HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Frankfurter Allgemeine Ze...

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 02:46 PM

 

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung confirms: Houla massacre committed by Syrian “rebels”

Last edited Mon Jun 18, 2012, 05:26 PM - Edit history (1)

http://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/arabische-welt/syrien-eine-ausloeschung-11784434.html (German)

Translated:

The Extermination

The Houla massacre was a turning point in the Syrian drama. There was great worldwide outrage when 108 people were killed there on May 25, among them 49 children. Calls for a military intervention to end the bloodshed became louder and the violence in Syria has since steadily escalated. Based on Arab news channel and the visit of UN observers on the following day, world opinion almost unanimously blamed the regular Syrian army and the Syrian regime's Shabiha militia for the massacre.

In the past week and based on reports from eyewitnesses the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung put this version into question. It reported that the civilians killed were Alawites and Shiites. They were deliberately killed by armed Sunnis in Taldou, a town in the plains of Houla, while fierce fighting between the regular army and Free Syrian Army was taking place at checkpoints around the village. Our report was taken up by many media outlets worldwide and was rejected by many as implausible. We have therefore to ask four questions: Why did the world opinion so far followed a different version? Why does the context of the civil war makes the doubted version plausible? Why are the witnesses credible? What other facts support the report?

Firstly, why world opinion follow a different version? It is undoubted that during the first months of the conflict, when the opposition did not yet possess weapons and was defenseless, all atrocities were done by the regime. The assumption is therefore obvious that this would continue. (Note: Here Mr. Hermann errs. There were reliable reports about deadly attacks against government forces by well armed perpetrators, allegedly foreign financed, as early as April 10 2011.) Furthermore, the Syrian state media enjoy no credibility. They use the standard labeling "armed terrorist gangs" since the beginning of the conflict. Thus no one believes them, when that is indeed the case. Two media outlets, the Arab news channel Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya have become key sources even as their owners, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, are two states which are actively involved in the conflict. Not without reason do we know the saying "In war, truth dies first."

Secondly, why is, in the context of the civil war, the doubted version plausible? During recent month many weapons have been smuggled into Syria and the rebels have long had mid-sized weaponry. Every day more than 100 people are killed in Syria with about equal numbers of dead on both sides. The militias that operate under the banner of the Free Syrian Army control wide parts of the provinces of Homs and Idlib and extend their dominion over other parts of the country. The increasing lawlessness has led to a wave of criminal kidnappings and also facilitates the settling of old disputes. If one looks through Facebook pages or talks to Syrians: Everyone knows everyday stories of "religious cleansing" - of people being killed just because they are Alawite or Sunni.

for further translation go here:

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2012/06/new-faz-piece-on-houla-massacre-the-extermination.html

Sunni rebels perpetrate "liquidation" of all minorities


snip


earlier article from same paper

http://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/neue-erkenntnisse-zu-getoeteten-von-hula-abermals-massaker-in-syrien-11776496.html (German)

Translated:

Syrian opposition members who are from that region were during the last days able to reconstruct the most likely sequence of events based on accounts from authentic witnesses. Their result contradicts the pretenses from the rebels who had accused regime allied Shabiha they alleged were acting under the protection of the Syrian army. As opposition members who reject the use of lethal force were recently killed or at least threatened, the opposition members [talking to me] asked that their names be withheld.
The massacre of Houla happened after Friday prayers. The fighting started when Sunni rebels attacked three Syrian army checkpoints around Houla. These checkpoints were set up to protect the Alawi villages around the predominantly Sunni Houla from assaults.

One attacked checkpoint called up units from the Syrian army, which has barracks some 1500 meters away, for help and was immediately reinforced. Dozens of soldiers and rebels were killed during the fighting around Houla which is said to have lasted about 90 minutes. During these fights the three villages were closed off from the outside world.

According to the witness accounts the massacre happened during this timeframe. Killed were nearly exclusively families from the Alawi and Shia minorities in Houla which has a more than 90% Sunni population. Several dozen members of one extended family, which had in recent years converted from Sunni to Shia believe, were slaughtered. Also killed were members of the Alawi family Shomaliya and the family of a Sunni member of parliament who was [by the rebels] considered a government collaborator. Members of the Syrian government confirmed this version but pointed out that the government committed to not publicly speak of Sunnis and Alawis. President al-Assad is Alawi while the opposition is overwhelmingly from the Sunni population majority.

snip

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

See also reports of other rebel autrocities in a leading Belgian newspaper

http://opinie.deredactie.be/2012/06/02/de-verschrikkingen-van-houla/

Dutch Middle East expert Martin Janssen tells how armed rebels murdered “entire Alawi families” in the village of Taldo in the Houla region.

and also a leading French nun in the area (cited in the original FAZ article above):

http://www.maryakub.org/Article_dernieres_nouvelles_de_Homs_et_Qousseir_1_avril_2012.html

In April, Mother Agnès-Mariam de la Croix of the St. James Monastery warned of rebel atrocities’ being repackaged in both Arab and Western media accounts as regime atrocities. She cited the case of a massacre in the Khalidiya neighborhood in Homs. Rebels gathered Christian and Alawi hostages in a building in Khalidiya and blew up the building with dynamite. They then attributed the crime to the regular Syrian army. “Even though this act has been attributed to regular army forces . . . , the evidence and testimony are irrefutable: It was an operation undertaken by armed groups affiliated with the opposition.”


49 replies, 9380 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 49 replies Author Time Post
Reply Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung confirms: Houla massacre committed by Syrian “rebels” (Original post)
stockholmer Jun 2012 OP
TheWraith Jun 2012 #1
leveymg Jun 2012 #12
tabatha Jun 2012 #2
tabatha Jun 2012 #3
BOG PERSON Jun 2012 #4
tabatha Jun 2012 #5
BOG PERSON Jun 2012 #7
tabatha Jun 2012 #8
BOG PERSON Jun 2012 #11
tabatha Jun 2012 #34
BOG PERSON Jun 2012 #38
NickB79 Jun 2012 #49
leveymg Jun 2012 #13
tabatha Jun 2012 #18
leveymg Jun 2012 #22
tabatha Jun 2012 #37
tabatha Jun 2012 #19
BOG PERSON Jun 2012 #21
leveymg Jun 2012 #24
tabatha Jun 2012 #27
leveymg Jun 2012 #46
Prometheus Bound Jun 2012 #23
tabatha Jun 2012 #28
tabatha Jun 2012 #6
HiPointDem Jun 2012 #9
tabatha Jun 2012 #10
HiPointDem Jun 2012 #14
tabatha Jun 2012 #16
leveymg Jun 2012 #15
tabatha Jun 2012 #17
leveymg Jun 2012 #26
tabatha Jun 2012 #29
leveymg Jun 2012 #33
tabatha Jun 2012 #39
BOG PERSON Jun 2012 #41
stockholmer Jun 2012 #42
HiPointDem Jun 2012 #47
stockholmer Jun 2012 #43
tabatha Jun 2012 #31
leveymg Jun 2012 #36
Prometheus Bound Jun 2012 #48
redgreenandblue Jun 2012 #20
tabatha Jun 2012 #25
leveymg Jun 2012 #30
tabatha Jun 2012 #32
leveymg Jun 2012 #35
tabatha Jun 2012 #40
leveymg Jun 2012 #45
Dokkie Jun 2012 #44

Response to stockholmer (Original post)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 02:53 PM

1. Uh huh. Sure.

Yeah, I mean the government is fucking shelling civilian neighborhoods, but no, it's really the REBELS who have a disregard for human life. Sure, that's believable propaganda!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TheWraith (Reply #1)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 04:01 PM

12. Most of the fatalities in Houla were not from shelling. It was house-to-house killing that followed

The real question is, who and why carried out these individual shootings. There now seems to be a credible western source that says that many if not most of the civilian victims were Shi'ia.

If you still believe in a black-white version of events, then you really aren't paying attention and haven't bothered to look behind the propaganda line that's being fed to you by western and Sunni Arab sources.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to stockholmer (Original post)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 03:02 PM

2. This has been proven to be false. I need to find the article.

There is no way in hell that the rebels would do that.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to stockholmer (Original post)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 03:14 PM

3. Statement from the People of Houla


We write this letter in the name of the residents of the four cities of Houla (Taldo, Kafarlaha, Taldahab, al-Tiba al-Gharbiya), in response to a disgusting slur published in the weekend in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung German newspaper, which shamefully presented lies as facts in the report written by reporter Rainer Hermann and published on June 7, 2012. The report cast the 108 people who died here at the hands of the regime as conspirators instead of victims. In almost four weeks since this dreadful act of savagery was brought to our village, we have been contacted by numerous reporters from many countries, all of whom have been in search of the truth. None of us recall being contacted by a German or non-German reporter that works for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. We most certainly have not been contacted by Rainer Hermann or any representative of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

The least that can be said about the claims of the newspaper that the families killed were Alawite and that the FSA is responsible for the massacre, is that they are ridiculous. Everyone who is involved with the Syrian issue knows that the four cities of Houla are exclusively Sunni, and all the families who lost members to this slaughter are identifiably Sunni.

To anyone foolish enough to doubt this we invite you to look at the Sunni burial rituals, which are there for all to see on videos posted on YouTube.

The FSA is an essential part of Houla. They are our brothers, fathers, uncles and sons. Any reporter suggesting that they are in fact the villains in this plot are woefully blind or lying.

To conclude we say without reservation that this reporter spoke to no one from Houla before compiling his disgusting report from Damascus. If he has spoken to anyone at all it is stooges put up by the regime in an attempt to deceive. Despite the renewed anguish that this reporter has caused our community and the shame he has brought to himself and his newspaper, we invite him to come to our village to interview survivors and meet the community he has defamed. We guarantee him protection from justifiably angry residents here but wonder whether he first has the courage to slip from the grip of his masters in Damascus.

http://syrianrevolutiondigest.blogspot.de/2012/06/revolutionary-imperative.html

Yep, they had the full story without interviewing anyone from Houla. Swallow the disgusting propaganda if you want. It is NOT truth-seeking.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tabatha (Reply #3)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 03:18 PM

4. "To anyone foolish enough to doubt this

we invite you to look at the Sunni burial rituals, which are there for all to see on videos posted on YouTube."

:/

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BOG PERSON (Reply #4)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 03:25 PM

5. Sunni burial rituals of the people butchered in Houla.

And the German press was invited to actually interview survivors and Sunnis from that area. They have not responded. Why not.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tabatha (Reply #5)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 03:37 PM

7. maybe they heard

about the rebels' habit of pushing unwitting journalists + neutral observers into battle zones to score propaganda points?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BOG PERSON (Reply #7)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 03:39 PM

8. What BS

Please see post #6.

The majority of the victims were from ONE family who were SUNNI, and after the massacre the survivors sought the protection of the FSA army.

What is going on in Syria is beyond vile and it is ALL by the Syrian regime.

EDIT

And habit means doping repeatedly. You are using right-wing thinking to smear all by the actions of a few.

That would be like saying it is the habit of the US military to rape and murder innocent Iraqi women (case went to trail) because one group did. The whole US military is a bunch of raping thugs based on your logic.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tabatha (Reply #8)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 03:48 PM

11. "right-wing thinking"?

huh? you're using guilt-by-association to accuse me of guilt-by-assocation. they set up both a journalist and an arab league observer to get shot at by the syrian army as a propaganda stunt. god knows what the real story is behind the killing of that other reporter, marie colvin.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BOG PERSON (Reply #11)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 05:34 PM

34. They - all of the FSA who are being crioticized by the US for not being one coherent opposition.

ONE = ALL ????

PUHLEEZE.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tabatha (Reply #34)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 05:45 PM

38. it happened more than once

The Free Syrian army set up a leading Western journalist and an Arab League observer to be killed by regime forces as it would help the opposition win the propaganda war, it has been claimed.

Alex Thomson, chief correspondent of the British Channel Four News, said that he was “quite sure” armed Syrian rebels deliberately sent him and his colleagues down a path protected by Syrian government snipers as "dead journos are bad for Damascus."

He later tweeted that an Arab League observer, brought in to monitor the situation on the ground, had been set up in a similar manner.


http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/free-syrian-army-set-journalist-be-killed

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BOG PERSON (Reply #38)

Mon Jun 18, 2012, 03:07 AM

49. Syrian Army snipers shoot at unarmed journalists, and the FSA is to blame?

What convoluted logic is that?

Plus, if the Army is willing to fire indiscriminately at foreign journalists, that makes it more believable they'd shoot unarmed women and children.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tabatha (Reply #3)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 04:08 PM

13. And that's surely a disinterested source of objective information. Surely.

By the way, I find it less than credible that there were no Shi'ia families living in Houla. I am prepared to accept the possibility that the massacre was carried out by Shi'ia militias, and that practically all the victims were Sunni. I've been telling you all along this has its source in historical Sunni-Shi'ia conflict and was going to devolve into a religious-based civil war, which you have repeatedly denied. I do wish you would finally acknowledge that as fact.

From what you post below, it appears that most of the victims were members of a single family. This raises the possibility that the source of animus against them may have been clan-based. In Somalia, it became impossible to make a distinction between clan-based violence mixed in with the political conflict carried out by competing militias.

The more the outside world intervenes into Syria, the more complex and deeper the sources of violence that get unleashed. This will surely blow-back, even if it doesn't escalate into a regional war. But, I've never heard any indication that outcome might bother you.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to leveymg (Reply #13)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 04:24 PM

18. "The more the outside world intervenes into Syria"

The opposition have been crying for months that they have been abandoned by the outside world.

As far as Assad is concerned, it is sectarian. Even the Shabiha have stated they they are killing Sunni women and children because they could one day kill the Shia. Yes, from the regime perspective, its is sectarian.

Form the perspective of the opposition is is NOT sectarian. Alawite soldiers have defected to the opposition. The opposition include all sects.

Assad is trying to make it sectarian, the opposition are NOT.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tabatha (Reply #18)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 04:48 PM

22. To you, it will always be black-white.

If one bothered to examine that statement, almost everything you just said is untrue, unsourced, or simply a gross exaggeration.

The civil war in Syria is essentially a religious sectarian conflict fueled by outside intervention. You can deny that all you want, but not many people agree with you.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink



Response to leveymg (Reply #13)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 04:29 PM

19. By the way, I find it less than credible that there were no Shi'ia families living in Houla

Why don't you base your opinion on FACTS and not what you WANT to believe.

Houla
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Houla Region or Houla Plain (Arabic: الحولة‎ al-Ḥūlāh) is a town made up of three villages in the Syrian Homs Governorate, north of the city of Homs. The villages, Taldou, Kafr Laha and Taldahab each have 25–30,000 inhabitants.[1] The settlement is essentially a Sunni town surrounded by Alawite villages.[2]

One of the villages, Taldou, (alternatively spelt "Teldo", "Taldau", "Taldo", "Taldaw", "Taldao"[3] is located in the outskirts of Houla.[4] The biggest village in the Houla region had over 20,000 inhabitants in 2004 and is called Kafr Laha, (Arabic: كفرلاها ).[5]

The 13th-century Syrian geographer Yaqut al-Hamawi visted al-Houla in 1226 during Ayyubid rule noting that the place belonged to Jund Hims ("military district of Homs".[6]

In May 2012, the two villages Taldou and al-Shoumarieh[7] were the location of a major massacre of civilians and continued fighting between the Free Syrian Army and the Syrian military.[3][4]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Houla

This is exactly what the HRW report stated - that Alawites from the surrounding villages came to Houla to massacre people, that were primarily from a Sunni family.

How much more fact do you need?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tabatha (Reply #19)


Response to tabatha (Reply #19)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 04:53 PM

24. From what HRW is reporting, the the Houla massacre appears to have been largely clan-based violence.

That is indicated by the report that most of the victims were members of one family.

I'm trying to point out that what has been unleashed is a complex, ancient blend of local, religious hatreds as well as political or state-based violence. It's way more complex and dangerous than seem to understand.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to leveymg (Reply #24)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 05:28 PM

27. Logic?

"That is indicated by the report that most of the victims were members of one family. "

Could the fact that most of that settlement consisted on one family was the reason that they were killed, and nothing else?

"The massacres also left a physical vacuum in neighbourhoods and villages. Surviving families, terrified for their children, left their homes and land behind and chose to live as refugees in safer areas. These territorial gains serve the regime, carving sections of Syria into havens exclusive to Assad regime supporters. As one activist from Hama said: "They are pushing us east of the Orontes River."

Such loaded claims seem outlandish until you map out the massacres and realise you can pinpoint the locations of future massacres in specific areas of Homs, Hama and Latakia. Another activist said: "We are 20 massacres away from an opposition-free Syrian coast.""

Written by a Syrian:

http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/comment/when-tanks-crush-children-syrians-must-ask-who-are-we

I have said this before and I'll say it again - much of what you post is based on supposition, wishful thinking and your biased interpretation of events.

I wish your posts included more quotes, links, etc to back up your claims.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tabatha (Reply #27)

Mon Jun 18, 2012, 12:04 AM

46. I told you long ago, tabatha, that this was going to become a genocidal religious war.

You denied it then, in your unrealistic assertion that this is somehow a local conflict, and now that ethnic cleansing has become reality, you use it as an excuse for further foreign intervention.

Funny, Tabatha, nobody ever accused me of not including enough links before.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tabatha (Reply #3)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 04:50 PM

23. Doesn't this guy's associates raise any warning flags for you? CIA, FBI, NSA, the neo-cons?

You have the audacity to call this truth-seeking?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Prometheus Bound (Reply #23)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 05:29 PM

28. Yes, because it is backed up by HRW reports

and Amnesty International reports.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to stockholmer (Original post)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 03:36 PM

6. The majority of those killed were from the Abdel Razzak family, SUNNIS

On May 28, Human Rights Watch released a report of interviews with survivors and area activists, in which all stated that the massacre was committed by pro-government gunmen in military fatigues. However, the witnesses were unable to say whether gunmen belonged to armed forces or Shabiha. HRW was also given a list of casualties, from which 62 victims were members of the Abdel Razzak family.[32]

Read all the information on this Wiki page.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Houla_massacre

Update: Human Rights Watch confirmed to me that the Abdel Razzak family are indeed Sunnis and that after the massacre those members of the family who survived sought the protection of the Free Syrian Army.

Even before the FAZ report appeared, rumors had started circulating that the victims of the massacre were converts to Shiism and thus HRW asked residents of Houla (including survivors from the Abdel Razzak family) about these allegations but they all denied them and said that all those killed from that family were Sunnis. The majority of the victims of the massacre were from the Abdel Razzak family.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to stockholmer (Original post)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 03:41 PM

9. interesting.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to HiPointDem (Reply #9)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 03:42 PM

10. A bunch of propaganda by Damascus.

EDIT:

Paul Woodward June 11, 2012 at 1:59 pm
There’s a substantive question here: were the majority of the victims of the Houla massacre Sunnis or not? HRW is not simply repeating opposition claims. They interviewed survivors and accumulated evidence from multiple sources showing that this was a massacre of Sunnis. Is there evidence that they were not Sunnis? HRW investigated the question about whether victims were converts to Shiism and concluded that they were not. The reports I have seen which contradict this conclusion do so while providing little to no evidence to back up their claim.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tabatha (Reply #10)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 04:10 PM

14. says the person who posts the daily war-mongering bulletins.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to HiPointDem (Reply #14)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 04:19 PM

16. Provide links to the daily warmongering bulletins.

If there were daily warmongering bulletins - then there should be over 500 of them by now. Thus they should be easy to find.

I have stated many times that the US should NOT get involved in Syria. Find a post where I have said they should get involved in Syria. You will not find one. I guarantee.

Lordy, lordy --- truth is so hard to find. Even here.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tabatha (Reply #10)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 04:18 PM

15. The official gov't report (for whatever it's worth) named the victims and some of the perpetrators

So, don't say there's a lack of specificity in conflicting reports, even if you choose not to accept their veracity.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to leveymg (Reply #15)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 04:20 PM

17. The official government report ???

Please provide a link.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tabatha (Reply #17)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 05:15 PM

26. Here are several links. Very different picture from what we've been getting from you.

http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/syria-anti-govt-groups-committed-houla-massacre/

Syria: anti-gov't groups committed Houla massacre

Thu, 31 May 2012 16:08 GMT

Source: reuters // Reuters

BEIRUT, May 31 (Reuters) - Syria said on Thursday a preliminary investigation showed that anti-government armed groups committed a massacre last week in Houla, in which 108 people were killed, with the aim of encouraging foreign military intervention against the Syrian government.

Brigadier General Qassem Jamal Suleiman, head of the investigation committee formed by the government, said the victims were families "who refused to oppose the government and were at odds with the armed groups".

He said many of the victims were relatives of a member of the Syrian parliament. (Reporting by Mariam Karouny; Editing by Kevin Liffey)




Marat Musin's Reports
https://spyghana.com/world-news/middle-east/syria-my-own-investigation-of-the-houla-massacre-1-of-3b/


http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/syria-not-at-fault-in-houla-massacre-government-probe-finds/2012/05/31/gJQAFRx54U_story.html
By Liz Sly, Published: May 31

BEIRUT — The Syrian government said Thursday that its preliminary investigation into the massacre of 108 civilians in the village of Houla proved that security forces were not responsible.

The announcement came as Houla residents reported being targeted by renewed mortar and heavy machine-gun fire from Syrian army positions, and activists said that as many as 15 factory workers had been executed at a Syrian army checkpoint.

Syrian activists have released new video allegedly shot on the same day of last week’s massacre in Houla, Syria. The footage shows large plumes of smoke rising above towns and villages and the sounds of explosions as shells hit buildings on deserted streets in the Houla region.

Syrian activists have released new video allegedly shot on the same day of last week’s massacre in Houla, Syria. The footage shows large plumes of smoke rising above towns and villages and the sounds of explosions as shells hit buildings on deserted streets in the Houla region.

The fresh reports of violence suggested that the recent surge in international condemnation of the Syrian government in the wake of the Houla killings has done little to quell the violence.

Brig. Gen. Qassem Jamal Suleiman, head of the investigative committee, said at a news conference in Damascus that 600 to 800 men from “armed terrorist groups” had carried out last Friday’s killings after attacking Syrian forces earlier in the day.



I don't know who has been telling the truth about this massacre - it may be a mix of all the above, and it may be something as simple as a blood feud between neighboring families. But, I know that intervention will just cause more bloodshed, at least in the short-run, and could have some very significant unintended consequences.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to leveymg (Reply #26)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 05:30 PM

29. Sorry. Syria lies.

I believe independent reports.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tabatha (Reply #29)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 05:34 PM

33. Probably so. But, so do the opposition and their backers.

And if you doubt that after everything that's happened since 2003, well, good luck to you.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to leveymg (Reply #33)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 05:45 PM

39. I do not believe Obama = Bush.

I do not believe Obama = Neocons.

And I do believe that Hillary has kept the US nose clean in this one.

Wikipedia, Wikileaks, HRW, Amnesty International and the UN are sources I rely on to come to the conclusions I do.



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tabatha (Reply #39)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 05:53 PM

41. what are Amnesty International and the UN's interpretation of events?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tabatha (Reply #39)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 06:38 PM

42. Neo-Con Cliff May: Syria Has Nothing to do with Humanitarian Concerns

 

FDD's Clifford May admits Syria is a proxy war with Iran and Russia, Neo-Cons in bed with Al Qaeda. Human rights merely a pretense.



Video: Clifford May begins by playing the "humanitarian card" but ends admitting the entire conflict is a proxy war with Iran, and by implication, Russia. Amid a myriad of lies directed at Iran, May proposes worldwide occupation is necessary to maintain American "influence in the long run," a notion that sounds suspiciously a lot like Empire.


http://landdestroyer.blogspot.se/2012/06/neo-con-syria-has-nothing-to-do-with.html

Foundation for Defense of Democracies' Clifford May in an article titled, "The Battle of Syria: Assad’s survival would be a victory for Iran — and a defeat for the US," openly dispels the commonly held notion among the West's remaining public support, that their meddling in Syria's ongoing strife has anything to do with humanitarian concerns. In fact, May openly states that defeating Syria as a proxy of Iran is far more important than "the dearth of sincere Muslim freedom fighters" or "humanitarian concerns."

May also makes mention of "strange bedfellows" in the current conflict, by quoting a fellow commentator who stated, "the McCain wing of the Republican party, and the rest of Washington’s progressive, Islamophilic clerisy” are aligning with “al-Qaeda emir Ayman al-Zawahiri and Muslim Brotherhood icon Yusuf al-Qaradawi.”

Aligning with Al Qaeda indeed, something that, while May claims is a spontaneous convergence of interests, was actually being planned as early as 2007, as stated in Seymour Hersh's article, "The Redirection" in the New Yorker. And just like May concedes now, Hersh painted a picture of US-Israeli-Saudi machinations to destroy Lebanon and Syria as a means of undermining and toppling Iran - and using sectarian extremists to do so. Hersh specifically mentioned that many of the militant groups the West was arming and staging for this operation now unfolding in Syria today, were affiliated with Al Qaeda. The 2007 article specifically states:

"To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda."


snip



Brookings Institution's Middle East Memo #21 "Assessing Options for Regime Change (.pdf)," makes no secret that the humanitarian "responsibility to protect" is but a pretext for long-planned regime change.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to stockholmer (Reply #42)

Mon Jun 18, 2012, 12:09 AM

47. +1

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tabatha (Reply #29)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 07:18 PM

43. 'Independent' as in the MI6/NATO/Foundation run Syrian Observatory for Human Rights?

 

Or how about Rifaat Assad, Bashar's butcherous uncle, exiled to a 10 million pound Mayfair townhouse in London, and used as a NATO tool based on his lust for a return to power? Rifaat was the commanding general during the 1982 Hama massacre that killed 35 to 40,000, and in 1983 tried to attempt a coup d' etat against Haffaz Assad. A real humanitarian he would make.
----------------

Syrian NGOs Working Directly With British Government

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.se/2011/12/syrian-ngos-working-directly-with.html

snip

It is quite clear that the "Syrian Observatory for Human Rights" based in London and receiving the entirety of their reports via "phone" & YouTube videos from Syria, is working in coordination with both US-funded NGOs and the British Foreign Minister. Considering that Hague similarly coddled Libyan opposition leaders in London while playing a key role in promoting the NATO attack on Libya and the subsequent installation of a BP oilman as "prime minister," Abdelrahman's consorting signifies a verbatim repeat of the now openly fraudulent and genocidal NATO campaign in Libya.

Just as in Libya, where "human rights activists" have now admitted to fabricating the evidence used by the International Criminal Court and the United Nations to rubber stamp Wall Street and London's designs for regime change, likewise the "evidence" from Syria has turned out to be a complete fraud, derived by opposition "witnesses" and compiled by a corporate D.C. think-tank director into a UN "human rights report."

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights serves as the exclusive source of "reports" coming out of Syria despite the fact that it is actually, entirely based in London. While it is verified that the NGOs it works in tandem with are US-funded, the Observatory itself fails to publish where its money comes from or the backgrounds of those that constitute its membership. We then, are expected to simply believe on face value a mysterious organization whose head meets with the British government and their unverified "witness accounts" as evidence to initiate military intervention at the cost of potentially millions of lives.

That the corporate-media has utterly failed to hold the Observatory accountable for its lack of transparency and parrots verbatim its absolutely unverified. undocumented reports as if they were factual gives us a new appreciation of the level on which we are being deceived across the Western world by the press.

It is already confirmed that NATO-backed Libyan terrorists are on their way to Syria to oversee the "Free Syria Army," led by Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) commander Abdul Belhaj. It should be noted that LIFG is currently listed by the US State Department as a foreign terrorist organization (#26). Shortly thereafter, two bombs detonated in Damascus killing 44 people. France24 reported that the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood's official website claimed responsibility for the bombings, confirming that indeed, the "protests" were armed militants all along.

snip

-------------------------------------------------------------

It is one giant multi-media psy-op by the empiric US/UK/NATO bankster-banked powers to spin Syria into the next Iraq/Libya type war theatre. Assad is certainly no saint, and runs a fairly repressive regime (although not as repressive as the US's 'good friends' in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, etc), but what will follow will be so far beyond anything he would have ever produced in Syria in terms of death, destruction, and untold misery as to take your breath away. The last thing Assad would ever want is enflame sectarian violence, as he oversees an incredibly complex, highy fragmented society that is held together with multiple layers of delicate balance. Enough already with these damn wars of Western empire.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to leveymg (Reply #15)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 05:32 PM

31. HRW named the entire family of victims.

Syria is brutally slaughtering people for merely demonstrating. They sentenced someone to death for talking to Al Jazeera. They threw a protester off the top of a building. You believe people who do such monstrous things?

Good grief. This is like Hitler support.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tabatha (Reply #31)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 05:40 PM

36. That's the one Sunni family.

I have not seen a complete list of the victims identified.

And, BTW, remember the old blogwarrior saying, "Whomever says 'Hitler' first, loses." Don't be flippant with that parallel.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tabatha (Reply #31)

Mon Jun 18, 2012, 01:13 AM

48. FFS, accusing people who disagree with you of being like Hitler supporters is way out of line.

This is as low as you can get.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tabatha (Reply #10)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 04:32 PM

20. lol. So the FAZ is a front-end for Damascus?

That's a good one.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to redgreenandblue (Reply #20)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 05:14 PM

25. They based their report on the report out of Damascus

which another poster referenced and for which I asked.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tabatha (Reply #25)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 05:32 PM

30. There are German and Russian reporters who claim to have independently confirmed this on the ground.

Last edited Mon Jun 18, 2012, 10:19 AM - Edit history (2)

I don't know about Murat Musin, but Ranier Hermann is a well-established German journalist, and FAZ is a major paper.

Murat Musin: https://spyghana.com/world-news/middle-east/syria-my-own-investigation-of-the-houla-massacre-1-of-3b/
See, in particular, http://spyghana.com/world-news/middle-east/first-interview-with-a-syrian-eyewitness-of-houla-massacre-another-uswest-false-flag/

And, re: follow-up to the FAZ article. Hermann cites additional sources here, including a named Dutch journalist and the testimony of of an Order of Nuns in the area:

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/jun2012/houl-j16.shtml

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung confirms: Houla massacre committed by Syrian “rebels”
By Clara Weiss
16 June 2012

On June 13 journalist Rainer Hermann confirmed his earlier report in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung refuting the official version of the Houla massacre in Syria.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to leveymg (Reply #30)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 05:33 PM

32. German and Russian reporters never went there - despite being invited.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tabatha (Reply #32)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 05:35 PM

35. Source that, please.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to leveymg (Reply #35)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 05:49 PM

40. Sure, with pleasure.

Updated | Thursday, 8:43 a.m. Just hours after a correspondent for Britain’s Channel 4 News filed a video report from the Syrian village of Houla, where dozens of children were killed in a massacre last week, Syria’s ambassador to the United Nations made it clear that his government would not be swayed by witness accounts of the killings gathered by journalists.

Speaking to another reporter for the same British channel at the U.N. headquarters in New York on Wednesday, the ambassador, Bashar Jaafari, called the massacre a “heinous and appalling crime.” But he insisted that there was no need for journalists to go to the village and gather information independently to determine who was responsible for the killings, since the Syrian government was conducting its own investigation.

So, as Syrian officials have throughout the uprising that started 15 months ago, Mr. Jaafari acknowledged that an attack had taken place, but also repeatedly suggested that it would be irresponsible for anyone who is not in Syria now to draw conclusions about who was responsible for the deaths. Since most foreign journalists continue to be barred from the country by the government and information provided by activists therefore cannot be independently verified, the authorities have helped to foster the idea that the truth in Syria is almost unknowable.

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/30/syrias-government-sees-no-role-for-journalism-in-massacre-investigation/

If that is not biased investigation, I have no idea what is. If they had no problem with the truth, they would have invited journalists. But they are barred, despite having being invited by the Houla survivors.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tabatha (Reply #40)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 09:38 PM

45. You didn't answer the question. What is the source for your last comment

Last edited Mon Jun 18, 2012, 09:00 AM - Edit history (1)

that the German and Russian articles aren't original reporting but are entirely based upon the Syrian Gov't report? We know that there were international authorities there afterwards - there are photos of men with UN coveralls inspecting body bags after the massacre. There's no question there was a massacre and foreigners there in the days after the event.

There's no question that the Syrian gov't was responsible for some of the casualties with shelling of FSA positions in the towns. There's no question that almost seventy members of one particular Sunni family were killed, and it appears to have been a systematic killing. There are also conflicting reports about a massacre of Shi'ia families who lived near a police station. But, what isn't resolved is was this the single-source gov't massacre it's been made out to be, or a series of them by by both sides? Was the Sunni family killed because they are allied with the SLA, or is there a clan-based feud, an ancient blood vendetta, that is now being played out by various militia in the fog of the chaos of civil war being fed from outside Syria?

Answer the question - why do you think it's impossible that there are members of the international press who have been allowed into the area, and why do you automatically dismiss their reporting? If they rely upon local stringers, why is this not legitimate? Every other news organization does that. I don't think you can answer these questions in a meaningful way, because I don't think anyone has that information about this incident. Why do you pretend you do?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to stockholmer (Original post)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 08:05 PM

44. Thanks for posting this info

 

I have always known that the FSA is up to no good and that there was no way the Syrian army will be committing genocide on its own supporters. You have to ask yourselves, who benefits from this massacre? Not the Syrian govt for sure.

Again thanks for posting this

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread