Conquest of Soran, August, 2016
This page is to cover events and accusations surrounding the Islamist rebel advance in Hama province at the end of August, 2016. Several towns and villages and connecting roads were taken in an operation launched August 29. The town of Soran (Souran, Arabic: سوران ), around 14 km north of the central city of Hama, was taken on the 31st. (Reuters, 8/31) This was followed by conflicting reports of many people killed.
- https://twitter.com/Leb12er/status/770625559579721728 Rebels name their Hama offensive after Marwan Hadid, Islamist who called for the killing of Alawites in the 70's and 80's
- SANA, August 31: "Units of the army, in cooperation with popular defense groups, confronted an attack by terrorist groups in the surroundings of Soran in Hama northern countryside, killing a number of them and destroying two tanks."
- Paul Antonopoulos, Al Masdar News
- "Jund al-Aqsa and other terrorist Islamist groups have announced the third phase of their Hama offensive, making aim for the city of Souran," and captured "the Bridge checkpoint in between Taibat al-Imam and Souran." However, "the Tiger Forces have just recently been deployed to this volatile front and are yet to enter the battle.
- Reuters: Soran "was taken "completely", the hardline jihadist rebel group Jund al-Aqsa said in an online statement." The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the reports, but said clashes and air strikes continued.
- Syria Today @todayinsyria Aug 31
- Latest from #Hama #SAA loses Souran, retreats to Tell Bizam, then Ma'an, fights ongoing
- maytham @maytham956 · Sep 1
- Reinforcements 4 z #SyrianArmy & its allies have reached south west #Hama countryside in order 2 prepare 4 a counter attack 2 re-take Souran
- Video: Camera Syrian press center monitors the atmosphere of the town of Soran after liberation Published on Sep 1, 2016 by Syrian press center
- The Revolution Syria @news_syrianall1 · Aug 31
- A tour Inside the City of #Soran after the liberated from the #Assad_terrorism by the #FSA in northern Hama today
- @Malcolmite Sept. 4:
- Rebels in Hama. Message to alawites "we will not harm any of you, we will protect women, children & elderly"
- Fighting in Syria's Hama province displaces 100,000: U.N. - Reuters, Sep 7, 2016
- Julian Röpcke Sep 1
- #Footage An air strike hit refugees from #Souran, trying to get out of the liberated city.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-c5Zj3lHEc Sept. 1
- Orient News English @OrientNewsEn Sep 3
- #Assad and #Russian warplanes target civilians fleeing from Soran
- https://twitter.com/mahmod331981/status/771302930758692864 burned bodies of children
- The VDC lists 39 Hama civilians killed Sept. 1 (only 2 the next day and 2 the day before). Half (19) are listed as killed by "warplane shelling," and 20 by "unknown," which is unusual (Syrian government and affiliated militias are specified as the actors).
- #WhiteHelmets seen alongside IS affiliate Jund al-Aqsa fighters in Souran #Hama.
- http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-02/syrian-children-suffer-burns-in-alleged-incendiary-attack/7807476 Sept 2
- Doctors working with the Syrian American Medical Society at Maraa hospital in Idlib province have sent the ABC disturbing photos of children with horrific burns, allegedly sustained from an attack by incendiary weapons.
- They said the children were hurt after an air strike on a convoy of civilians fleeing the village of Soran in Hama province.
- https://twitter.com/Charles_Lister/status/771418819495591937 (shows burned feet, skin peeled right off)
Massacres by Rebels
Massacring 90 civilians and beheading the Muktar
- https://twitter.com/AbuHantala/status/771406311804182528 Jund AlAqsa and their FSA terrorist allies commit a massacre in Sawran, north Hama, killing 90 civilians and beheading the head of the town.
- https://twitter.com/syria_hashtag/status/771403706319441921 (Arabic, auto-translated) # Mdzrh_souran Civil sources: Syrian opposition forces committed a massacre in the town of Soran in (rural Hama) and executed 90 civilians and beheaded the Mukhtar of the town! (Mukhtar = local or tribal leader, not quite mayor)
Two captured soldiers killed by knife beheading:
- https://twitter.com/Souria4Syrians/status/771708690802085888 (graphic photos)
- http://www.syrianews.cc/nato-moderates-massacre-syrian-soldiers-beheaded/ Miri Wood, Syria News:
- The moderate FSA joined with another moderate gang called Jund al Aqsa to massacre 90 civilians in Hama countryside. After kidnapping two Syrian Arab Army soldiers, they beheaded them and shared their video with the world.
- Jund al Aqsa means “al Aqsa soldiers,” however this country is Syria, not Occupied Palestine. We Syrians refuse such hideous crimes to be committed against even our enemy. Such crimes should bring the world’s attention to stop supporting these cannibals and bring them to The Hague court — along with those who back and sponsor them. Instead, the double standards of terrorism hypocrisy is permitted to continue; what was a black day for Brussels is five years of “Arab Spring” for us Syrians.
Beheading is often done along sectarian lines. These were quite likely Alawi (Alawite) soldiers from among those captured.