Talk:Queiq River Massacre

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Reuters has the main report so far, NPR links us to the/a video. Haven't watched it. Reuters says:

At least 65 people, apparently shot in the head, were found dead with their hands bound in a district of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on Tuesday, activists said. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which says it provides objective information about casualties on both sides of Syria's war from a network of monitors, said the death toll could rise as high as 80. It was not clear who had carried out the killings.
Opposition activists posted a video of a man filming at least 51 muddied male bodies alongside what they said was the Queiq River in the rebel-held Bustan al-Qasr neighborhood of Aleppo. The bodies had gunshot wounds to their heads, and their hands were bound. Blood was seeping from their heads and some of them appeared to be young, possibly teenagers, and dressed in jeans, shirts and sneakers.
The Queiq River rises in Turkey and travels through government-held districts of Aleppo before it reaches Bustan al-Qasr.

Implication, they were killed in the government-controlled (last we heard) area, where all river banks are inaccessible to rebel trucks. Regime thugs dumped the bodies to hide them, forgetting the river flows right into rebel camera land next door. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:43, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

World Reaction

There doesn't seem to have been much for international condemnation. Protesters in Manbej on video condemn the government's river massacre. No nations seem to have done so. --Caustic Logic (talk) 00:59, 18 March 2013 (UTC) SANA, Jan 30:

A statement issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday stressed the need for conducting a thorough investigation into this crime and identifying the perpetrators specifically. "We express our deep sympathy with the Syria government and people and the victims' families," the statement said.
It reiterated Russia's call upon all the parties to contribute to immediately halting the armed violence in Syria and starting an unconditional dialogue based on Geneva Statement issued on the 30th of last June in order to save lives and stop the suffering of innocent people.
The Russian Foreign Ministry referred in its statement that "the bodies of the massacre's victims were found in al-Queiq River in Bustan al-Qasr area in Aleppo where illegal armed groups are active." --Caustic Logic (talk) 14:45, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

On the 30th, Syria's foreign minister urged the UNSC to condemn the terrorist attack. SANA

Foreign and Expatriates Ministry on Wednesday sent two identical letters to President of The UN security Council and UN Secretary General on the mass execution perpetrated by terrorist groups of “Jabhat al-Nusra” against tens of abducted citizens in Aleppo on Tuesday and throwing their bodies in Qweiq river in Bustan al-Qasr neighborhood.
“An armed group of Jabhat al-Nusra perpetrated a new massacre in Aleppo on Tuesday. The terrorists carried out mass executions against scores of Syrian abducted civilians in a cold blood, throwing their bodies in Qweiq river,” the Ministry said in the two letters.
[...]
Syria which relays the facts of this heinous massacre to the UN Security Council, calls on the Council once again to assume responsibilities and issue a clear, frank condemnation of those terrorist acts which target the innocents.. and to condemn its perpetrators and those who supply them with weapons, equipment, money, shelter, political and media cover, encouraging them to go on with their crimes which seek to destabilize the state,” the Ministry said.
It called on the international community to truly commit to combating terrorism and its supporters, on top, resolution 1373/2001, indicating that Syria reminds once again that not implementing these resolutions and practicing duplicity in dealing with them would make all suspect the credibility of the Security Council in fighting this dangerous plague.
The Ministry concluded by saying that the obstruction of some member states at the UN Security to issue a clear condemnation by the council as what happened in previous situations means providing a political cover for the terrorists which encourage them to carry out more terrorist atrocities.

Russia was ready, but it didn't happen. And the killing have continued. --Caustic Logic (talk) 00:59, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, perhaps inspired by the river massacre, on January 30 "appealed to all sides, and particularly the Syrian Government, to stop the killing -saying: In the name of humanity: Stop the violence." --Caustic Logic (talk) 00:59, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

Images and Location

Have not followed the story. Only saw one photo, river and bodies in the front, Aleppo in in the background, in what appears to be north. I thought areas south of Aleppo were in government control. Were the bodies found by rebels or by the government? -- Petri Krohn (talk) 19:54, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
Aleppo in in the background, in what appears to be north.
Me neither. Quick Google image search shows quite a few people talking about it, even visually. Here are some --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:56, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
More likely to condemn the reported Syrian air strike on children playing in the river, all of them Sunni. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:56, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
Images - river is at low flow - I don't think they'd be likely to float far or fast.


Makes the link to the rebels' Orontes river body dump last year.

The rebels and the government have blamed each other for the mass killing, but Ms. Sherlock, of The Daily Telegraph, reported that many of the dead were residents of rebel-held areas whose families said they disappeared after traveling to government-held areas.

here is the area on Gmaps, SW part of Aleppo. I thought it would be afternoon, but there's no clear spot fit if so low building near the bank north of/after the bend). this could be it, if it's instead early morning and the sun comes from that far north. It doesn't, rising already south of 90 degrees in winter. so no spot located yet. --Caustic Logic (talk) 00:47, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

I guess this must be it then, and its afternoon as usual. --Caustic Logic (talk) 00:52, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, the last one is it. It explains all the images.� Here is the minaret visible at hard left in image "Aleppo river massacre.jpg." That one is shot around 11:25 am, +/- 17 min. The line drawn by that long, straight stretch of river is app. 294 degrees on the compass, and points buildings northwest, catching the late morning sun obliquely.The other photos are later, early afternoon, not timed yet. The earlier time is more important - by then at latest. they're on the bank opposite the Bustan Al-Qasr side. This is all downstream from whatever normal (gov.-held) districts the rebels cite, as well as downstream from a one-kilometer stretch that runs alongside the rest of this rebel-held district. --Caustic Logic (talk) 14:43, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

Video from site, from Syrian television news via syrian falcon channel: -- Petri Krohn (talk) 09:51, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

River Questions

So, was the river high enough to flush the bodies into rebel hands, or was it low enough to reveal the bodies and as low as the images show it to be? Chulov, Guardian, March 10: " Their brutal execution only became apparent when the winter high waters of the Queiq river, which courses through the no man’s land between the opposition-held east of the city and the regime-held west, subsided in January. ... Corpses were still arriving 10 days after the original discovery on January 29, washed downstream by currents flushed by winter rains." --Caustic Logic (talk) 08:42, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Queiq River Map.png

At right now is the map I made tracing the river north on Google Earth. Note that it's not one km but two km of the river running around Al-Qasr prior to the pile-up point near the edge of their turf. The loyalist butchers must have been just north of the hood, or north of the underground segment. (note-this map covers most of western Aleppo aside from outskirts north and south). The bodies didn't get stuck anywhere in these sometimes 90-degree turns and hard-to-clean underground passages, or the periodic filtration screens I think we see at work. And that is less than one km from the dump point, I suspect. One km might be a good spacing, in fact. One just south of the sharp bend would be the no-further-north-than point. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:56, 2 February 2013 (UTC) and --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:05, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

While this stretch of river is unique for the underground part and the two sharp bends, on closer inspection and more thought I decided neither is much of an impediment to the flow of bodies. Screens (see below) would be. But the corners are large-scale enough that an average male body, 5'8" or whatever, would come nowhere near jamming up. And also, irregularities in the bottom are unlikely to be a problem -rivers tent to lubricate themselves in the direction of flow, with silt and slime, to keep things moving. The only thing to really consider, besides screens/fences, is the core issue of flow streght vs. body weight. I do not know how to do a professional and precise calculation on that. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:08, 16 March 2013 (UTC)

Also... the bodies tend to be pulled out onto the west bank, by opposition people. But the rebel side is the east. So why cross over and then retrieve? Unlesds you're trying to look like not-rebels or something? --Caustic Logic (talk) 08:42, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Rebels have claimed both banks, have people on both sides, etc. It's complicated. But there's surely some symbolism or significance --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:08, 16 March 2013 (UTC)

River Screens?

Aleppo river massacre 2.jpg

Also note, for whatever it's worth, the neat row of bodies raises the question if they all stopped at the basic spot, then why? In the image at right, it seems there might be a wall, net, grate, or block across the river here, disrupting the surface just short of the last of the bodies. This is likely some kind of screen that maight be placed so often. Surely the loyalist murderers would know about these and realize there was a grate right at Bustan Al-Qasr. And apparently there were no others along the long float down here that stopped the bodies short of rebel cameras? Or, alternately, this is an unusual screen rebels set (to fairly precise measurements, apparently) to catch the bodies they set loose a little north of the bridge the night before. Then, they piled up like logs more or less end-to-end, and were pulled out like so. The fighters and their families stepped in with the right words and identity claims, the other activists swallowed their suspicions again and pushed that version, the media complied, etc. --Caustic Logic (talk) 15:01, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

I wish there was a city planning guide available for Aleppo explaining how their river screens are spaced. Also, do we know which district the rebel fighters suspect the bodies were dumped from? (I'll be looking around more soon) I traced the river back a bit.Heavily managed, it is. Part of it goes completely under the city just north of there. Did the bodies make it all the way through that passage? How do they know there were only 30-ish still in the water? How far up river did they look? How many stuck underground? Or did they have the tally to start with? --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:20, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

As a hitch in my little theory, I still don't have the scene mapped out, haven't watched any videos yet, etc. this image shows several bodies south of that possible screen. Dragged south? Or drifted further south? --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:38, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

And, as another hitch, a quick search suggests - at least in US cities - rivers aren't screened, only stormwater/wastewater inputs. But there seems to be something disrupting the water on that line. --Caustic Logic (talk) 00:44, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

According to a SANA correspondent, there were screens, of barbed wire, placed along the river. The purpose, as one might presume, is trash filtration. In a sense:

SANA reporter added that the competent authorities earlier put barbed wires along the stream of the river to prevent terrorists from infiltrating into the safe areas .

"The bodies, which terrorists and TV misleading channels have claimed that the army killed their owners, were found in the side where terrorists present.. if they were killed in the safe areas, their bodies would stick to the barbed wires before reaching the region where they were discovered," the reporter said. [1]. No further details are given. That might be what we're seeing here, but in a stretch rebels could easily have de-wired. Unless they wanted a handy screen to catch their PR devices. Furthermore, "She clarified that the height of water in the river is very little and it is stagnant, so it can't carry the bodies along the river." --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:27, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

Mud, Body Spread, and Water Level

Aleppo river massacre 3.jpg

I should work this out a bit here, settle out the mud and clarify, and invite feedback. I was tempted to just plug in brand-new thoughts on these related things. But that's not right. Looking at the photo here and those above, especially the mud, and trying to visualize more river there, and the bodies in it. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:32, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

  • As I just noted, the channel was apparently fuller prior to this, not terribly long prior. The wet mud across the basin says that.
  • The sides don't appear wet at all, suggesting it wasn't up to them. Or maybe much past the grit that has settled out along the edge?
  • The drier patches to the north - I think maybe irregular raised areas, where the waterline was
  • The mud patterns, streaked with the current, might suggest the force. Low. Short strokes, more just rolling in place than coursing forward, but a bit of each. (??)
  • I'm thinking it drained sometime during the night, the flow clamped the previous afternoon?
  • No idea how often that happens. Is it routinely re-filled and then allowed to drain? Or only when the regime wants to flush bodies to you?
  • If the river had been much fuller, it might have carried the bodies suspended somewhat across the basin, probably more in the deeper central channel, just due to the slope. So they would settle out somewhat across the basin.
  • It seems all these bodies were pulled from the central channel, rather than settling next to it.
  • Were they all drifters from afar, all slowly channeled to the middle as the water lowered? That's possible,
  • but the level was not that high recently, was it?
  • laying a body in inches-deep water is a good way to make sure you know where it is later -same place.
  • Or were they all dumped into the middle channel right about there or a few meters north? If the river is wide but shallow, do you walk out there in waders, and roll them in, or what? Or was it already drained about this low?
  • And when was that? I'm not clear on how quickly bleaching happens, but it's apparently in less than three days.

Floating Bodies?

(moved from above)

These are fresh bodies. They don't float. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 15:32, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
Hm, I didn't know that. A look around suggests a bloated body will float. I thought one body looked a bit bloated, but the others don't. They could drift along the bottom a bit, depending on current, which doesn't looks strong yet. More to get smagged on along the bottom than on the surface. More problems with their making it for kilometers as opposed to meters. --Caustic Logic (talk) 00:03, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

This is an important aspect of all this that should play prominently in our excellent front-page summary. One source I found useful, and another. From these and a few others, I gather a body in water will tend to sink as soon as the lungs fill with water, with one exception - put in face-down, there's no way for the air to escape and they'll tend to stay floating. IF the water is still, I speculate. A river current moving a body will tend to roll it over at some point and let water in. Eventually, it's bound to sink, especially, I think, if bound hands behind like these victims. Then a body will float from the gas-emitting early decay in the guts. This process can be sped along by being in water, but tends to be in the span of days, three or less. Exact time frame here is unclear, but The Guardian's new report has the rebels claiming the bodies were dumped four km upstream, at "the park," near some evil regime prison. It was too short for bloating to really set in, since only a few bodies look mildly bloated and the rest do not. So ... I reason they were not floating, and if they moved at all, it was along the bottom. It's hard to imagine the 4 km journey, around two 90 degree bends, with the weak and low current we can see, only to finally pause and be noticed along the rebel banks. --Caustic Logic (talk) 08:42, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Other factors: Drag - clothing will likely catch a current much more than streamlined bare skin, and bodies would be pulled along by their looser clothing to some extent. Body composition: People with more body fat will float along easier, as fat is lighter than water, while leaner more muscular people will tend to grind into the bottom with more force and be harder to budge. The victims are mostly fit young men - bottom scooters here. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:36, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

A side-note: one rebel fighter, "Sheikh al-Aurora," described to Chulov his claimed cousin, found in the river, as having a plastic (nylon) bag tied secured over his head. [2] As with being put in face-first, this would leave his last air trapped inside and he might float from the outset, chest and bagged head high in the water. But then, the tape probably wasn't permanently waterproof, and he would likely have sunk after a bit anyways. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:36, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

Later Body Recoveries

I'm not sure how many we've missed, whether these might be the same, or further river dumps, but I caught that one man's body was reported by SOHR as pulled from the river on Feb. 9, as well as many killing in Aleppo, including 25 of the 84 unarmed civilians killed in Syria that day. Further, some 20 were killed nearby "when regime forces stormed the Jneid village of Reef al-Safeera city, during the past 3 days, according to activists from the area." --Caustic Logic (talk) 00:03, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

Aside from this and the big find of March 10 (see below), there have been numerous cases of one or a few bodies turning up in the interim. I see these on the SOHR Facebook page, but haven't been saving the links or keeping any kind of tally. Anyone curious can do an advanced search of their site for all references. "Queiq" should do it. --Caustic Logic (talk) 08:11, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Apparently including the newest 34 of March 10/11, activist-informed Free Speech Radio News reported "bodies regularly turn up in what some call the Martyr's River. Two hundred twenty-five corpses have been recovered on the banks of the river since January." More interestingly, they add: "Only 73 of them have been identified." [3] That's probably about the number identified, truthfully or not, after the first, big, famous find of 80-110. The anonymous unclaimed corpses in rebel turf were no good. This solution has PR appeal, human interest, and less troubling implications than heads on spikes (your son, ma'am?") But since then, as the bodies go back to just trickling in, they pile up and the claims stop being laid. Just about as the news cameras fade to black and back away. Hmmmm. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:27, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

Context: rebel withdrawal?

From the sources I have been following, I have been getting the impression, that the rebels are losing in Aleppo and slowly being annihilated or withdrawing from the neighborhoods. The rebels executing their captives before leaving Bustan Al-Qasr would easily explain this pile of bodies.

One of the most deailed sources of information on the war is "Dave," who hosts Verified News channel on YouTube. I do not know how he gets his news, he does not seem to know Arabic, not even the script. I guess he relies on rebel sources: YouTube videos, Facebook, and maybe embedded journalists. He finds the location on the map, and determines whether is it rebel held or government held and if there is fighting going on. Putting all these peaces together on the map enables him to form the big picture.

His latest report from Aleppo is posted on January 30th, meaning it would cover the events of January 29th and some days before:

Verified News claims that the SAA has cleared western Aleppo. There is still a rebel flag over Bustan Al-Qasr, but he specifically states there has been a break-out attempt from Bustan Al-Qasr to the west. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 01:14, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

Interesting. If they can be shown to be gone soon (taking down their flags might help), that's verification and a decent reason to massacre hostages, as happened when rebels were pushed out of Daraya. Too bad Dave doesn't share more of how the news was verified. I'm not eager to cite him as having verified things. I don't even know what the green and yellow are supposed to represent. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:55, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

Later update: Well, they still seem to run this riverbank six weeks later.  :( --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:27, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

Al Nusra Blame

I hear a TV confession is one piece of evidence. Details later. Petri's picture, for front page eventually. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:42, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Aleppo 03-10-2012.jpg


SANA passed along this not terribly amazing argument in a brief report of January 29.

A media source underlined that terrorist groups of Jabhat al-Nusra in Aleppo carried out a mass execution against tens of abducted persons, throwing their bodies in Queiq river at Bustan al-Qasr area in Aleppo. "The families have identified a number of the killed, stressing that Jabhat al-Nusra abducted them because of their rejection to cooperate with this terrorist group," the source said in a statement on Tuesday. [1]

Martin Chulov mentioned how "State television broadcast a ‘confession’ from an alleged member of Jabhat al-Nusra." As reliably as the Al-Nusrah Front PR office, his interviewees unanimously laughed it off:

The confession was derided by every one of the 11 people interviewed by the Guardian as well as dozens of others that came and went from the Revolutionary Security centre during the week we were there. [2]

Even more like Islamo-nihilist PR drones:

"...they behave respectably. They do not kill civilians. You would have to be willfully blind to not know who did this massacre."
"Jabhat al-Nusra won’t do such a horrible thing... You call us terrorists. Come and fight us face to face. (Amer al-Ali - ""I am working as a fighter in Katibat Majd al-Islam" - Al-Nusra witness??!!) --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:21, 16 March 2013 (UTC)
"Jabhat Al-Nusra is more honest and noble than Bashar and his gang. They would not commit such a crime. It was Jabhat al-Nusra who provided people with food, shelter and clothes. Why would they give them with all of these things and then kill them?" [2] --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:21, 16 March 2013 (UTC)

Al-Tunisiya newspaper blames "Hafs Abu Islam"

From SANA, Jan 31, 2013:

TUNIS, (SANA)- A Tunisian newspaper revealed that a Tunisian terrorist from Jabhat al-Nusra group was responsible for the killing of scores of Syrian civilians from Bustan al-Qasr neighborhood in Aleppo.
In its issue on Thursday, al-Tunisiya newspaper quoted source as saying that a Tunisian terrorist nicknamed Hafs Abu Islam, who is a member of Jabhat al-Nusra, participated in a massacre against scores of Syrian civilians who were shot dead and thrown in Queiq River in Bustan al-Qasr in Aleppo.
The newspaper said the bodies of the killed were found in the neighborhood which is under the control of Jabhat al-Nusra, with hands and mouths tied and bearing signs of torture, including burns.
The newspaper noted that the dead bodies included children, men and young people, adding that information confirmed that the bodies belonged to citizens from Bustan al-Qasr who had been kidnapped by terrorist groups on charge of supporting the regime.
Terrorist groups from Jabhat al-Nusra in Aleppo carried out an mass execution against tens of abducted persons and threw their bodies in Queiq River in Bustan al-Qasr area.
The inhabitants identified a number of the dead people and stressed that they were executed because they had rejected to cooperate with Jabhat al-Nusra and demanded the departure of its members from their neighborhoods.

SyrPer also mentions the story, giving the killer as Hafs al-Islam. I guess the original must be in Arabic. Could not even find the newspaper.

There is someone in Britain with a similar name, here quoted as Abu Hafs al-Islam.

-- Petri Krohn (talk) 02:16, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

Cannot even find the newspaper. It should be listed here. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 06:09, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

Here:

ذكرت مصادر امنية سورية ان جهاديا تونسيا يدعى "حفص ابو اسلام" من عناصر جبهة النصرة قام بارتكاب مجزرة راح ضحيتها قرابة 80 مواطن سوري مكبلي الايدي حيث تم اعدامهم برصاصات في الرأس.
كما أشار نفس المصدر إلى أن جميع الشباب الذين تم العثور على جثثهم وانتشالها من نهر قويق هم من احدى المناطق الريفية في ريف حلب تدعى بستان القصر.

وأكدت بعض وسائل الإعلام السورية أن ضحايا تلك المجزرة تم اختطافهم وإعدامهم من قبل حفص أبو إسلام بتهمة الموالاة لنظام بشار الأسد.

أسماء بن مسعود

Translation:

Tunisian jihadist accused of killing nearly 80 Syria
Syrian security sources said that Tunisian jihadist called "Hafs Abu Islam" elements Front victory has committed a massacre claimed the lives of nearly 80 Syrian citizen handcuffed were executed, shot in the head.
As the same source pointed out that all the young people who found their bodies were recovered from the river قويق are from one of the rural areas in Aleppo called Bustan Palace. And confirmed some Syrian media that the victims of the massacre were abducted and executed by Hafs Abu Islam on charges of loyalty to the regime of Bashar al-Assad.
Names bin Masood

حفص أبو إسلام = Hafs Abu Islam


Syrian Truth ‏@Syrian_Truth posts this on Twitter:

This video shows Abo Hafs Al-Libi while he is... fb.me/1hXcF5YCA

The links is to this YouTube video:

YouTupe suggests this video as related:

-- Petri Krohn (talk) 05:48, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Abu Hafs Al Libi.png

That seems to be the same crazy-ass guy. The first video, of "Mujahid Abu Hafs al-Libi," he sounds manic and distrubed. In the second, wow. Whoever filmed that has nerves of steel, and that alone pisses the Islamo-nihilist off. Screen grab at right. You know, Hafs Abu Islam is a strange name. Father of Islam? He has that same mustache-less Maghrebi Salafi beard we saw a lot in Libya. Al-Libia, and/or Tunisian (via Libya, presumably) But man, people almost seem to watch him because he's so entertainingly over-the-top, more so than correct. Maybe they fight behind him for the same reason to some extent. Note the smirks and smiles of those in his near shadow. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:14, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Makes me wonder: whom exactly did he massacre in Libya? -- Petri Krohn (talk) 11:15, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Strange word this "مشهر", that Google refuses to translate. Image search says it means "horse" or "stallion". The correct spelling may be "مشهور". -- Petri Krohn (talk) 11:44, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
I get flagrant, then famous. Sounds like Mushahel and then mashwool (??). Odd how both words wind up kind of similar in both languages. What's the context exactly? --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:45, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

The Victims

Buried En Masse

One perpetual mystery of victims of regime massacres rebels discover first and expose, the victims tend to be treated unusually. The rebels should hand them over to families for swift ritual treatment and burial within 24 hours. Where, when, and how eeach is buried is a family affair and a sacred one. Family graveyards all around should be taking in however many bodies each. Instead, time and again as "both sides blame each other," the rebels bury the bodies they alone control in anonymous mass graves. We hear from their family members, grieving and blaming Shabiha, but the bodies, eh. They go on the pile. That really is odd. War disrupts usual patterns and all that, but these video family members usually live where the rebels do, the rebels run their neighborhoods and the mass grave site and the bodies, so why aren't things sorted out better more often?

In this case, the tendency is muted a bit, by some degree of apparent body adoption and burial elsewhere. Any number of these could be from real family claiming their own back from the rebel fighters, and others could be PR adoptions to help the rebel story line. We can't know for sure. Two extra days were allowed, stretching the 24 hour rule to allow more claims to be made. Then the rest were buried in the commandeered playground. But reports suggest quite a few -maybe a large majority - of the river martyrs remain unclaimed, in the burial sense, and rot in the playground. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:08, 16 March 2013 (UTC)

Citations: Chulov: "Some families asked the rebel unit to bury them on their behalf. Such a plea is highly unusual in this war. Here, like in conflicts elsewhere in the world, the final act of burial is akin to closure for grieving families." [2] In the fourth video there, Chulov said: "Most (bodies) are eventually identified and claimed, but not all." In the same video, an activist, at the playground said: “today, three bodies were buried here” pointing. "About 75 other bodies were buried over there.” There could be others, he doesn't say that's a total. This is in mid-February, date uncertain. Two weeks earlier, there had been 110 in the famous massacre. Even at three a day since, there should be perhaps 146 bodies. Three went unclaimed that day, and at least 75 others means more than half, at least, remain unclaimed, at least in a burial sense.

There's an explanation offered for this. I'm not sure I understand it. Although I suspect the note, from a local in this "liberated" area, is one of the genuine things produced. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:08, 16 March 2013 (UTC)

All the relatives who requested that the rebels bury their relatives’ remains, without them being present, still worked in the west of the city. Some also lived there. Others had to cross from the east through checkpoints on most days.
"One of the (victims) had a mobile shop and they spoke to his father and then took his son away," said Rezk. The next day, the father came to the river bank and found his son’s body. He decided to bury his son (in the east) because he was worried of taking his son’s dead body to where he lives. He thought they would kill him."
Rezk displayed a handwritten note, which was a ample authorisation from another father to bury his sons in the east. "He was still working in an unliberated area and he had three sons, two of whom were dead. He didn’t want to talk about it with us. He just signed the note and left and we put them in the martyr’s grave."

Human Rights Watch: "Human Rights Watch has compiled a list of 61 names of people who have been identified. The remaining victims were not identified by the time of their burial." They hears there were 230+ bodies, so 169+ or at least 73% were never even identified. [4]

Recruitment Drive?

I've had an idea recur to me when I see massacres of "working-age men" in Syria, like some portion of the Daraya massacre, and this, for example, in places where rebel forces have enough control in one area for a period. This might be a botched FSA recruitment drive, where they kidnap local men (14 and up) and give them an explicit chance to fight for their country. Or die. Obviously, piles of war resisters wouldn't look good, so they would invert the story, as rebel types often do. From Chulov's piece especially, it comes through that many of the bereaved or FSA fighters (too small a civilian support pool to get better, more average and realistic, witnesses?), and all of the victims were not. They died for being suspected of fighting, but not fighting (not joining?). A specific suggestion that those killed had been pressed to fight: the opposite is claimed by one of the FSA truth inverters:

"Mohammed was going to the dentist in Jamilia and he was taken by the military. He was arrested because he was young and the military thought he was with the FSA. We knew where he was being held and his father went to see him but the military told him that he will be joining the army now. Several days later, his body ended up in the river This is a dictator’s regime. They took that kid to join the army and then they killed him. This is because he was a Sunni. This war is obvious. This is a message from the Shia regime to the Sunnis.

Those with the gun live and tell the stories, those who remain innocent on the sidelines will be killed. Handy FSA recruitment message, that. Plus, all the families, women and all, are now itching to join the FSA, the FSA bereaved tell us. The Shia regime's recruitment message to the Sunnis is coming through loud and clear, thanks to Chulov and the Guardian. Responses (same source):

This is a message from the army; every time the FSA will step forward, we will kill more civilians. Now the families of each victim are going to join the FSA. ... This is a message from the Shia regime to the Sunnis. … Killing Bashar and all of the shabiha won’t be enough revenge. ... Their mother asked if she can join the FSA to take revenge and so did their father. They only have two daughters left and now the whole family wants to join a jihad. ... I will fight for this cause because I want the whole world to see what is happening.” --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:01, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

The Witnesses

I guess a listing might be nice. Will start with Chulov's 11/13/whatever, eight that I see. Other named experts in what happened, cited elsewhere, can be added in time. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:27, 16 March 2013 (UTC)

Family Members

(first six all from Chulov, March 10)

  1. Abu Lutfi (young man, face covered): "claimed that his family had tracked down their missing relative, Mohammed Waez to a military prison in West Aleppo." On video, he says this was a cousin, “in the Talab area. He was a merchant, working between Syria and Lebanon. He was stopped and taken at the Bahussein checkpoint." They said he'd be released in ten days. “Exactly ten days later, we found his body in the Queiq River.” But he also says "my cousin disappeared 10 days ago." Was he found just that day? "I am covering my face because if the regime recognizes my face, I will be dead and every single member of my family will be dead. They will kill us and no one can find us. We are for sure with the revolution. We served the military for 40 years and now this is the army that is attacking and killing us. This is a message from the army; every time the FSA will step forward, we will kill more civilians. Now the families of each victim are going to join the FSA." [2]
  2. Amer al-Ali, from Dar al-Izza, "and a member of the FSA” (see beard, video 3, 0:23) "I am working as a fighter in Katibat Majd al-Islam. Two of my cousins, Yassin, 20, and Omar, 14, were tailors. They went missing 5 days before the massacre. I knew the army had a checkpoint in their area and I told them to be careful. They were the main financial supporters to their families. They went to work (in the west) and I saw them on their way to work. It was getting late and their father came to me asking if I saw them and we were searching for them. Several days later, we heard about the massacre and we went to retrieve their bodies. Their mother asked if she can join the FSA to take revenge and so did their father. They only have two daughters left and now the whole family wants to join a jihad. ... "Jabhat al-Nusra won’t do such a horrible thing. No muslim can do such a thing but this regime can do it. You call us terrorists. Come and fight us face to face." [2]
  3. Sheikh al-Aurora: Rebel fighter, red sports wear, one glove, odd beard, odd all around. "I am one of the resistance fighters in Aleppo. I am fighting the terrorist regime. I used to work with Syrian state television and I left the regime two years ago." Cousin Mohammed, 18, "was going to the dentist in Jamilia and he was taken by the military. He was arrested because he was young and the military thought he was with the FSA." They said he was joining the army, but instead he wound up in the river, with a plastic bag over his head. "This is because he was a Sunni. This war is obvious. This is a message from the Shia regime to the Sunnis. ... Killing Bashar and all of the shabiha won’t be enough revenge." [2]
  4. Mahmoud al-Drubi's brother - apparently the younger, quieter brother, with male pattern baldness (see next)
  5. Mahmoud al-Drubi: The older of two middle-aged brothers who came looking for their father, Mohammed, while Chulov happened to be there, two weeks after the massacre, on February 10. From a picture on the computer, they identified him. "My father was working in the national bank," wept Mahmoud al-Drubi. He was married to three women. He was staying with one of his wives (in Ashrafiyeh in west Aleppo) and he told her that he is going to work and it has been 22 days since he disappeared. He was working in an unliberated area. The regime did this to him."
  6. Unnamed, opposition videographer: (from video 3, visible 0:11) "It was Saturday. My nephew was working as a tailor in Mahatat Baghdad. The day the massacre happened, as a journalist, I went there to film. I was shocked to discover his body among them. He was not a member of the resistance. He had nothing to do with any of it.” [2]
  7. "Abu Mohammed", 73: Identified hiw two sons, in their 20s. Ruth Sherlock reported: "They had travelled to central Aleppo, which is still in the hands of the Syrian government 20 days before. “They thought they had nothing to fear from the government, so they went to renew their identity cards. But they didn’t come back. Now I have found them here.”" [5]
  8. Mohammed Abdel Aziz: ""My brother disappeared weeks ago when he was crossing the regime-held zone, and we don't know where he is or what became of him." [6]

Rebel Fighters

First, the cross-over with the above: the following admitted rebel fighters claim they lost family, mostly cousins, none of whom were fighters. Amer al-Ali (lost two young cousins, 14 and 20), Sheikh al-Aurora (lost a cousin, 18). I guess that's all so far. One is a rebel videographer, others could be fighters who don't mention it, and almost all of them seem to be hardcore pro-rebel activists, anyway. The rest of the fighter witnesses/experts, some of whom seem to have specialized knowledge, do not claim to have lost any family themselves (forthcoming - none in Chulov's report) --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:15, 16 March 2013 (UTC) and edits --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:30, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

  • "Mamnoud Hassoun, 26, a rebel fighter": "(He) said there were still at least 30 bodies floating in the stagnant water further upstream, but it had become too dangerous to reach them: “It is hard to get the bodies because they are in the view of government snipers,” he said. “When the snipers saw there were Free Syrian Army pulling out the bodies they started shooting.”" [5]
  • Capt. Abu Sada, FSA: quoted by Al Jazeera "as saying that there could be more than 100 bodies, with many still submerged in the murky river, and that all had been “executed by the regime.”" [7]
  • AFP: "In Aleppo, rebel fighter Abu Seif said 78 bodies had been retrieved from the Quweiq River and that 30 more were still in the water but could not be reached because of the threat of Assad snipers. "The regime threw them into the river so that they would arrive in an area under our control, so the people would think we killed them," Abu Seif said. [6]

Prison Escapees

  • Abdel Rezzaq, 19: Arrested while going to buy a sandwich in October 2012, accused of being in the FSA, beaten, transfered, held for at least two months at the Air Force intelligence prison. they took 30 people from isolation cells ... they were torturing them till they died. They poured acid on them. ... Then we heard gunshots." "The next day they put me and some of the others in front of men with guns, but they didn’t shoot at us. They freed me later that day. I heard women screaming. They were pouring alcohol on us and cursing us. Only God got us out of there, no-one gets out alive. And only god knows what happened to the rest of the people who were in there. I will fight for this cause because I want the whole world to see what is happening." [2]
  • Unnamed, early 20s: Unnamed prisoner, early 20s: The account of the man who refused to be identified matched Abdel Rezzaq, although he claimed he was held in the Military Security prison.
"If they took you to the park, you were finished," said one of the men, who had been freed in mid-January. "We all knew that. It is a miracle that I am standing here talking to you."
"I was there for a month," he said. "Then one night they took us to an area outside, it was near a park and I thought that was it. I was preparing for death by praying and they started shooting along a wall where they had lined people up. There were about four guys next to me, to my right, and they stopped shooting. I heard one officer say ‘let them go’. And here I am. I will stay waiting for these bodies for the rest of the war. I cannot believe I am here." [2]

Other

  • Wael Ibrahim, 30, resident: After a rebel offensive, "“the loyalist militias that have formed checkpoints on the government side started arresting people whose identity cards showed they were from liberated areas. ... It is clear they were not being kept in a prison because they still have their belts on their clothes and these are removed usually before people are put in jail.” [5]
  • Unnamed Volunteer: ""We do not know who they are. They were not carrying papers," one volunteer said as bodies were taken to a local school." [6]

Different Sources

The big source of most interest gets its own section below this. Here are some others of note. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:01, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

The Lede: Boring

The Lede adds:

Gunfire echoed in the distance, and at the end of the clip the cameraman broke into a run. “A sniper is firing at us,” he said.
[SOHR] said 65 bodies were recovered from the river. The group estimated that 15 more remained in the water but could not be retrieved because of a threat posed by government snipers.
The Daily Telegraph, a British newspaper whose correspondent, Ruth Sherlock, was on the scene of the grim discovery, reported that residents pulled 79 bodies out of the river. A rebel fighter interviewed by Ms. Sherlock estimated that as many as 30 more bodies could remain in the water, but said they were impossible to retrieve because of nearby government sniper positions.
Snipers with a range of up to the river, from one side or another of this frontier flanked by both side. Please note that.

In short: "Piecing Together Accounts ... The rebels and the government have blamed each other for the mass killing, but Ms. Sherlock, of The Daily Telegraph, reported ... A rebel fighter interviewed ... taken to the riverbank by Free Syrian Army fighters ... They thought they had nothing to fear from the government, so they went to renew their identity cards..." Some detective work here. --Caustic Logic (talk) 14:54, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

SANA

Media Source.. Jabhat al-Nusra Terrorists Perpetrate Mass Execution in Aleppo, January 29:

ALEPPO, (SANA)-A media source underlined that terrorist groups of Jabhat al-Nusra in Aleppo carried out a mass execution against tens of abducted persons, throwing their bodies in Queiq river at Bustan al-Qasr area in Aleppo.
"The families have identified a number of the killed, stressing that Jabhat al-Nusra abducted them because of their rejection to cooperate with this terrorist group," the source said in a statement on Tuesday.
It added that the competent authorities along with the families are following evidence on this new massacre which adds to a series of brutal massacres perpetrated by the terrorist groups against unarmed civilians.
SANA reporter in Aleppo said that clashes between the Syrian armed forces and terrorists in Bustan al-Qasr are taking place in the surroundings of the region, adding "there are no presence for the army on the banks of Queiq river."
SANA reporter added that the competent authorities earlier put barbed wires along the stream of the river to prevent terrorists from infiltrating into the safe areas .

"The bodies, which terrorists and TV misleading channels have claimed that the army killed their owners, were found in the side where terrorists present.. if they were killed in the safe areas, their bodies would stick to the barbed wires before reaching the region where they were discovered," the reporter said.

She clarified that the height of water in the river is very little and it is stagnant, so it can't carry the bodies along the river.

The Telegraph

Aleppo executions: 79 bodies pulled from Syria river

It was impossible to be certain who was responsible for their deaths. But those identified, at least half the total by nightfall, were from rebel-held districts, and locals blamed government checkpoints on the other side of the river.
[...]
The corpses of two young boys, no older than 11 and 15, were among the dead.
[...]
During the past month, the river had become a dumping ground for corpses, local residents said. Two bodies were pulled out last week. Unclaimed and without identity cards, the bloated corpses were left in the flower patch in front of one of the rebel hospitals in case a passer-by should recognise them.
[...]
“When this happened, the loyalist militias that have formed checkpoints on the government side started arresting people whose identity cards showed they were from liberated areas,” said one, Wael Ibrahim, 30. “It is clear they were not being kept in a prison because they still have their belts on their clothes and these are removed usually before people are put in jail.”
[...]
Mamnoud Hassoun, 26, a rebel fighter, said there were still at least 30 bodies floating in the stagnant water further upstream, but it had become too dangerous to reach them: “It is hard to get the bodies because they are in the view of government snipers,” he said. “When the snipers saw there were Free Syrian Army pulling out the bodies they started shooting.”
Note: 79 + "at least 30" = about exactly the later agreed 110 total. How did he know? --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:01, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
Regime sources blamed the rebels for the deaths, saying those killed had been "abducted by terrorists" and that their relatives had been trying to negotiate their release. But that was not the story told by the relatives choosing the (rebel-controlled) bodies for burial. (edit by me) --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:01, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

NYT

Adversaries in Syria Trade Blame for Scores of Killings in Aleppo, Jan 30:

Al Jazeera quoted a commander from the insurgent Free Syrian Army, identified as Capt. Abu Sada, as saying that there could be more than 100 bodies, with many still submerged in the murky river, and that all had been “executed by the regime.”
Note: "more than 100" = about exactly the later agreed 110 total. How did he know? --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:01, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

Guardian Report, March 10

In what can only be an eerie coincidence (*cough*), Martin Chulov and the Guardian Angels have solved who was behind the original massacre. No word on the new incident. Somehow while reading his propaganda language tripes I always feel the strong urge to strangle him, but would he make it all up? All 11? Well, if you make it to the end you'll know that Jabhat Al-Nusra would never do it, because they are more honest and noble than Bashar. I'm sure Minnie Mouse and the Red Teletubbie will agree... *rolleyes* --CE (talk) 13:24, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

Angel wings folded right around the suffering masses... What a coincidence, like a PR stunt to accompany the release of a new book. That's an "investigation" the rebels would know about, and it takes itself pretty seriously. It might well have some good info. "men of working age" = "men of fighting age" elsewhere. Attempted recruits who refused, I suspect. "It is a miracle that I am standing here talking to you." No, it is something else. ""They poured acid on them. The smell was very strong." Bunch of fake-ass rebel simp cover-story impersonators. But you know/suspect that too, I'm sure. To prove/illustrate is, more work. I doubt I'll be doing it. Maybe it's nottoo much. Find out dates given, how long bodies take to bloat and float, note that these didn't have that long, weren't bloated, and could not have floated 4 km. --Caustic Logic (talk) 22:47, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, the floating-some-kilometers stuff, some of it underground, seems very unlikely to me as well, although i'm certainly not an expert. The point where allegedly a grate was put in the river seems to be much more upstream, and has much more water than where the bodies were found. That's at least misleading. One thing I also noticed is that in the second video, one of the guys points out that "most of them still had their rings on. They were still wearing their belts and their shoes were still on. This proves that none of them were taken to a military base." Which contradicts some of the other stories of the gruesome "park" in the backyard of the gulag where they stayed ten days or whatever. --CE (talk) 11:06, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Graphic to show the areas as shown in Chulov's report, on my previous map graphic. Killings were either at the prisons at left or at the park. I love "If they took you to the park, you were finished." Friggin' miracle survivors. Also, "Axis of Evil" David Frum's column at the aptly-named Daily Beast runs a hideous pimping of Chulov's "investigation" Nothing new, didn't catch the vivid reminder that emerged quietly the same day. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:25, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

CE said: "The point where allegedly a grate was put in the river seems to be much more upstream, and has much more water than where the bodies were found." This spot baffles me. It's not where it first emerges from underground. No concrete visible. Archaic building over this span, suggesting maybe old city area. Only so many spots it dips under and this doesn't look like any of them, on first pass. Or any spot north along this strictly-managed, concrete-lined waterway. It does get more rough-edged south of their spot, but I see no more buildings or anything but bridges over. THEN, watching the video rather than the still, I think it could be this bridge to the south. Why? I don't know. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:46, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

I meant, that's the spot because it matches, but I don't know why they have a screen here. Helps suggest there are not already stop points, even in their famous stretch, and they had to make their own. That in turn helps explain how they got so far south in the first place. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:23, 16 March 2013 (UTC)

March Massacre

Apparently at the same place, a new batch of murdered people was found. Mostly gruesome head-wounds, civilians apparently. Urs is collecting videos, mostly dated from yesterday. She complains about a lack of media reports. Didn't look myself so far. --CE (talk) 17:48, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

Here is another fresh massacre. Is this the same? -- Petri Krohn (talk) 22:02, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

I don't see a ready connection. Where and even when this happened isn't clear, but it's not at the Queiq River. If enough victims match for clothing, etc. they could be some of those dumped there, or a while other batch elsewhere. I watched it. You can do the Al Qaeda flag on white? And I only saw one beheading, of the mostly sort. Four others at least are shot in the head. One takes two shots before he stops moving. Pretty sad. Press TV writes about it, but not much. No location or details reached them either. --Caustic Logic (talk) 08:34, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

Yahoo news lets me know of the mortar attack on the stadium in Damascus, and has a March 10 picture from Aleppo at top. "Syrians standing next to dead bodies that have been pulled from the river near Aleppo's Bustan al-Qasr neighborhood, Syria. Activists said the dead bodies of at least 20 men were pulled from a river that runs between regime- and rebel-controlled parts of the northern city." Nothing in the article even mentions it. No time to find more now. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:22, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

Reports

SOHR has reports:

Aleppo province: In Aleppo city no less than 20 bodies were found in the Bustan al-Qasr neighborhood, they were pulled out of the Quweiq river.
More than 240 Syrians were killed yesterday, The dead include: 93 unarmed civilians, 33 rebel fighters, 1 defected captain, 1 defected soldier, 36 unidentified rebel fighters, and no less than 79 regular soldiers.
- In Aleppo 34 civilians and 2 rebel fighters were killed. 21 civilians, including a child aged below 14, were found dead on the banks of the Qweiq river in the Bustan al-Qaser neighbourhood, some were reported missing for days and weeks in Aleppo city, 8 names were documented so far. --Caustic Logic (talk) 08:34, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
Of course, complicating the publicity stunt angle is that hardly anyone reported on this. Actually, let me check again. Okay, there's more, below. Not complicating it, so much in that article ... wow. Lots about people who remained on the sidelines now fired up, retribution and revenge and fear of the same back if caught speaking the truth you have to be "willfully ignorant" to not see anyway. And same day, obvious revenge, depending on time zone issues, river flow, etc ... retribution victims float 3-4 km and again wash up in front of rebel video cameras. This is SERIOUSLY fuqd up. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:25, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Anyway, adds - (and this should not have its own page):

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/10/us-syria-crisis-river-idUSBRE9290G120130310

There was no official comment from the government. State media said the bodies found in January were those of people abducted and killed by the al Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front.

[...]

Video footage taken on Sunday, which could not be immediately verified, showed 16 bodies of young men dressed in casual clothes lying on the banks of the small stream. Some had their hands bound, and many appeared to have been shot in the head or had deep wounds to the neck. Some were gagged. One body was covered with mud and flies.
Louay al-Halabi, an activist in Aleppo, said he was present when the bodies were dug up. He added that bodies have been turning up in Quieq when the water level, which is controlled from a government held area, is on the high side. "I counted 23 bodies today. One man literally had his brains blown out," Halabi said. Halabi said the men appear to have been prisoners at security compounds in government-controlled areas taken either dead or alive to a public park in the center of Aleppo that has been turned into a barracks.
Mohammad Nour, another activist who said he had went to the site of the bodies, said the men were in their 20s and 30s. He added that they were a mix of civilians and captured rebel fighters. "Six men were identified so far. Five of them were detained by air force intelligence last week," he said.

Signs of throat-slicing, torture, and bestial mutliation will likely grow, until the message gets through. Start resisting with us, or you'll be next. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:25, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

And, of course, more bodies past that - at least 34 now, possibly 225 total by now. for example

Twelve more bodies were found a river in Aleppo, Syria. Twenty-two were recovered from the same river Sunday. Abu Mahmoud spoke to al Jazeera just after identifying his father's body.
“He went to get his paycheck. He crossed into government controlled territory. He went with my brother. I don’t where my brother is. He never came back."
All 12 bore the signs of execution, hands and feet bound and bullet wounds in the head. Upstream, the Queiq River runs through government held territory. The area downstream is controlled by anti-government forces. Bodies regularly turn up in what some call the Martyr's River. Two hundred twenty-five corpses have been recovered on the banks of the river since January, only 73 of them have been identified. (!!!) --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:25, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
"He went to get his paycheck" in government-held territory. Same as some of the Chulov witnesses' relatives. Why would the government go after those people working for them/in their controlled territory? Just because they live in rebel-held territory? Or would they more likely be punished because they "collaborated" with the government? On the way back? Obviously the latter, I'd say. --CE (talk) 11:37, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
Great point. The message, whoever is sending it, is don't cross lines. If you live where rebels prevail, stay there. Don't go "work with the regime." You might wind up dead. Instead, quit your job and join the FSA, since the regime already might consider you guilty and kill you, might as well make the charge true and get a gun. Take up a rebel gun and suddenly, you'll find you're safe from winding up in the river. The regime only kills those who refuse to fight. Hm. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:14, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

There's a March 11 piece on CNN by a woman working for Amnesty International reporting from the scene. She reports another (I think) case of someone living in rebel-controlled yet working in gov-controlled areas disappearing and then showing up dead in the river. Blamed on the gov. But she also reports instances where "rebels" killed people who also showed up in "the river of death"™. --CE (talk) 12:46, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

That is an unexpectedly bit of valuable reporting. Donatella still has human left inside (note this is AI, not HRW, with less human employed watching the rights). Two cases, with names, and more evidence against Al-Nusra, as well as perhaps another (non-extremist?) group NOT listed by US as terrorists. Details sound plausible. Left a comment. Will be citing, obviously. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:09, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
We decided although she also witnessed two victims recovered on March 3, the cases she cited are of people who turned up dead in places other than the river. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:10, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

If "Abu Mahmoud" is acting, he's pretty good - another ID that has to happen in front of outsiders' cameras. Same bridge Chulov filmed is shown. Volunteer worker in defector fatigues, Hisham Abu Sheikh, is shown giving the figures 225 bodies, and 73 identified. Yousef Abu Mazen, Syrian Center for Human Rights, says he's investigating, and promises a detailed report. His conclusion so far: "there is a lot of evidence to blame the regime. All are executed the same way. We caught a witness who explained how supporters of the state come to rebel-held districts, and lure people to their territory." (??) I suspect from her expressions and gestures towards the rebels, and their reactions to her, that the woman shown near the end, looking for her missing 18-year-old son, is not one of their actors, and suspects the rebels. "He's not crazy or mentally handicapped to cross into regime territory. I contacted the government security (unclear) and the rebel groups. No one knows where he is." --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:10, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

Revisiting this now, the promotional timing is interesting. HRW's report from June says "The dates for which the photos and videos show the highest number of victims were January 29 (57 bodies), January 30 (27), March 10 (21) and March 11 (10)." So 31 total here, and less than reported in January. There were wore the next days as well, up to March 14, which HRW hears was the last day bodies came in (as of June, 2013). So 34+ in a 5-day span, with the first day being the worst. They say it was "more than 230" bodies total by the end.

It was March 11 when CNN ran Donatela Rovera's report on this, and the Guardian ran Martin Chulov's big, multimedia report. CNN and the Guardian get to do co-ordinated exclusives for Qatari-interest stories, like the Caesar photos a year later. Al-Jazeera only follows in these special cases, here they're filing on March 12 (see right above) Both of these, especially the latter, were big deal reports, based on previous work. Chulov says his team was in Aleppo for a week in mid-February, but this material took almost a month to assemble and finally publish. Or were they waiting for something? Rovera was there March 3, and reporting a week later. Zeina Khodr, I'd have to look.

There might be some simple re-action here to the low-profile March 10 finds, but they don't seem to mention the event. These were just reports on an ongoing silent horror, that wound up hitting at the same time, and it's the same time Assad had just sent 20-30 more bodies as a reminder. Hmmm...--Caustic Logic (talk) 12:50, 17 August 2016 (UTC)

I mean, I wonder if there's an e-mail like this in existence?

from: M_Chuolv@theGuardian, to FSA Revolutionary security center@Qatar, Aleppo, March 9, 2013:
Hey guys, thanks again for all your help back in February. Just a head's up, the report is ready and will be online at the Guardian in the next two days. I'll send the link. Make sure to help promote it. You have a powerful message I want the world to hear. - Marty

--Caustic Logic (talk) 13:04, 17 August 2016 (UTC)

March 10 Videos

As CE noted, Urs1798 has collected some videos of the March 10 massacre [here]. I forgot that and pulled up several videos on my own. Most are already listed there, but here are a few that maybe aren't.

Notes on what I've been able to watch so far: I'm looking for these neck wounds. Mostly I'm seeing head wounds, forehead up generally blown wide open, consistent with a gunshot under the chin, or perhaps something else. One man at 1:50 in this graphic video has what looks like a big rectangular hole in the top of his head, as if hit by a maul (a heavy-headed axe) (there is also a boy in there, around 13/13, as shown by Urs- poor kid). In SWU2kCOuNM4 (ah, itis on Urs' page), the first body shown has a neck injury, bandaged, apparently, after recovery but before filming. Head intact, so he died some other way... the one at the end of that video is another possible neck injury, head less certain. The guy at 1:39 in this video, a bit chubbier than usual, seems to have been floating face-down for a bit. At 1:47, a victim either shot or stabbed in the right side of his throat, still bleeding. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:15, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

Other/Tangential

More al-Nusra executions

From SOHR via YouTube:

Aleppo :: Show videotape arrived Syrian Observatory for Human Rights copy questioning combat battalion four young men and a woman in the neighborhood of Bab Neirab in Aleppo on charges of dealing with the security services and the Baath Party and lure fighters from the Brigades fighter and kill him, according to Helms in the interrogation and said the battalion that after interrogation for two days Sharia court issued a death sentence against four males and appears at the end of the tape of the execution by firing heavy bullets at youths and four on 01/25/2013

-- Petri Krohn (talk) 08:39, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

Very interesting, thanks. Some great stuff on that channel. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:09, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

Azouz Assassination

Aleppo Goofy Shabiha.png

Not sure if it's an Al-Nusra job, but here's another SyriaHRO video from Aleppo: Former Parliamentary Ibrahim Azouz killed in the neighborhood of Sheikh Saeed. Composite image inset. Description G-translated:

Aleppo :: show that Mukhtar Sheikh Said, who was killed on Saturday, 2/2/2013 fire fighters from the Brigades fighter is a former member of the Syrian parliament Ibrahim Azouz brother head the General Federation of Trade Unions in Syria Shaaban Azzouz and activists from the region said that Ibrahim Azouzhe and his wife were killed and another woman was shot them on the outskirts of the neighborhood of Sheikh Saeed and other activists said the former deputy was killed and his wife and two daughters.

SANA report:

An armed terrorist group assassinated former member of Parliament Ibrahim Azzouz and his wife and two daughters in al-Sheikh Said in Aleppo city.
Chairman of General Federation of Trade Unions, Shaaban Azzouz, brother of the Martyr, said that terrorists fired on the car of his brother on his way to al-Sheikh Said with his family, causing the martyrdom of his brother, his wife and his two daughters.

The rebel smiling over the victim seems to say "Abla Shabeeha." A word "أبله" sounds like Abla and means "goofy," Google translate said once but then refused to confirm. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:41, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Media Source.. Jabhat al-Nusra Terrorists Perpetrate Mass Execution in Aleppo SANA, January 29, 2013
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Syria: the story behind one of the most shocking images of the war Martin Chulov, the Guardian, March 10, 2013
  3. Headlines for Tuesday, March 12, 2013 Free Speech Radio News, March 12, 2013
  4. "Syria: A Stream of Bodies in Aleppo’s River." Human Rights Watch, June 4, 2013. https://www.hrw.org/news/2013/06/04/syria-stream-bodies-aleppos-river
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Aleppo executions: 79 bodies pulled from Syria river Ruth Sherlock, the Telegraph, 6:54PM GMT 29 Jan 2013
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Massacre plunges Syria deeper into 'horror' spiral AFP, Jan. 30, 2013
  7. Adversaries in Syria Trade Blame for Scores of Killings in Aleppo By Hania Mourtada and Alan Cowell, New York Times, Published: January 29, 2013