00:44, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

First 71 entries undated, apparently March 11, since the remaining 151 seem to all be dated March 12.
Karm al-Zaytoun map 1.png

Note from the map a pattern one could imagine for this alleged "Shabiha" killing spree. The killers invested in KaZ until chased west, and also turned their attention south to Rifa'e. It's almost as if they were trying to battle their way to the arms depot just south of there. That doesn't really seem like a "Shabiha" thing to do. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:36, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

Timing

First of all, March 15 would mark one year since the first protests, a year in which the government still hadn't been overthrown or even isolated enough. These killings blamed on pro-government forces happened at about the perfect time to become known and perhaps acted on just in time for an anniversary where the lines between good and evil were seen as clarified against the "Assad regime." But even before that anniversary was a more concrete goal. Syrian Day Press News, March 14 (Arabic, roughly translated):

Syrian Information Minister Adnan Mahmoud accused terrorist groups committing a massacre in Karm al-Zaytoun, Homs, to pressure to call international positions , before a meeting of the Security Council decision Monday .
The Syrian minister said in a statement to the agency "Agence France Presse": "The terrorist groups committed the most terrible massacres against the citizens in the neighborhood of the grove in Homs in order to exploit the Syrian bloodshed to pressure to call international positions against Syria ." [6]

CNN's report showed how this worked out - well. Title, video subtitle, some lines put together: "Syrian opposition calls for international military intervention - Activists say 108 people were killed on Sunday - Monday's diplomatic efforts came in the wake of ... at least 45 women and children were stabbed and burned to death ... late Sunday, activists said. ... The U.N. Security Council took up the issue of Syria again on Monday, with the United States and Britain pushing for quick action..." [4]

Massacres on the night of the 11th would come just after rebels, on the offensive somewhere in Homs, catured two "Shabiha"" - or so it seems. this video " القاء القبض على شبيحين في حمص " (Arrest on Hbhristin in Homs), dated March 11, 2012. شبيحين = similar to Shabiha, sometime render Hbih, and an image search suggests it often refers to men, usually captured in pairs, wearing tank tops and waiting to die on rebel videos. So about the same, anyway, with maybe a more specific meaning. Again Shabiha often just means Alawite. A lean older man explains in Arabic while the younger, heftier guy twitches and sighs in anxiety. Both have been beaten some. Published March 11 California (Youtube) time - up to 10 am March 12 in Syria or any time earlier, but when it's dark out. No obvious visual match with anyone yet, but there was a chubby guy with a burned-blank face and no shirt in the morgue, who I can't rule out yet. (see below #Main Morgue, 24 Bodies).

A rebel news story on the video added that these two "participated in the massacre of time in Homs ... Omar Mukhtar Brigade arrest Hbhristin participated in the massacre of time in Homs committed by gangs and Anisa Brigades on 18-4-2011" when "Elmejrman recognize that the gang transported by dump trucks and bodies after the fire car wash blood." (Google translated) That's nearly a year earlier. Here "time" = الساعة = alsa'eh (phoenetic) = central square with the central clock where you check the time and get in sync. "Freedom square" as currently labeled, with "new time" at its center. End side-investigation for now. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:03, 9 November 2013 (UTC)
That is the new clock tower. There is also the old clock tower, a French design from the 1930s with three faces on an iron frame. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 02:21, 10 November 2013 (UTC)

The Houla Massacre two months later came before a visit of U.N. peace envoy Kofi Annan, while this one came just after an earlier visit.

The carnage in Homs, as well as a military assault on the northwestern city of Idlib, coincided with a weekend peace mission by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, who left Damascus on Sunday without agreement on a truce or humanitarian access. [1]

Victims

Baroudi

There is a name Baroudi that appears for March 11 victims in Karm al-Zaytoun: Ahmad Baroudi AM Mohamad Kheir Baroudi AM Bashar Baroudi CM Asmaa Baroudi CF. It's a name I don't think I've seen much. It could mean "from Barouda," which is one of the towns hardest hit in the 2013 Latakia Massacres (see here for Barouda details). That would of course strongly suggest these were Alawite citizens of Karm al-Zaytoun. --Caustic Logic (talk) 00:26, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

To clarify: Baroudi the name pops up all over the Arab world, in Egypt and elsewhere. In the Syrian context it could mean from Barouda, but it's a pretty small town, not likely big enough or famous enough to spawn a proper name. Likely no clue at all. --Caustic Logic (talk) 14:06, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

Four more, or maybe five, for a total of up to nine members so far: they seem to goof up this name a bit. All field executed, most from Karm al-Zaytoun and killed "in the massacre." Adel Barudi AM "Father of martyr Ahmad Barudi, Husband of martyr Mayada Barudi" - Abdulrahman Barudy CM - likely included: Khalid Badui CM age 5 - possibly included: Mahmoud Baru AM, from Baba Amr - definitely included: Mayyada Bahloun in the massacre that took place int he neighborhood, she is the mother of martyr Ahmad Al-Baroudi" and given elsewhere as Mayada Barudi. The maiden name Bahloun is interesting. No other entries for that name appear, but two are similar: Bahloul/Bahlol pops up across north Syria, partly for rebel; fighters. And a Bahlawan, more likely. two men killed around Damascus. More likely, there's a Bahlawan name, with two adult males killed around Damascus later in 2012. In fact, that's correct; Ahmad, an adult, has for notes: "In the massacre of the neighborhood, he is the son of Martyr Mayyada Bahlawan and Martyr Aadel Al-Baroudi." --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:31, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

The SNHR list of 224 starts with the Baroudis, given as from Adawiya rather than KaZ. Ten entries: [7]

  • 1. Mayada Bhlwan - mother of Ahmed Baroudi
  • 2. Mohamed Khair Baroudi
  • 3. Adel Baroudi - father of Ahmad Al - Baroudi
  • 4. Ahmad Baroudi
  • 5. Kausar Bahadir - mother of Adel and Mohamed Khair (CDV lists her: Kawthar Bahader, married with children, no details)
  • 6. Bashar al- Baroudi - 12 years
  • 7. Hanan Saka - mother Baroudi (doesn't say of whom) (CDV lists her: Hanan Al-Saqqa, married with children, no details)
  • 8. Abdul Rahman Al Baroudi - 6 years
  • 9. Asmaa Baroudi - 5 years
  • 10. Khaled Al Baroudi - 6 years

Jobar Killings

Karm al-Zaytoun is not the only place people were massacred that day. For one, Jobar (southwest corner of the city, by Wa'er) saw six adult male victims: Abu Rifaat Al-Zoubi - Son of Abu Rifaat Al-Zoubi - Son of Khaled Wazeer - Osama El-Rifai - Ziad al-Rifaee - Omar Rifa'e. The three apparent brothers share a name with a district that would suffer killings the following day.

No one named Rifaee appears on the SNHR list of 224. [7]

Hasans

It's not clear if these are all separate or interrelated families. All are from Karm al-Zaytoun.

Abed

In the Rifaie neighborhood, one hard-hit family is Abed/al-Abed/Abd:

This name does not seem to appear on the later SNHR list of 224 victims. [7] --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:49, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

Zammo

Arabic: زمو - transliterated Zammo and Zimmo. This family is listed by the VDC as field executed and from the Karm Al-Louz district, reportedly Alawite-majority.

Someone different handled the toddler's file, 6,000 entries later, and perhaps the next one, filed at the time of the others). --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:35, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

And the mother wife might just be disappeared without even an entry. As noted, only 4 adult females, three named as unnamed wives of male victims, all four from Rifae.

This name Zammo does not seem to appear on the later SNHR list of 224 victims. unless Abu Nazih Shami is Abdul Naser Zammo (Shami - zammo = شامي - زمو - not likely) Nor does Rada or al-Shaar appear. [7] --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:49, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

Darwish

People of this name managed to die on both days, in different areas. On the 11th, a single child, Mohamad Hussein Darweesh happened to die from random "shelling" in Rastan, north of Homs city. Aged 16, it says, Mother's Name: Ghazwa, he wasn't even a massacre victim. A school student by profession, Mohammed "was injured last Friday when a shell landed on a demonstration, he was transported to a hospital where he was kidnapped by security forces. His body was delivered to his family today." The next day in Rifaie it was Ahmad Khalaf ALdarwish (AM) and Mohammad Khalaf al-Darwish. No further details for either except "field execution." There is an Alawite family Darwish targeted in the 2013 Latakia Massacres. But like Baroudi, it pops up elsewhere too. --Caustic Logic (talk) 00:07, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

A video specifies and shows that "12 year old child martyr Mohammad Darweesh tourtured to death by Assad thugs." Looks closer to 16. Left arm split open horrible from should almost to elbow, since sewn up. His face is bizarrely flattened, right eye puffed up, none totally flat. Looks very strange to me. What looks like an old healed scar on his left thigh, horrible at one time, is pointed to. This kid had a rough life, it looks like. --Caustic Logic (talk) 14:06, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

The SNHR list contains several Darwishes, nine or ten total. Nine are listed together, all from Rfiae and field executed on - undated actually, so I'd presume the 11th.:

  • 53. Hamida (حميدة ) Darwish - the sister of Ahmed Darwish
  • 54. W'ed (وعد ) Darwish - 20 years - eight month pregnant
  • 55. Massa Yasser Darwish - two years - the daughter of W'ed
  • 56. Yasmin Slima (سليمة)
  • 57. Bahaa Darwish - 3 years old Yasmin's baby
  • 58. Maria dervish (Darwish) - one year - the daughter Yasmine
  • 60. Mohammed Khalaf Al Darwish
  • 61 . Ahmad Khalaf Al Darwish
  • 62. Maher Obeid Darwish
  1. 46. Yisra Khalef Darwish al-Omar - seems related to the last ones above, two of which are the only ones CDV listed. Total = 10, 11 if you count Yasmin's unborn baby. [7]

Shadid

While some originally listed families vanished by the time of the SNHR 224 victims list, other names were added, like Shadid. Entry 76 is odd: Google translated, it says Ayatollah Abdul severe - Rifai - 12-3-2012 - field execution. Ayattolah? Seems rather to be آية عبد الله or Aya Abdallah, a female name that brings up a famous singer in an image search. Severe = شديد = shdyd = Shadid, a name that VDC didn't list. This adds several victims besides lady Aya: 12 names listed together, at least six children, include it:

  • 72. Emad Shadid (male name)
  • 73. Abdul Rahman Shadid - with 16 members of his family
  • 74. Abdullah Mohammed Shadid
  • 76. Aya Abdullah Abdul Shadid
  • 79. Hana Imad Shadid - 18 years
  • 80. Nader Imad Shadid - 10 years (male)
  • 81. Mohammed Imad Shadid - 8 years
  • 82. Iyad Imad Shadid - two years (male)
  • 83. Jihad Mohammed Shadid -
  • 85. Mohammed Jihad Shadid - 9 years
  • 86. Esra Jihad Shadid - 5 years - (girl name)
  • 87. Rama Jihad Shadid - two years (unisex name) [7]

All from Rifai, field executed. #78 Hanna Mhou ( محو ), age 60, is wife of Mohammed Shadid, who may not appear. unless her husband is only 9. Entries 75, 77, and 84 are also intermixed female names, most likely more wives. Add 4, for 16 members, just like Abdul Rahman Shadid is said to have died with (including himself? or did I miss one?)--Caustic Logic (talk) 13:01, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

Family from Gallstone

Another family name included in the later list but not the CDV database is ... not named actually. But the members are described as centering around entry 213, near the end, "a man from al-Gallstone," as Google render it. حصوة = hswh = al-Haswiyeh, meaning Busatin al-Haswiyeh (orchard of gravel), in the northwest of Homs, where Jabhat al-Nusra types carried out the Haswiyeh Massacre almost a year later. As explained here the name also translates "Tophaceous." of/having/suffering from monosdium urate crytals, as in a type of gout. Gravel/crystals/gallstone, makes as much sense as ever. He was away from home for some reason when field executed in Rifae with the others on March 12, and not alone.

  • 214. The man's wife from Haswiyeh
  • 215. The second wife of the martyr of Haswiyeh
  • 216. Al Haswiyeh - son

I wonder why the name isn't provided? --Caustic Logic (talk) 14:56, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

Identified by SANA's Locals

On the 12th, Syrian state media SANA broadcast calls from Homs locals blaming rebel (terrorist) groups for the killings. [5] Those who offered any specifics are as follows:

  • "Ahmad Shihab, a citizen from Bab al-Sibaa Quarter, Homs, said that he recognized two corpses for his relatives who were kidnapped more than a month ago."
  • "Khalid al-Najar, from al-Naziheen Quarter, Homs, said also that two of the corpses were for two persons of his quarter."
  • "Fou'ad Suleiman, a citizen from al-Nizha Quarter, Homs, said that one of the corpses belong to his cousin, Jihad, who was kidnapped more than 90 days ago."

Mr. Najar adds only a district from which victims allegedly hailed, with no further clue to their identities. For Shihab and Suleiman, it seemed worth a check in the CDV database, though a lack of matches proves nothing. For Shihab, there are no name matches. His cousins must have a different name, but that helps little. For a Jihad or a Suleiman, kidnapped around December 9, 2011, or before, there's a possible match: Jihad Suliman Ledda from Bab Sbaa, listed as killed, not just abducted, back on November 6. The entry says "Back home as a martyr after several days of detention. He had been kidnapped by Shabbeehes with his wife and two daughters whe were release today." They support that with a video of a dead man with torture marks. Was this the cousin, with the later sighting made in error? Or was it:

  • Jihad Ahmad Zo'eib 22, from Baba Amr, "Student in the Faculty of electrical engineering/5th year," shot December 20, it says. He could have been simply abducted then - a photo of him alive is provided, but no visual proof of his death at that time.
  • Jihad Mashouj Al-Aadi From Bayada, shot March 10, 2012, "by a regime's sniper that was stationed in Aabasiya neighborhood." (video provided, indistinct young man, woman wailing once the video is rolling)
  • Jihad Abdel Wahab Al Naasan from "Jub Al-Jendeli," died December 11 by Kidnapping - Torture - Execution: "body handed over from hospital with marks of torture." A video is linked, but privaye, date unsure. Entry number 5076 is surrounded by other Dec. 11 deaths, so it's not a late addition. The video could be but I doubt that.

There seem to be no other plausible matches, so this attempt at cross-source correlation was a bust. --Caustic Logic (talk) 14:10, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

Imagery Analysis

Massacre Scene 1

Female and child victims later seen in the main morgue, seen here in situ, perhaps where killed, or arranged as if just sitting around. Night time. (copied from below)

...by Mohamed Alahmed is interesting. Same MO as in Baniyas / al Bayda; old women and children killed in their home. Shot through the head. Filmed at night, fully dressed
How does Mohamed Alahmed get these videos? Does he film them himself? He seems to be close to lot of gory violence. Even sits in a meeting with the UN. I do not think he is only at the receiving end of this violence. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 12:04, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
Finally just now wtached these first videos. Interesting you can ID that Mohammed guy. ... watched just enough to see the exact similarity, and match it probably to another very interesting find. Slumped girl, purple coat, might ring a faint bell - A video later used for the Houla massacre, stills only, you'll remember them... was actually Homs, March 11. Check this out - no close-ups, nothing new: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHNNj_P8mtY This is part 4 of a series "Flash Homs massacre in fact lions door (Bab Sbaa) for children and women and corpses filled the hospital field" here's part 5. Bab Sbaa is hardly mentioned in the other sources.
The bodies in the morgue are the same victims as in the Mohamed Alahmed nighttime video. The girl in the red coat with a shot through the eye is sitting on the wooden sofa on the left, with three older women. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 22:00, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

Massacre Scene 2

A daylight scene of where people apparently had been killed - CDV's "generic video" : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgm5i58EtEc This is a crime scene video: Blood-coated floor in a slaughter room - rebel says they were shot - burned room with rubble where the killers blasted in - another room with bloody carpet, shell casings, blood and brains on the wall and couch, lots of close-ups on the drying and tacky gore. Daylight. dated 3/12, uploaded 3/13 here. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:27, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

Main Morgue, 24 Bodies

One main morgue with 24 bodies at least, most mauled hideously, dominates the imagery. It's in Karm al-Zaytoun or Bab Sbaa or maybe Adawiya, depending. Searching ""2012 3 11" حمص مجزرة سوريا " brings up mainly these, and swapping in 12 for 11 has about the same result. It comprises two rooms, one with light baseboards, holding women and children, one with black molding, holding mostly men. The longer videos clarify the two rooms are adjoining ones in the same place. This photo from an unusual view clarifies this was someone's home and was apparently just now converted to a "field hospital" with the original furniture just pushed aside. Both rooms are shown mixed in photo galleries like this one: [Activists: Shabiha slaughtered 47 women and children in Homs.

The videos are mostly posted on and given as March 12, there are at least some dated and some online by March 11, Youtube (California) time (Syria-10 hours). This suggests there came in early on the 12th, being killed late on the 11th. One rebel source says, in Arabic (Gtrans) "...shabeeha burned the bodies of the martyrs, which were transferred to the Bab Sbaa field hospital."--Caustic Logic (talk) 11:49, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

8 different videos (might move)

  • 7:31 - most widely re-posted, at least these 3 - 1 2 3 (Sy.Homs-Karam zaiton and adawia neighborhoods massacre 12-3-2012)

Body tally: 24

Room 1, back row, right to left: man, charred face and body - woman with missing half of chin (photo) - woman in black, bruised neck - woman in plaid blanket - woman, white shawl, blood on side - old woman in black = six bodies

Front row: girl in magenta coat with the tentacle of brain matter out the right eye - boy in plaid shirt, unclear cause of death - girl in pink coat, chunks torn from face and neck (1:54 in 8:21 video) - boy in striped sweater, horrible neck and back of head mangling - close-up photo for those capable - boy in purple sweater, head half-gone from powerful gunshot = five. Room total = 11

Room 2, back row: young man, charred - blasted-head woman (pink blanket, see 8:21 video) - blue and gold blanket - white coverings, two executed women seen only in the 8:21 video) - covered in red sweater, apparent child - young man, intact. Front row: mustache man, black sport pants, green sheet - striped shirt, arms up - older man, face-down, charred legs - really charred and torn up man, ribs showing, bony hand - striped blanket, burnt feet, un-burned face, everything between charred to the bone, as bunt as I've ever seen a human body that remained that still frame, hole in right jaw, right arm missing - man, bloodied face, slight burning, worse on right side of his belly. Room total = 13

An older woman I don't trust appears to explain the room full of dead men she reminds me much of Houla's Hanna Harmut Sayed, and that refugee lady on a Houla video that already reminded me of her - same comedic presence - I'll have to look closer to see if she is the same. She can be seen in one video (can't remember which) and in this photo and this one. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:44, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

Addounia Analysis

There's a video of interest from Addounia based on this scene, widely re-posted, usually as Homs Massacres were Committed by the so-called "Free Syrian Army" (original video link). Gunshots are heard (0:30), outside it sounds like to me. They say this suggests prisoners are still being executed. Could be. It doesn't seem to be guards shooting at advancing soldiers, or there's be some panic inside. As a sheet is laid on one victim, blood starts soaking in (1:31). This means technically alive or just killed minutes before (how many, I'm not sure) - titles say "they already (just?) killed the victim." Quite likely. --Caustic Logic (talk) 02:28, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

As for the insurgent dialog, it mostly appears onscreen, but I had a friend translate it/take a look, and can add this:

"I swear to God that the history is writing you" (this means in Arabic that they have done an important job and will not be forgotten through history).
The most historical thing that just happened is one of the biggest massacres yet. And that was allegedly by the other side. So is he referring to their epic body recovery program, or in general to their grand uprising, which this won't stop them from? Or is this an Allahu Akbar moment of victory for them, as it most directly implies? Not able to call it clearly.
"you go before me to the room, and take from me this sheep"
Addouniya, my translator, and I agree this sounds like disrespect to the dead they supposedly were so sad to see die. This is said apparently to the side, a thing you might miss, not part of the presentation. That's where genuine slips happen the most, and that's probably what this is.
(while covering a dead body at 0:30) one says "Alah Akbar (God is the greatest ) this is the free Syrian Army."
This is their work? Or one of their fighters?
(end of video) "An eye for an eye. This is the Free Syrian Army."

This said right to the camera by two guys - it could sound like they're admitting on video they killed these people in an eye for an eye sense. My translator thinks it's pretty clear they're taking responsibility, here and in claiming the body is FSA work. But they're saying it openly, so it makes more sense as a vow of revenge, or left ambiguous with that as one interpretation. Either way, various clues suggest this was already their revenge for whatever, and by extension they could keep extracting one revenge of their own for another misattributed, for as long as they stay angry and able. And that of course is where the force of a loyal national military shows its value. --Caustic Logic (talk) 02:28, 6 January 2014 (UTC) and --Caustic Logic (talk) 14:22, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

Another morgue

Young men, possible rebels in part, but more likely attempted recruits. Seen from 6:36 forward in the 7:31 video.

12 Wrapped Bodies

March 12, outdoors, daylight

Some CDV entries this is linked from: Maria Yasmeen Salemeh, at least some sons of Myasar Abed. At least 12 bodies laid out, wrapped, at least four small children. One baby is held up, head open at the top open, smoke-stained face perhaps?--Caustic Logic (talk) 13:27, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

Jobar?

Yes, there's a Jobar, and a Ghouta, in Homs just like in Damascus.

Sources

  • SANA March 12: Via Syria4Assad, Facebook: "Minister of Information: Terrorist Groups Committed Atrocious Massacre in Karm al-Zaytoun to Elicit International Stances against Syria." (five photos w/SANA report) [5]
  • SANA via Day Press News, March 14 (Arabic):
According to the Syrian news agency "SANA", Wednesday, 14/03/2012, "that the competent authorities in Homs arrested a number of terrorists who committed the massacre
Horrific atrocities against the people of the Karm al-Zaytoun in Homs."

 

Was found Sunday evening 11/3/2012 , the bodies of at least 47 women and children in the central city of Homs , Syria, and exchanged the opposition and the Syrian government accusations about responsibility for the massacre.

[6]

The killings occurred in the Karm al Zaytoun neighborhood, according to the Local Coordination Committees of Syria, an opposition network. The Adawiya neighborhood of Homs was also involved, according to the London-based Syrian Network for Human Rights.
Children were stabbed to death in front of their mothers, and women and girls were sexually assaulted and then shot, the network said.
Hadi Abdallah, a spokesman for the opposition Syrian Revolution General Council, said the attacks occurred after "Syrian forces and thugs" stormed homes.
The LCC called the killings a "massacre orchestrated by the regime" of President al-Assad.
Another 108 people were killed Sunday nationwide, activists said. The LCC reported Monday's death toll was 44.
After sunset Sunday, a live video feed online from opposition activists showed bodies from the Homs massacre.
The Syrian Network for Human Rights described a scene of brutality, saying the men were separated from the women and children and "systematically tortured" for hours. Some were sprayed with gasoline and set afire, while others were shot, the network said.
Tortured for hours? How many hours? Ask the guy who watched the clock and said when it was enough. He's friends with the guy who sent you the video link. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:36, 4 November 2013 (UTC)
Activists recovered 31 bodies, the human rights network said. Others were burned, and still others were taken to unknown locations by security forces.

[4]

Most had their throats cut or had stab wounds, while others had reportedly been burned with heating oil and had their limbs broken. Opposition activists and human rights groups said they had been killed by pro-government militiamen, the shabiha, who had entered the area after heavy government shelling. Syrian state news blamed "armed terrorist gangs" for the killings, saying they had kidnapped residents of Homs, killed them and then filmed the bodies to discredit Syrian forces.

CDV

General entry for at least some victims of this violence: "Adawiya massacre: The regime forces, army and shabiha entered the neighborhoods of Adawiya, Rifa'e and Karm Al-Zaitoun, stormed the homes and conducted summarily executions for dozens of these neighborhoods' residents."

Overall daily death tolls for people from Homs province, including massacre victims and all other recorded "martyrs" (everyone documented who isn't "regime"), March 9-14:

  • March 9 = 30 martyrs (Friday)
  • March 10 = 10 martyrs (the calm before the storm, as if someone were pausing to prepare for something big in the coming days) --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:36, 4 November 2013 (UTC)
  • March 11 = 72 martyrs Mainly from Karm al-Zeitoun (different spellings used)
  • March 12 = 52 martyrs Mostly from Rifaie neighborhood, also Karm al-Louz (Zammo family), which I hear is Alawite majority. Absolutely no follow-up deaths from Karm al-Zeitoun - whoever had access the previous day lost it quickly and moved on. Typical army/Shabiha style, right?
  • March 13 = 16 martyrs About nine in the city itself, mainly Baba Amr, the rebel fall-back point.
  • March 14 = 10 Order is re-imposed? The killers run out of steam?

SNHR

I don't usually check with the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) (once the SOHR) but stumbled across an Arabic language dispatch from them, I think (translated: "We in the network the Syrian Human Rights emphasize ..."), but posted on the Syrian Revolution Facebook page in October. This claims a two-month study to back up a revision of the death toll to at least 224. They include both March 11 and 12 to get this tally, but also leave off some of the earlier-reported victims. [7]

Videos

I haven't watched these yet. Two videos for some CDV entries for "Adawiya massacre":

Some entries these are linked from: Maria Yasmeen Salemeh, at least some sons of Myasar Abed. At least 12 bodies laid out, wrapped, at least four small children. One baby is held up, head open at the top open, smoke-stained face perhaps?--Caustic Logic (talk) 13:27, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
The first two are the same, bodies wrapped for burial, dead baby posed for camera.
The third one by Mohamed Alahmed is interesting. Same MO as in Baniyas / al Bayda; old women and children killed in their home. Shot through the head. Filmed at night, fully dressed
How does Mohamed Alahmed get these videos? Does he film them himself? He seems to be close to lot of gory violence. Even sits in a meeting with the UN. I do not think he is only at the receiving end of this violence. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 12:04, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

Finally just now wtached these first videos. Interesting you can ID that Mohammed guy. Here's the CDV's actual generic video from F.N.N.: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgm5i58EtEc (second link below it is again a VDC re-post - one of these 2+ years old had two views as I watched it) This is a crime scene video: Blood-coated floor in a slaughter room - rebel says they were shot - burned room with rubble where the killers blasted in - another room with bloody carpet, shell casings, blood and brains on the wall and couch, lots of close-ups on the drying and tacky gore. Daylight. dated 3/12, uploaded 3/13 here. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:27, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

That third video with Mohammed, watched just enough to see the exact similarity, and match it probably to another very interesting find. Slumped girl, purple coat, might ring a faint bell - A video later used for the Houla massacre, stills only, you'll remember them... was actually Homs, March 11. Check this out - no close-ups, nothing new: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHNNj_P8mtY This is part 4 of a series "Flash Homs massacre in fact lions door (Bab Sbaa) for children and women and corpses filled the hospital field" here's part 5. Bab Sbaa is hardly mentioned in the other sources. I'm finding more, this is the horrible shit. Charred and mangled remains, heads just blown up, many more women at least than the VDC records acknowledge. Why? Are the maybe-Houla torn-out throat kids from here too? --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:27, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

Another video of that scene, this one with roving camera and probably more horrible detail. Title translated: Flash terrible massacre that took place in the neighborhood of the grove 2012 3 11. Grove = كرم (krm) الزيتون (alzytwn) = Karm al-Zaytoun, not Bab Sbaa.
And another - "...in the neighborhood of the grove and Adaweya."
The bodies in the morgue are the same victims as in the Mohamed Alahmed nighttime video. The girl in the red coat with a shot through the eye is sitting on the wooden sofa on the left, with three older women. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 22:00, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

New analysis section above. Here I will catalog the other videos not yet discussed.

SNHR Lists

From the Facebook post, Google translated: [7] Accessories and attachments : First: The videos that document the name and video of the victims and the massacre :

I picked this one to start - the women and children morgue, all piled together in one side of the room. Sign at 1:04 specifies in English it's early March 12, in Bab Sbaa. A new body's been brought in, wrapped in green like a Christmas present. From her absence so far, must be the girl with the brains. Another is brought in, and a sheet laid for the next row. The other room's already been arranged as we've seen. An angry narrator gestures to the charred men. I was hoping to hear names, but only Bashar Assad was recognizable, plus maybe place names like Aleppo and Hasaka.--Caustic Logic (talk) 13:47, 8 November 2013 (UTC)
Men in the morgue, better detail than some views, especially the super-charred guy. Bab Sbaa audibly named.

Video leaked of Mobile shabeeha :

(description Gtranslated) This Alfedo the lane to شبيحة Bashar and his brutal army Hua on a main road in Al Rifai after destroy and kill everyone he could not escape from the neighborhood and to alert the neighborhood Mahrowoq fully and completely devastating semi ((Nthadda the Syrian flags that depicts the neighborhood or enter observers)) - Coordinating Homs district Rifai
Notes: Hyperactiive camera, pans around contantly, turns sideways, never stays still. Some put stabilization on it but it just adds weirdness. It sure doesn't show "Shabiha" killing people. It shows regular soldiers and plenty of civilian men milling around together, men picking up rocls and hurling them at people over there. At 2:14, on the island in the road, what could be bodies piled up, or more likely something else like bags of garbage. There is blood on the pavement at the mouth of an alley, where a hiding gunman probably leaned out too far. Filming date isn't clear, posted only in June, we could presume it's from just after the events here, on the day of the 12th or 13th. --Caustic Logic (talk) 08:53, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

A series of still images from what has been documented of martyrs : http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.286205754814871.51365.122659141169534&type=1 (Photos of the massacre Adaweya and Rifai on March 12)

All the horrible scenes from the morgue w/24 bodies, in the best resolution around. --Caustic Logic (talk) 08:53, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

Second : Videos documenting what has happened revive the clan and Adaweya Rifai and the grove of bombing by the intrusion and commit massacre :

The testimony of a survivor :

Of one of the girls witnesses to the massacre :

One of my Syrian friends says this girl is clearly a liar, and that any Syrian could tell she speaks with a Damascus accent, suggesting she's not local to Homs at all and thus not likely a witness. I accept that but I suppose people can move around and stuff, so it may not mean that much. I'll see about a synopsis of her story (full six-minute video), but I'm guessing it's a bunch of crap full of I-saw-it-all demonization, for another reason to suspect her testimony. She does mention Shabiha a lot when speaking of what she saw, never a good sign since those are boogeymen that don't really exist. --Caustic Logic (talk) 08:53, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Reuters, via Indian Express March 12, 2012
  2. 2.0 2.1 Syria: 47 Women and Children Murdered in Homs By Gabe Kahn, Arutz Sheva 7 (Israeli National News) March 13, 2012
  3. 3.0 3.1 West and Russia split over Syria; massacre in Homs By Erika Solomon, Reuters, March 12, 2013
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Syrian opposition calls for international military intervention CNN, March 12, 2012
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Minister of Information: Terrorist Groups Committed Atrocious Massacre in Karm al-Zaytoun to Elicit International Stances against Syria Syria4Assad, Facebook post, March 12 2012. See also: http://www.tishreen.news.sy/tishreen/public/print/253260
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 سانا: القبض على عدد من الإرهابيين الذين ارتكبوا مجزرة كرم الزيتون بحمص (SANA: the arrest of a number of terrorists who committed the massacre in the grove in Homs) Day Press News, March 14, 2012
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8 Facebook post by The Syrian Revolution 2011 الثورة السورية ضد بشار الاسد · October 2, 2012