Syria activists report 'massacre' near Damascus

Activists say they found bodies of at least 200 people who appear to have been killed execution style.

By REUTERS
August 26, 2012 01:42
3 minute read.
Mother of Amar Ali Amero at his funeral in Azaz

Syria mother crying (R370). (photo credit: REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

AMMAN - The bodies of at least 200 people were found in a town close to Damascus on Saturday, according to activists who said most appeared to have been killed by Syrian troops "execution style."

The deaths would bring the toll from an offensive by Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces on Daraya, a working class Sunni Muslim town on the southwestern edge of Damascus, to 270, according to a tally by opposition activists in the capital.



Abu Kinan, an activist in Daraya, said most of the victims were found in houses and basements of buildings and had been shot by troops conducting house-to-house raids.

Due to restrictions on non-state media, it was impossible to independently verify the accounts.

"In the last hour, 122 bodies were discovered and it appears that two dozen died from sniper fire and the rest were summarily executed by gunshots from close range," Kinan said.

"Assad's army has committed a massacre in Daraya."

The Daraya Coordination Committee activists' group said in a statement that among those found with shots to the head were eight members of the al-Qassaa family: three children, their father and mother and three other relatives.

Click for full JPost coverage

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Their bodies were found in a residential building near Mussab bin Umeir mosque in Daraya, the group said.

Video released by activists showed numerous bodies of young men side-by-side at the Abu Suleiman al-Darani mosque in Daraya, many with what looked like gunshot wounds to the head and chest.

"A massacre," said the voice of the man who appeared to be taking the footage.

"You are seeing the revenge of Assad's forces from the people of Daraya: more than 150 bodies on the floor of this mosque."

Mohammad Hur, another activist in Daraya, said 36 bodies of young men were found in the morning in one building, along with several badly wounded people who could not be transferred to hospitals in the area because the army had occupied them.

"We are in the process of identifying the bodies and documenting how they died. Initial evidence shows that they were mostly shot at close range in the face, neck and head, execution style," Hur said by telephone.

"Female members from at least two families say that soldiers shot their brothers in front of them," he added.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is based in Britain and headed by dissident Rami Abdelrahman, said it had received reports of dozens of bodies found in Daraya, but it had not yet ascertained how they were killed.

The army overran Daraya, one of a series of large, mostly run-down Sunni Muslim towns that surround Damascus, on Saturday after three days of heavy bombardment that killed 70 people, according to opposition sources and residents who said most of the dead were civilians.

The attack on Daraya was part of an army campaign to regain control of the outskirts of the capital, a mixture of built up areas and farmland where rebels had regrouped and relaunched guerrilla attacks on Assad's forces.

Assad belongs to Syria's minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam that has dominated power in Syria for the last five decades. Members of the country's Sunni majority are at the forefront of the uprising.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
October 16, 2018
The curious case of ‘woke’ Ahmadinejad

By LAHAV HARKOV