Wednesday, June 13, 2012

213 The Houla massacre, Syria.

this blog:

On 25 may, 3 weeks ago,  108 people were killed in Houla (*) a town that is for 90% Sunni (**).

What does the world know about it? And is that the truth?

This blog:

What is the picture that we get from our Media?

It is that the massacre was done by Assad's people.
The rebels were the first ones to tell the Media about the massacre, and they accused Assad.

( I will say Assad, where I should say Sabiha, a militia group loyal to Assad.)

But in the 3 weeks since then, other information came from Syria which accused the Rebels of the atrocities. See below: Other Sources.

So if we want to know the truth, we will have to gather all available information and then decide whom to believe.

I believe that the Rebels did it.
Because they were the first to tell the world about the massacre, and they were in Houla, they should be able to tell the true story immediately. But they had to change their story, when it was no longer compatible with the facts.
First they said the people died from shelling etc.  but when journalists saw that throats were slashed, the rebels had to change their story.

This lowers the credibility of the rebels.

Yet, the whole world, and the UN etc. still believe the rebels.( See wikipedia )

I believe that the destruction of Syria fits in some well documented plans ( Yinon Plan ; 'Take out plan")
I believe that the events resemble the way other countries were 'taken out' in the past.

Journalist Michel Collon has described this procedure in his book 'Liars Poker', which was about  first  demonising and  then the destruction of Serbia :

Michel Collon documents the use of US public relations agencies to help mold public opinion in favor of the Croatian and Muslim nationalists and as media warfare against the Serbs. In a striking way, Collon shows how “a massacre happens unexpectedly each time certain Western powers plan to escalate measures against the Serbs.”(9) He proposes what could be considered as the template used to create the climate of public opinion justifying the escalation of the attack on Yugoslavia.
Here are the components of the template he presents(10):
Step 1: Preparation of a more or less hidden agenda
Step 2: Images that shock Public Opinion
Step 3: Groundless and Wild Media Accusations Without Investigation
Step 4: Western Objectives are Achieved
Step 5: Corrections to Erroneous News Reporting: Too Late and No Impact
Collon argues that shocking events were “staged” for the international media so as to make possible a planned escalation of the attack on Serbia. The Houla massacre bears a striking resemblance to the incidents that Collon refers to in the 1990s that set a basis for the escalation of the aggression against the Serbian government.

( From Ronda Hauben)  ( see also blog 210)

Other sources

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung ( 7 june)
this article:

A journalist of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung gave a different version of the Houla ( They write Hula) massacre on 7 june. ( FAZ)

The German journalist Rainer Herman writes from Damascus:   ( Translation in red)

Syrische Oppositionelle, die aus der Region kommen, konnten in den vergangenen Tagen aufgrund glaubwürdiger Zeugenaussagen den wahrscheinlichen Tathergang in Hula rekonstruieren. Ihr Ergebnis widerspricht den Behauptungen der Rebellen, die die regimenahen Milizen Schabiha der Tat beschuldigt hatten. Sie sollen unter dem Schutz der syrischen Armee gehandelt haben. Da zuletzt Oppositionelle, die den Einsatz von Gewalt ablehnen, ermordet oder zumindest bedroht worden sind, wollen die Oppositionellen ihre Namen nicht genannt sehen.

People of the Syrian Opposition, who are from that region around Hula, were, in the past days,  able to reconstruct what had happened in Hula. They did this with the help of witnesses that they thought were reliable.  
Their version of the event contradicts the statements made by the rebels, who said that the Shabiba militia ( loyal to Assad) were responsable for the atrocities.  
These Shabiba militia had acted under protection from Assad's army. That is what the rebels say.

The sources of Rainer Herman don't want to give their names, as some members of the Opposition who disapprove of violence, have been killed. ( By other members of the opposition, I presume.  JV)

Das Massaker von Hula hatte sich nach dem Freitagsgebet ereignet. Die Kämpfe setzten ein, als sunnitische Rebellen die drei Straßenkontrollen der syrischen Armee um Hula herum angriffen. Die Kontrollpunkte haben die Aufgabe, die alawitischen Dörfer um das überwiegend sunnitische Hula vor Anschlägen zu schützen.

The massacre in Hula happened after the friday prayers.  The fights began when Sunni rebels attacked the three roadblocks that are around Hula. These roadblocks are effectuated by the Syrian army. These roadblocks must protect three Alawi villages that are situated just outside the Sunni town of Hula ... protect them from Sunni attacks coming from Hula. 

Eine angegriffene Straßenkontrolle rief Einheiten der syrischen Armee zu Hilfe, die 1500 Meter entfernt eine Kaserne unterhält und umgehend Verstärkung schickte. Bei den Kämpfen um Hula, die 90 Minuten gedauert haben sollen, wurden Dutzende Soldaten und Rebellen getötet. Während der Kämpfe waren die drei Dörfer von Hula von der Außenwelt abgeriegelt.

Men of one of the attacked roadblocks asked for help from the Syrian army, who reside in baracks only 1500 meter further on.  The help was sent immediately. These fights around Hula lasted about 90 minutes and  in total 12 soldiers and rebels were killed. During these 90minutes of fighting the three villages were isolated from the outside world. 

Nach Angaben der Augenzeugen habe sich das Massaker in dieser Zeit ereignet. Getötet worden seien nahezu ausschließlich Familien der alawitischen und schiitischen Minderheit Hulas, dessen Bevölkerung zu mehr als neunzig Prozent Sunniten sind. So wurden mehrere Dutzend Mitglieder einer Familie abgeschlachtet, die in den vergangenen Jahren vom sunnitischen zum schiitischen Islam übergetreten sei. Getötet wurden ferner Mitglieder der alawitischen Familie Shomaliya und die Familie eines sunnitischen Parlamentsabgeordneten, weil dieser als Kollaborateur galt. 

Eyewitnesses say that the massacre happened in these 90 minutes.  Only members from  Alawi (**) and Shii families  were killed, by Sunni killers. One family had recently changed from Sunni to Shii religion, and more than 20  members of this family were killed. 
Also members of the Schomalia family ( Alawi's) were killed, and members of a Sunni member of Parliament, as he was considered a traitor. 

Unmittelbar nach dem Massaker hätten die Täter ihre Opfer gefilmt, sie als sunnitische Opfer ausgegeben und die Videos über Internet verbreitet. Vertreter der syrischen Regierung bestätigten zwar diese Version, verwiesen aber darauf, dass sich die Regierung verpflichtet habe, öffentlich nicht von Alawiten und Sunniten zu sprechen. Staatspräsident Baschar al Assad gehört den Alawiten an, die Opposition wird überwiegend von der sunnitischen Bevölkerungsmehrheit getragen.

The perpetrators have filmed the victioms directly after the killings and said that they were Sunni victims and had put the video on the internet. 
Members of the Syrian governement did indeed confirm this version of the story, but noted that the government had committed itself to never make a distinction between Alawi or Sunni.
( I understand that it is kind of unlawful for the government to use the words Alawi and Sunni, which, if true, made it impossible for the government to tell the real story... (??) J.Verheul)
Assad is an Alawi, and th Opposition is mainly Sunni. 


13 june article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeiting. This article:


Syria: ANNA News Journalist Marat Musin about Houla Massacre

Posted: 2012/06/07
From: Source
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The following text is the translation of a blog entry of the ANNA News journalist Marat Musin, who was in the region of al-Houla (Houla/Hula – near the Syrian city of Homs) last week and who has own experiences how the horrible “Houla massacre” in Syria happened and who is behind the violent and horrible massacre near Homs.
The translation about the own investigations of the journalist Marat Musin, together with Olga Kulygina, about the massacre in al-Houla (al-Houleh/al-Hula) was made with best intentions, you can find the original text of Marat Musin (ANNA News) about the horrible events in Syria at the end of the translation.
As you can see, the explanations and descriptions about the “Hula massacre” (Houla massacre) differ, but considering that Marat Musin has been near al Rastan and the location of the horrible massacre, which was not the only massacre, carried out by armed groups last week in Syria, the question remains:
Why is the UN Human Rights Council not interested in using the information of this journalist Marat Musin and Olga Kulygina for the so-called investigations of the “Houla massacre”, but relies on the typical sources like phone calls with the Syrian opposition members and so on (more information)?
Translation of the information / article by Marat Musin:

АNNА: Material from my own investigation of al-Houla

In the weekend of May 25, 2012, at about 2 PM, big groups of fighters attacked and captured the town of Al – Hula of the Homs province. Al-Hula is made up of three regions: the village of Taldou, Kafr Laha and Taldahab, each of which had previously been home for 25-30 thousand people.
The town was attacked from the north-east by groups of bandits and mercenaries, numbering up to 700 people. The militants came from Ar-Rastan (the Brigade of al-Farouk from the Free Syrian Army led by the terrorist Abdul Razak Tlass and numbering 250), from the village of Akraba (led by the terrorist Yahya Al-Yousef), from the village Farlaha, joined by local gangsters, and from Al Hula.
The city of Ar-Rastan has long been abandoned by most civilians. Now Wahhabis from Lebanon dominate the scene, fueled with money and weapons by one of the main orchestrators of international terrorism, Saad Hariri, who heads the anti-Syrian political movement “Tayyar Al-Mustaqbal” (“Future Movement”). The road from Ar-Rastan to Al-Hula runs through Bedouin areas that remain mostly out of control of government troops, which made the militant attacks on Al Hula a complete surprise for the Syrian authorities.
When the rebels seized the lower checkpoint in the center of town and located next to the local police department, they began to sweep all the families loyal to the authorities in neighboring houses, including the elderly, women and children. Several families of the Al-Sayed were killed, including 20 young children and the family of the AbdulRazak. Many of those killed were “guilty” of the fact that they dared to chang from Sunnis to Shiites. The people were killed with knives and shot at point blank range. Then they presented the murdered to the UN and the international community as victims of bombings by the Syrian army, something
that was not verified by any marks on their bodies.
The idea that the UN observers had heard artillery fire against Al-Houla in the Safir Hotel in Homs at night… I consider nothing short of a bad joke. 50 kilometers lie between Homs and Al-Houla. What kind of tanks or guns has this range? Yes, there was intensive gunfire in Homs until 3 am, including heavy weapons. But, to give an example, on the night of Monday to Tuesday shooting was due to an attempt by law enforcement to regain control for a security corridor along the road to Damascus, Tarik Al-Sham.
After a visual inspection of Al Hula it is impossible to find traces of any of fresh destruction, bombing and shelling. During the day, several attacks by gunmen are made on the last remaining soldiers at the Taldou checkpoint. Militants used heavy weapons and snipers are active from among professional mercenaries.
Note that once, the exactly same provocation failed at Shumar (Homs) and 49 militants and women and children were killed, when it was organized just before a visit of Kofi Annan. The last provocation was immediately exposed as soon as it became known that the bodies of the previously kidnapped belonged to Alawites. This provocation also contained serious inconsistencies – the names of those killed were from people loyal to the
authorities, there were no traces of bombings, etc.
However, the provocation machine is running all the same. Today, the NATO countries directly threat to bomb Syria, and a simultaneous expulsion of Syrian diplomats has begun … As of today, there are no troops within the city of Al Hula, but there are regularly heard bursts of automatic fire, nonetheless. Moreover, it is unclear whether the militants are fighting with each other, or whether supporters Bashar al-Assad are being cleaned out.
Militants opened fire on virtually everyone who tries to get closer to the border town. Before us a UN convoy was fired upon and two armored jeeps of the UN observers were damaged, when they tried to drive up to an army checkpoint in Tal Dow.
In the attack on the convoy a twenty-year-old terrorist was spotted. The fire was directed on the unprotected slopes of the first jeep, the back door of the second armored car was hooked by a fragment. There are wounded among those accompanying. A wounded soldier: “The next day, UN observers came to us at the checkpoint and as soon as they arrived, gunmen opened fire on them. And three of us were injured. One was wounded in the leg, the second – in the back, and I was hit in the hip.
When the observers came, they could hear a woman who was standing next to them and cried, the woman stood and pleaded the observers’ help – to protect her from the bandits. When I was wounded, the observers watched as I fell, but none of them tried to help. Our checkpoint no longer exists. There are no civilians any longer in Taldou, only militants remain. Our relationship to the locals was excellent. They are very good to us; they called on the army to enter Taldou. We were attacked by snipers.”
Unfortunately, many of the militants are professional snipers. 100-200 meters from our group TV-crew, militants attacked a BMP that went to replace soldiers at the checkpoint. During this a soldier – draftee got a concussion and slight tangential wound in the head by a sniper bullet. Looking at the pierced Kevlar helmet, it seems he did not even realize that he survived by a miracle.
Snipers kill up to 10 soldiers and policemen at checkpoints each day. It is true, that the daily casualties of law enforcement agencies in Homs were dozens of victims daily. But, unfortunately, at 10 am, six dead soldiers were taken to the morgue. Most were killed by a shot in the head. And the day had just begun…
So, these are these names of those were killed by snipers in the early morning hours of May 29:
1. Sergeant Ibrahim Halyuf
2. Sergeant Salman Ibrahim
3. Policeman Mahmoud Danaver
4. Conscript Ali Daher
5. Sergeant Wisam Haidar
6. the dead soldier’s family name could not be clarified
The bandits even fired an automatic burst on our group of journalists, although it was clear that this is a normal filming crew, consisting of unarmed civilians.
After Friday prayers at about 2 PM on May, 25th a group from the Al Aksh clan started firing on a checkpoint of law enforcement officers from mortars and rocket-propelled grenades. Returning fire from a BRDM hit the mosque, and this was the very aim to lead to a bigger provocation.
Then, two groups of militants led by the terrorist Nidal Bakkour and Al-Hassan from the Al Hallak clan, supported by a unit of mercenaries, attacked the upper checkpoint on the eastern outskirts of the city. At 15.30 the upper checkpoint was taken, and all the prisoners executed: a Sunni conscript had his throat cut, while Abdullah Shaui (Bedouin) of Deir-Zor was burned alive.
During the attack on the upper checkpoint in the east the armed men lost 25 people, which were then submitted to the UN observers, together with the 108 dead civilians – “victims of the regime”, allegedly killed by bombing and shelling of the Syrian army. As for the remaining 83 bodies, including 38 young children, they were from the families that were executed by militants, all loyal to the government of Syria.

Interview with a law enforcement officer: “My name is Al Khosam, I am a law enforcement officer. I served in the village of Taldou, the district of Al-Hula, a province of Homs. On Friday, our checkpoint was attacked by a large group of militants. There were thousands.
Q: How do you protect yourself?
Answer: A simple weapon. We had 20 people, we called support, and when they were coming for us, I was wounded, and regained consciousness in the hospital. The attackers were from Ar-Rastan and Al-Hula. Insurgents control Taldou. They burned houses and killed people by the families, because they were loyal to the government. Raped the women and killed the children.”
Interview with a wounded soldier: “I am Ahmed Mahmoud al Khali. I’m from the city Manbej. Was wounded in Taldou. I come from a support group that came to the aid of our comrades, who were stationed at the checkpoint.
Militants destroyed two infantry fighting vehicles and one BRDM standing at our checkpoint. We moved out to Taldou in a BMP, to pick up our wounded comrades from the checkpoint within the city. We drove them back in the BMP, and I filled in their place.
And after a while the UN observers came. They came to us, we led them to the homes of families who were cut by thugs.
I saw a family of three brothers and their father in the same room. In another room we found dead young children and their mother. And another one- an old man killed in this house. Only five men, women and children. The woman raped and shot in the head, I covered her with a blanket. And the commission had seen them all. They put them in the car and drove away. I do not know where they took them, probably for burial.”
A resident of Taldou on the roof of the police department:
“On Friday afternoon I was home. Hearing the shots, I came out to watch what was happening and saw that the fire came from the north side, towards the location of army checkpoint. As the army did not respond, they started to approach the homes, were subsequently the family was killed. When the army started to return fire, they used the women and children as human shields and continued firing at the checkpoint. When the army began answered, they fled. After that, the army took the surviving women and children and brought them into safety. At this time, Al Jazeera aired pictures and said that the Army committed the massacre at Al Hula.
In fact, they killed the civilians and children in Al-Hula. The bandits did not allow anyone to carry out their work. They steal everything that they can get their hands on: wheat, flour, oil and gas. Most of the fighters are from the city of Ar Rastan.”
After they captured the city, they carried the bodies of their dead comrades, as well as the bodies of people and the children they killed to the mosque. They carried the bodies in KIA pickups. On May, 25th, at around 8 PM, the corpses were already in the mosque. The next day at 11 o’clock in the morning the UN observers arrived at the mosque.
To exert pressure on public opinion and change the positions of Russia and China, texts and subtitles in Russian and Chinese languages were prepared in advance, reading: “Syria – Homs – the city of Hula. A terrible massacre perpetrated by the armed forces of the Syrian regime against civilians in the town of Hula. Dozens of victims and their number is growing, mainly women and children, brutally killed by indiscriminate bombing of the CITY.”
Two days later, on May 27, after the residents’ stories and video recordings made showed that the facts do not support the allegation of shelling and bombing, the bandits’ videos had undergone significant changes. At the end of the text appeared this postscript: “And some were killed with knives.”
Marat Musin, Olga Kulygina, Al-Hula, Syria
The translation is based on the impressive work of Soldatovich and Elena. Thank you very much for the tanslation of this text about the recent events near the Syrian city of Homs and in the area of al-Houlah.


Here is more information from the Belgian priest of whom I made a blog earlier, here.


by willyvandamme
Een immens triest verhaal dat je in onze media of bij de VN nooit zult horen en komende deze namiddag van pater Daniel Maes uit de abdij van Dar Meir Yakub in Qara. Gebeurtenissen die plaats hebben met de volle steun van onze regering, incluis ook Pax Christi, Broederlijk Delen, de Groenen en Ecolo. Dit heet voor hen de strijd voor de mensenrechten!
Enkele religieuzen in de binnenkoer van het heropgebouwde klooster van Dar Meir Yakub in Qara.
1. In de christelijke wijk van Homs zijn zware gevechten bezig. Gewapende opposanten hebben 300 christenen, vooral ouderen en gehandicapten die niet weg konden, gegijzeld en ze willen ze uitleveren tegen de vrije doortocht van 400 van hun gezinnen maar op voorwaarde dat hun identiteit niet wordt gecontroleerd! Van de 80.000 christenen zijn er nog 'n 400 over.
2. Deze morgen hebben de christenen van Qousseir een ultimatum gekregen dat over 6 dagen afloopt. Gewapende opposanten zijn de kerk binnengedrongen om deze te ontheiligen en zijn met de klokken gaan luiden. Zo iets is hier altijd gezien als een extreme vorm van heiligschennis.
3. Hier in Qara is geen veiligheid meer. De oppositie eist dat de winkeliers hun winkel sluiten. Er worden van hier uit goederen aan mensen in nood verdeeld. Deze morgen heeft moeder Agnes-Mariam dit gedaan langs het Rode Kruis tot grote woede van de oppositie die zegt dat ze geen bescherming meer zullen geven voor het klooster. Er heerst een totale willekeur.
Qara is gelegen nabij de stad Homs in het westen van Syrië, niet ver van Libanon.
Willy Van Damme
willyvandamme | 13 juni 2012


'De verschrikkingen van Houla

this article:

Moeder brengt haar gehandicapte zoon buiten Houla.
Opiniestuk door de arabist Martin Janssen vanuit Damascus, Syrië
Enkele dagen na het afschuwelijke bloedbad in het Syrische plaatsje Houla werd de elfjarige Ali al-Sayed plotseling een beroemdheid in de Arabische media. Toen gewapende mannen het huis van zijn familie in Houla binnenvielen en alle leden van zijn familie in koelen bloede vermoordden, liet de kleine Ali zich eveneens op de grond vallen. Het bloed van zijn dode moeder, die naast hem lag, kleurde zijn kleren rood. Dit redde hem zijn leven omdat de moordenaars dachten dat Ali ook dood was. Een huiveringwekkend beeld.
Opvallend is dat de elfjarige Ali de moordenaars van zijn familie tot tweemaal toe omschrijft als “ mannen met kaalgeschoren hoofden en lange baarden”. Dit is bepaald geen omschrijving die van toepassing is op soldaten van het Syrische leger maar lijkt eerder te wijzen in de richting van gewelddadige jihadisten zoals we hun beelden eerder zagen in Afghanistan en Irak.
Nadat vrijdag 25 mei het bloedbad in Houla voorpagina nieuws werd ging er een kreet van ontzetting door de wereld. Onmiddellijk werd het Syrische regime verantwoordelijk gesteld alhoewel generaal Robert Mood, het hoofd van de VN-commissie in Syrië, dit uitdrukkelijk niet deed. Sinds Houla wordt er steeds openlijker gesproken over een militaire interventie in Syrië die onvoorspelbare gevolgen zal krijgen. De situatie is uiterst explosief wat het dringend noodzakelijk maakt met een koel hoofd een aantal zaken op een rijtje te zetten.
Een dezer dagen zal een rapport van de Human Rights Council van de Verenigde Naties het licht zien over het bloedbad in Houla. Deze Council heeft een speciale commissie van drie personen samengesteld om te onderzoeken wat er op die bloedige 25e mei in Houla precies heeft plaatsgevonden. Rupert Colville, de woordvoerder van deze Council, liet weten dat dit rapport over Houla gebaseerd zal zijn op drie bronnen: telefoongesprekken met oppositiegroeperingen binnen Syrië én ontmoetingen met leden van de Syrische oppositie in zowel Turkije als Genève. De vraag lijkt hier gerechtvaardigd of deze eenzijdigheid van bronnen niet al bij voorbaat de uitkomst van het onderzoek suggereert. Rupert Colville lijkt dit zelf te bevestigen doordat hij alvast liet weten dat “ al onze bronnen de verantwoordelijkheid voor het bloedbad bij de Shabihha leggen”.
De Shabihha zijn gewapende milities die volgens de Syrische oppositie vooral bestaan uit Alawitische jongeren die door het Syrische regime worden betaald. Het blijkt echter dat er zich onder de 108 slachtoffers in Houla ook een behoorlijk aantal Alawitische vrouwen en kinderen bevond. Wat vraagtekens zet bij de veronderstelling dat de Shabihha verantwoordelijk zouden zijn geweest voor het bloedbad.
Het verhaal rond de omstandigheden waaronder dit bloedbad plaatsvond veranderde trouwens ook. In eerste instantie werd gemeld dat het Syrische leger twaalf uur lang met tanks het plaatsje Houla zou hebben beschoten om een anti-regime demonstratie uiteen te drijven. Tijdens dit bombardement waren de 108 slachtoffers in Houla gevallen. Later bleek echter dat vrijwel alle slachtoffers om het leven waren gebracht door messteken of een kogel, die van dichtbij door het hoofd werd geschoten. Het Free Syrian Army begon toen op Arabische satellieten het bericht te verspreiden dat “ de Shabihha moordend van huis tot huis waren getrokken”. Het is merkwaardig hoe weinig oog de internationale gemeenschap heeft voor deze twee totaal tegenstrijdige verklaringen.
De afgelopen dagen hebben drie verschillende bronnen op basis van getuigenverklaringen meer informatie naar buiten gebracht over het drama in Houla dat geplaatst dient te worden tegen de achtergrond van de totale anarchie die vooral in de regio Homs-Hama lijkt te heersen. Houla is gelegen tussen Hama en de Libanese grens.
Fides, een rooms-katholieke organisatie, liet op 30 mei weten dat grote groepen Syrische Alawieten en christenen naar Libanon vluchten om te ontkomen aan het geweld van gewapende bendes dat zich speciaal tegen hen richt. Christenen vluchten omdat deze gewapende bendes de christenen zien als “ beschermd door het regime van Bashar al-Assad.”
Ze zijn het slachtoffer van een “ oneindige reeks van kidnappingen en martelingen omdat ze weigerden zich aan te sluiten bij de revolutionairen”. Fides meldt dat de stroom van christelijke vluchtelingen uit Syrië na het bloedbad in Houla is aangezwollen omdat de christenen voortdurend doelwit zijn geworden van wraakacties.
De tweede bron betreft het klooster in Qara dat eveneens in de regio Homs-Hama ligt. Op mijn uitdrukkelijk verzoek stuurde het klooster mij alle informatie toe die men had weten te verzamelen met betrekking tot de gebeurtenissen in Houla. Het klooster schrijft “ dat onze berichtgeving is gebaseerd op verhalen van plaatselijke ooggetuigen en tot doel heeft de burgerbevolking te beschermen die door het regime in de steek wordt gelaten en is overgeleverd aan terroristische verschrikkingen”.
Velen hebben sinds 25 mei bescherming gezocht in de buurt van het klooster. Deze ooggetuigen, afkomstig uit dorpjes in de buurt van Houla, stemmen overeen in hun verklaring dat het Syrische leger op 25 mei jongsleden volstrekt afwezig was in de hele regio. Rastan en Saan zijn twee plaatsen die volledig onder controle staan van het Free Syrian Army. Gewapende rebellen, wier aantal wordt geschat op tussen de 700 en 800 personen, zijn op donderdag 24 mei richting Hama getrokken waar ze het al-Watani ziekenhuis aanvielen en de bewakers doodden. Ooggetuigen verklaren “ Vervolgens zijn ze het ziekenhuis binnengevallen waar de gewapende rebellen alle aanwezigen hebben vermoord en nadat ze de lijken naar buiten hadden gesleept hebben ze het ziekenhuis in brand gestoken. Op video’s is te zien dat de rebellen de lijken hadden gewikkeld in lakens die het Arabische opschrift ‘ministerie van gezondheid’ hadden”.
In Tal Daw, een dorpje in de buurt van Houla, hebben deze gewapende opstandelingen vervolgens hele Alawitische families vermoord. Al deze lijken werden vervolgens in Houla voor de moskee verzameld. Het rapport van het klooster in Qara geeft vervolgens een beschrijving van het gebied rondom de plaats Kusayr “ dat in rep en roer is door een totaal gebrek aan veiligheid. In dit hele gebied vindt momenteel een complete burgeroorlog plaats tussen sjiitische en soennitische dorpen”.
De derde bron betreft het ooggetuigenverslag van de twee Russische journalisten Marat Musin en Olga Kulygina die beiden met een tv ploeg op 25 mei aanwezig waren in Houla. Ze beschrijven hoe de gehele regio beheerst wordt door gewapende groeperingen die zij “Wahhabieten” noemen. Beide journalisten zagen dat gewapende rebellen uit Rastan op 25 mei rond 14.00 uur op verschillende plaatsen in Houla politieposten aanvielen. Vervolgens “dreven de rebellen families, die loyaal waren aan de autoriteiten, bij elkaar in enkele huizen waar ze allen werden vermoord. Een van deze families was de familie van Adult Raak”. Adult Raak is een politicus die recentelijk in het Syrische parlement werd gekozen. De twee Russische journalisten beschrijven hoe zij zagen dat daarna alle lijken werden getoond aan de commissie van de Verenigde Naties onder de bewering dat ze slachtoffers waren van bombardementen van het Syrische leger.
Marat Musin en Olga Kulygina hebben uitvoerige gesprekken gevoerd met plaatselijke bewoners en vermelden bovendien de namen van Syrische ambtenaren en politieagenten die door de rebellen werden vermoord. Als ooggetuigen die op 25 mei aanwezig waren in Houla en alles op de camera hebben vastgelegd hebben ze getracht hun bevindingen aan te bieden aan de speciale VN-commissie voor de mensenrechten die echter niet geïnteresseerd bleek te zijn.
Martin Janssen.
Andere artikels van Martin Janssen op onze blog.'

 Global Research   gives a long list of articles: 

In the wake of the Houla massacre and the flow of disinformation aimed at blaming the Syrian government for the atrocities, Global Research brings to the attention of its readers a selection of key articles, which demonstrate unequivocally that the massacre was commited by the US-NATO supported Free Syrian Army (FSA).  
Prof. Chandra Muzaffar, SYRIA: The Houla Massacre and the Subversion of the Peace Plan

There is no credible, independent entity that can help reveal the entire truth about the Houla massacre. The United Nations Human Rights Council which has passed a resolution condemning the massacre hastily targeted the Syrian government as the culprit without waiting for reports from the UN-Arab League Observer Mission in Syria. This is one of the reasons why China, Cuba and Russia voted against the resolution. The Council has since the outbreak of the conflict in Syria 14 months ago adopted an antagonistic attitude towards  the government. In all its submissions to the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly, it has ignored or downplayed the views of the Syrian government.  
According to Ronda Hauben in an article entitled The United Nations and the Houla Massacre: The Information Battlefield: 

The narrative that is being spread by much of the mainstream western and Arab satellite media is a narrative that blames the Assad government for the Houla massacre. At first that media claimed that the people killed, including the women and children, had been killed by shelling from Syrian troops attacking the town.

In examining the videos and photos put online or provided by the opposition making these claims, however, it became evident that many of the victims, particularly the women and children, had been killed at close range by bullets and knives and not by the shelling of heavy weapons by the Syrian military

Several authoritative reports, including a recent report of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, confirm unequivocally that "opposition" FSA terrorists were behind these atrocities. (Neue Erkenntnisse zu Getöteten von Hula: Abermals Massaker in Syrien - Politik - FAZ, June 8, 2012) […] The FAZ report largely corroborates the report by Russian journalist Marat Musin, which includes detailed testimonies […]

These two reports dispel the lies and fabrications of the Western media. Entire pro-government families in Houla were massacred. The terrorists were mercenaries and professional killers operating under the auspices of the self-proclaimed Free Syrian Army (FSA). 

An earlier report published in Der Spiegel  (March 2012) suggests that the FSA is involved in a routine and organized process of mass-murder. The article focusses on extra-judicial killings in Homs conducted under the mandate of so-called "burial brigades". 


UN Mission to Syria Observers refuse to listen to citizens' testimonies regarding armed terrorist groups

- 2012-06-13

The United Nations and the Houla Massacre: The Information Battlefield
- by Ronda Hauben - 2012-06-12

Sectarian Genocide in Syria: US-NATO and the GCC Preparing a Coup d’état
NATO preparing vast disinformation campaign
- by Thierry Meyssan - 2012-06-11
VIDEO: Western States Pounce on Massacre Mayhem in Syria
Latest report now on GRTV
- by Pepe Escobar - 2012-06-11

Fighting intensifies in Syria as US pushes for expanded intervention

- by Patrick Martin - 2012-06-11
Insurgents Named Responsible for Syrian Massacres
- by Stephen Lendman - 2012-06-11
Report: Rebels Responsible for Houla Massacre
Armed rebels murdered “entire Alawi families” in village of Taldo in Houla
- by John Rosenthal - 2012-06-10


- 2012-06-10

PROPAGANDA ALERT: Syria Allegedly Threatens NATO Heavyweight Turkey
- by Cem Ertür - 2012-06-09

More Syrian Blood on Obama's Hands
- by Stephen Lendman - 2012-06-08
French Bishop: Syrian Soldiers Face Foreign Fighters, Mercenaries, and Terrorists
- by Tony Cartalucci - 2012-06-07
Syria: The International Red Cross supplies the terrorists: Report
- 2012-06-06

SYRIA: The Houla Massacre and the Subversion of the Peace Plan
- by Prof. Chandra Muzaffar - 2012-06-07

VATICAN NEWS: Foreign Fighters, Mercenaries, Terrorists, behind Syria Massacre
"The desolation of Homs and the war of information ": the Words of a Greek-Catholic Bishop
- by Vatican News (Agenzia Fides) - 2012-06-04
SYRIA, Atrocities were not committed by the government but by armed gangs
Vatican News Service refutes Western media reports
- by Vatican News Service (Agenzia Fides) - 2012-06-03
Syria Regime Change On Bilderberg Agenda
Pro-NATO intervention SNC head in attendance at elite confab
- by Paul Joseph Watson - 2012-06-02
US steps up pressure for intervention in Syria
- by Patrick Martin - 2012-06-01
WAR WITHOUT THE UN GREEN LIGHT: U.S. Ready To Attack Syria Outside UN?
- 2012-06-01

Syria Houla Massacre: Government Investigation Blames Anti-Regime Forces For Killings

- 2012-05-31
Full text of Syria's Amb. to the UN Dr Bashar Al-Ja’afari’s Press Conference
- 2012-05-29
US threatens military intervention in Syria following Houla massacre
- by Chris Marsden - 2012-05-29
NATO SUPPORTED DEATH SQUADS? Syria Categorically Denies Responsibility of the Syrian Forces for al-Houla Massacre
- 2012-05-28
DEATH SQUADS: UN Security Council issues statement condemning Houla Massacre
- 2012-05-28
VIDEO: Pointblank Massacre: Massive Fallout from Houla Killings
Watch GRTV to find out more
- by Alistair Crooke - 2012-06-04

Russian Journalist Exposes Propaganda Lies about Houla Massacre
- by Stephen Lendman - 2012-06-03
SYRIA: Killing Innocent Civilians as part of a US Covert Op. Mobilizing Public Support for a R2P War against Syria
- by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky - 2012-05-30
US military doctrine envisages the central role of "massive casualty producing events" in which innocent civilians are killed. The killings are carried out as part of a covert operation. The enemy is blamed for the resulting atrocities.

What Drives the Fevered Response to the Massacre at Houla?
- by Ralph Schoenman - 2012-05-29

Phony ‘Houla Massacre’: How Media Manipulates Public Opinion For Regime Change in Syria
- by Patrick Henningsen - 2012-05-28



In the beginning I had misgivings about posting this article: I could find only two others stories on the web, which I am publishing. When I went to this particular site, I found it was a very tough read, perhaps because I sense it is true. It is one thing to talk about this sort of nightmare, and it is another to read and view graphic evidence of it. 
One comment at the end of the story from a reader adds only a tiny bit of sanity and insight, but it still leaves us with the unanswered question, “Who is squashing this story?” (Sadly, I think we all know the answer to that question):
What really happened in Houla:
Syria: Translation of the experiences by ANNA journalist Marat Musin near the Syrian city of Homs.
The following text is the translation of a blog entry of the ANNA News journalist Marat Musin, who was in the region of al-Houla (Houla/Hula – near the Syrian city of Homs) last week and who has own experiences how the horrible “Houla massacre” in Syria happened and who is behind the violent and horrible massacre near Homs.
The translation about the own investigations of the journalist Marat Musin, together with Olga Kulygina, about the massacre in al-Houla (al-Houleh/al-Hula) was made with best intentions, you can find the original text of Marat Musin (ANNA News) about the horrible events in Syria at the end of the translation.
As you can see, the explanations and descriptions about the “Hula massacre” (Houla massacre) differ, but considering that Marat Musin has been near al Rastan and the location of the horrible massacre, which was not the only massacre, carried out by armed groups last week in Syria, the question remains:
Why is the UN Human Rights Council not interested in using the information of this journalist Marat Musin and Olga Kulygina for the so-called investigations of the “Houla massacre”, but relies on the typical sources like phone calls with the Syrian opposition members and so on (more information)? etc. [Bold print is mine. ~J]
It’s pretty clear that without the internet, we would never have a chance of even hearing this news. All I’m picking up on the web this morning is the rather hysterical push at the U.N. for ‘intervention’ to ‘save’ the Syrians – God forbid! This push continues even though yesterday Obama said the U.S. favors diplomatic options. It appears that the U.S. government is divided – and I think this may be a wee bit of good news!
One important truth I do know, however, is that the truth will set us free. My blog is all about a search for that ‘real’ truth, and so I put this information out there into the light of day. If it resonates with you, please help it to go viral!
Ambassador to Lebanon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)[/caption]
Jeffrey D Feltman, a US assistant secretary of state, is reportedly one of the brains behind the CIA death squads. Syria: The terror operation of Jeffrey Feltman
The residents of Houla have stated that the people who carried out the massacre in Houla were the opponents of Assad, in other words, the CIA’s death squads.
A grandmother in Houla stated:  ”All the Syrian army soldiers were killed, then the opponents of Assad attacked our villages…
“The bandits attacked our pharmacy because it had treated a wounded Syrian soldier… Thousands of militants from Al-Rastan attacked the town, killed all the soldiers at checkpoints. Burned the city hospital.”
A resident of Houla stated: “Yesterday the armed bandits told us: ‘Either you are with us and kill the Syrian soldiers and policemen, or we will kill you.’ They killed our wives and children. They killed the soldiers and policemen.”
A local woman stated: ”We are from the villages of Al-Gaunt, which is located next to Houla. Nine terrorists killed my relatives in the field. The bandits set fire to our houses and we fled…”
Click Here to continue reading.


16 june 2012:  Internet article from KOPP online.

An independent Russian journalist ANHAR KOCHNEWA who lives in Syria for 10 years says: There is no revolt in Syria/. It is all staged and the rebels are scum and fighters that were brought in from other countries. 
Below is a Dutch translation, from Xander news. 
Miss Kochnewa speaks arab fluently and was interviewed on Syrian tv, as we see on youtube: ( Kochnewa) I am not sure she is 100% neutral. She may exaggerate things.

Augenzeugenbericht: Interview enthüllt Medienlügen über Syrien

Natalia Mihailova

Die unabhängige Journalistin Anhar Kochnewa lebt und arbeitet seit mehr als zehn Jahren in Syrien. Nach ihrer Schilderung entspricht die Lage in Syrien in keiner Weise der Berichterstattung in den Massenmedien. Kochnewa ist gebürtige Russin und spricht fließend Arabisch. Ihre Freunde und Nachbarn sind ganz normale Syrer. Sie bewegt sich in den gleichen Straßen und Vierteln von Damaskus und erledigt dort ihre Einkäufe wie alle anderen Einwohner der syrischen Hauptstadt ebenfalls. Wir haben vor Kurzem mit ihr gesprochen und sie dabei auch nach den Gründen für die schon so lang anhaltende Unruhe in Syrien gefragt.

Die so genannten Demonstrationen

Gab es irgendwelche tieferen Ursachen für die Krise in Syrien?

Anhar Kochnewa: Noch vor einem Jahr gab es keinerlei Anzeichen für eine Krise. Auch im März 2011 ereignete sich nichts Außergewöhnliches. Die ganze Entwicklung begann als kriminelle

Handlung. Ich ärgere mich immer sehr, wenn Journalisten behaupten, in den vergangenen Monaten sei es »in Syrien zu Massenprotesten und Demonstrationen« gekommen. Das stimmt einfach nicht.

Ich halte mich seit sieben Monaten ständig in Syrien auf, und ich habe nur drei so genannte »Demonstrationen« erlebt. Ich nenne sie »so genannt«, weil sie nur aus sehr wenigen Menschen bestanden und weil sie ganz offensichtlich dort postiert worden waren, um für die Journalisten eine Demonstration zu inszenieren. Diese »Proteste« wurden dann fünf oder zehn Minuten lang gefilmt, dann gingen die Menschen wieder rasch auseinander. In einigen Städten übernahmen zeitweise Kriminelle die Kontrolle und zwangen die Menschen, sich an Demonstrationen zu beteiligen.

Ich lebe seit Ende der 1990er Jahre in Syrien. Um die Wahrheit zu sagen, das Land gefiel mir damals nicht. Jetzt lebe ich schon eine ganze Weile in diesem Land, und ich muss sagen, es hat sich etwas geändert. Die Lebensumstände und auch die Menschen haben sich verändert. Viele Menschen haben eigene Geschäfte eröffnet und sich einen gewissen bescheidenen Wohlstand erarbeitet.

Aus diesem Grund hätten die Menschen vor zehn Jahren wahrscheinlich die Proteste unterstützt, aber jetzt nicht. Heute will die Bevölkerung Stabilität. Es gibt unnötiges Chaos und einige Unordnung. Die Menschen waren daran gewöhnt, in einem friedlichen Land zu leben. Syrien gehörte zu den sichersten Ländern in der Region. Wenn man eine Tasche mit Geld irgendwo vergessen hatte und man kehrte zwei Tage später an den Ort zurück, fand man die Tasche dort noch unberührt. Das ist heute leider nicht mehr so. Die Menschen sind besorgt. Sie haben etwas verloren, auf das sie stolz waren.

Wer steckt hinter den Bombenexplosionen, den Schüssen auf Menschen und der Zerstörung der Gebäude?

Vor einigen Wochen hielt ich mich in [der angeblichen Rebellenhochburg] Homs in dem nunmehr berüchtigten Viertel Baba Amr auf. Die meisten Bewohner des Viertels haben ihre Häuser und Wohnungen verlassen. Meine Freunde lebten 800 Meter von Baba Amr entfernt. Sie erzählten mir, Kriminelle und nicht die Armee hätten auf ihre Häuser geschossen. Die syrische Armee tötet keine Menschen. Sie reagiert nur, wenn eine Situation eskaliert.

In den letzten Monaten zählten vor allem Soldaten der syrischen Armee zu den Opfern. Die so genannten Rebellen kämpfen in den Straßen, zeichnen Videos auf und verbrennen Autoreifen.Wenn auf einem »Handy-Video« schwarzer Qualm zu erkennen ist, geht dieser Qualm nicht auf Artilleriebeschuss, sondern auf brennende Autoreifen zurück.

Vor einem Monat hielt ich mich in Zabadani im Südwesten Syriens auf. Kriminelle Banden schüchterten die gesamte Stadt ein. Die Medien berichten oft über die humanitäre Katastrophe in Syrien. Es handelt sich auch um eine humanitäre Katastrophe, wenn sich eine ganze Stadt in den Händen von Kriminellen befindet.

In Zabadani wurden meine Kollegen und ich von Kriminellen gefangengenommen. Sie zeigten uns einen rostigen Panzer und erklärten, damit sei die Stadt beschossen worden. Aber die beiden zerstörten Häuser befanden sich mitten in dem Viertel. Ich kann mir nicht erklären, wie der Panzer aus der Luft oder um die Ecke geschossen haben soll. Dann trommelten sie ein paar Leute zusammen und organisierten extra für uns eine kleine Demonstration. Ich sah mir die Gesichter der Menschen an und erkannte in ihnen nur Angst und Hass. Sie fürchteten sich vor den Kriminellen und hassten sie.

Sie sprechen immer von »Kriminellen«. Handelt es sich nicht um Aufständische oder um Oppositionelle?

Unter den Kriminellen befinden sich viele Söldner. Sie stammen aus Tschechien, Rumänien, Frankreich, Libyen und Afghanistan. Man erzählt sich eine groteske Geschichte zu afghanischen Soldaten. Ein paar Afghanen waren gefangengenommen worden, und man fragte sie, warum sie hierhergekommen seien. Sie antworteten: »Man sagte uns, wir würden nach Israel gebracht, und in der Nacht sollten wir israelische Busse beschießen. Wir kämpfen für die Befreiung Palästinas.«  Das hört sich lustig an, aber es ist wahr. Die Leute waren sichtlich überrascht, als man ihnen erklärte, sie befänden sich in Syrien. »Wir sind hier in Syrien? Wir dachten, wir seien in Israel.«

Syrische Kriminelle organisieren sich in bewaffneten Banden. Diese Verbrecher sollten eigentlich im Gefängnis sein. Solche Typen findet man in jedem Land. Wenn sie die Kontrolle über eine Stadt übernehmen, verbrennen sie zuerst die Aufzeichnungen und Archive der Strafverfolgungsbehörden.

Aber wie gesagt, solche Leute findet man in jeder Gesellschaft… Sie genießen es, Macht zu besitzen. Sie wollen nicht arbeiten, aber über viel Geld verfügen. Man kann eine Stadt auch mit relativ wenigen Menschen terrorisieren. Schon zwei Scharfschützen können das öffentliche Leben in den Straßen zum Erliegen bringen.

Am 7. Mai fanden Parlamentswahlen statt. Hat sich die Opposition an den Wahlen beteiligt?

Ja, es war ein sehr lebendiger Wahlkampf. An den Häuserwänden aller großen Straßen in Damaskus klebten die Wahlplakate der verschiedenen Kandidaten. Insgesamt bewarben sich nachoffiziellen Angaben 7.200 Kandidaten um 250 Sitze. Was macht Sie so sicher, dass diese Wahlen undemokratisch waren? Wer behauptet so etwas? Die Führer der syrischen Opposition? Sie leben seit vielen Jahren in Europa. Was wissen sie schon über das wahre Syrien? Was wissen sie schon über unsere Bedürfnisse und Wünsche? Lassen wir doch die Syrer über ihre Zukunft selbst entscheiden.

Die wichtigen in Syrien tätigen Oppositionsparteien haben an den Parlamentswahlen teilgenommen. Aber ich will hier noch ein Detail berichten, das die Situation erhellt. Vor drei Tagen wurde der Sohn des Vorsitzenden der Nationalpartei ermordet. Die Partei erhielt Drohungen, die sie von einer Beteiligung an den Wahlen abhalten sollten. Aber die Partei weigerte sich, diesen Drohungen nachzugeben, und dann wurde der Sohn des Vorsitzenden ermordet. Wer ist dafür verantwortlich? Die Regierung oder diejenigen, die jegliche positiven Veränderungen in Syrien verhindern wollen? Die Kriminellen brauchen keine Reformen; sie setzen auf Destabilisierung und Chaos im Land.

Welche Parteien stehen sich im Syrienkonflikt gegenüber?

Syrien steht den Veränderungen des politischen Gleichgewichts, die die USA anstreben, im Weg – das ist die Tragik. Wenn man das Buch Where to Invade Next, das von Stephen Elliott herausgegeben wurde, liest, versteht man den Arabischen Frühling viel besser.

Aufgrund der Berichterstattung der internationalen Medien leben wir alle sozusagen in der parallelen Medienwirklichkeit. Die ganze Welt sieht praktisch einen Film über etwas, das tatsächlich so gar nicht existiert; eine fiktionale Erzählung, die sich als Wirklichkeit ausgibt. Hier wird die internationale Öffentlichkeit manipuliert.

Wie beurteilt man den Annan-Friedensplan [in Syrien]?

Die einen sind der Auffassung, es handele sich um den Versuch, den Kriminellen die Möglichkeitund die Atempause zu verschaffen, sich neu zu organisieren und aufzustellen. Jeder, mit dem wir hier in Homs gesprochen haben, sagte uns, die syrische Armee hätte die Probleme mit den Kriminellen innerhalb einer Woche bereinigen können. Eine andere Ansicht besagt, die USA wollten sich aus dem Konflikt zurückziehen, ohne das Gesicht zu verlieren.

Vor dem Hintergrund der Entscheidung der Vereinten Nationen müssten sie [die USA] einräumen, dass die syrische Regierung Recht hatte und dann jede weitere Eskalation der Situation unterlassen. Ich persönlich ziehe diese Einschätzung vor. Ich halte sie für richtig, weil man die Augen vor der Wahrheit nicht verschließen kann. Man kann jemanden einmal oder zweimal hinters Licht führen, aber es ist praktisch unmöglich, dies über einen langen Zeitraum aufrecht zu erhalten. Ich bin sicher, die 300 UN-Beobachter werden die Wahrheit erkennen. Sie zum Lügen zu bewegen wäre schwierig.

Eine letzte Frage: Stehen Sie auf der Seite der syrischen Regierung?

Ich? Ich kenne niemanden aus der Regierung. Ich unterstütze das syrische Volk und niemanden sonst.

                             Dutch Translation of ANHAR KOCHNEWA: 

Onafhankelijke journalist ter plekke: Syrische opstand is Westerse leugen
'Rebellen' zijn criminele bendes die burgers dwingen aan zogenaamde protesten deel te nemen 

De Syrische rebellen, die hoofdzakelijk bestaan uit criminele bendes en huurlingen uit onder andere Libië en Afghanistan, zijn de werkelijke veroorzakers van de humanitaire crisis.
Het conflict in Syrië bestaat niet. Dat beweert althans de onafhankelijke Russische journalist Anhar Kochneva, die al meer dan 10 jaar in Syrië woont. De 'rebellen' van het Free Syrian Army bestaan volgens haar enkel uit criminele bendes die niet door de bevolking worden gesteund en enkel uit zijn op het veroorzaken van zoveel mogelijk chaos. Kochnewa bevestigt hiermee wat we vorig jaar al schreven, namelijk dat de opstand of zelfs burgeroorlog in Syrië pure Westerse propaganda is, bedoeld om ook dit land ten prooi te laten vallen aan de door president Obama gesteunde 'Arabische Lente', zodat radicale islamisten vervolgens de macht kunnen overnemen.

In maart 2011 was er volgens Kochneva nog niets te bespeuren van een crisis in Syrië. 'Ik erger me altijd enorm als journalisten beweren dat er massaprotesten en demonstraties zouden zijn geweest. Dat klopt gewoon niet.' De afgelopen 7 maanden telde ze welgeteld 3 zogenaamde 'demonstraties'. Zogenaamd, omdat deze uit maar heel weinig mensen bestonden die op zo'n manier werden opgesteld, dat het er voor buitenlandse journalisten op leek dat het een demonstratie was. Deze 'protesten' werden dan 5 of 10 minuten lang gefilmd, waarna de mensen weer snel uit elkaar gingen. In sommige steden werden de burgers door de criminele bendes zelfs gedwongen om aan deze 'demonstraties' deel te nemen.
Niet leger, maar bendes beschieten huizen burgers 
Syrische vrienden van Kochneva, woonachtig op enkele honderden meters afstand van de beruchte wijk Baba Amr in Homs, vertelden tegen haar dat niet het leger, maar de criminele bendes op hun huizen hadden geschoten. Het Syrische leger richt nooit zijn wapens op gewone burgers, maar reageert alleen wanneer een situatie escaleert. Bovendien zijn met name soldaten van het leger de afgelopen maanden het slachtoffer van de 'rebellen'. Die vechten bewust in de straten en verbranden daar autobanden, om dit op video op te nemen en vervolgens tegen journalisten te zeggen dat deze rook het gevolg is van -in werkelijkheid nooit uitgevoerde- artilleriebeschietingen door het leger.
'Syrische burgers haten rebellen' 
In Zabadani intimideerden de bendes de complete burgerbevolking en namen zij Kochneva en andere journalisten gevangen. De criminelen lieten hen vervolgens een roestig pantservoertuig zien en verklaarden dat het leger daarmee de stad had beschoten. Probleem: de vernietigde huizen bevonden zich midden in de wijk. 'Het is onverklaarbaar hoe deze tank vanuit de lucht of om de hoek zou hebben geschoten,' aldus Kochneva. Ook trommelden de bendes burgers op om een kleine demonstratie te houden. 'Op de gezichten van de mensen was duidelijk angst en haat te lezen. Ze zijn bang voor de criminelen en haten hen.'
'Rebellen oorzaak humanitaire crisis' 
Daarom is er volgens de journalist inderdaad sprake van een humanitaire crisis in Syrië, die echter niet veroorzaakt wordt door de regering Assad maar juist door de opstandelingen, die voor een groot deel bestaan uit (veelal islamistische) huurlingen die afkomstig zijn uit Tsjechië, Roemenië, Frankrijk, Libië en Afghanistan. Enkele gevangen genomen Afghanen werd gevraagd waarom ze naar Syrië waren gekomen. Zij antwoordden: 'Zijn wij in Syrië? Wij dachten dat we in Israël waren. Men vertelde ons dat wij naar Israël zouden worden gebracht om Israëlische bussen te beschieten en mee te helpen Palestina te bevrijden.'
'Bendes willen destabilisering en chaos'   
De Syrische 'rebellen' bestaan voornamelijk uit criminelen die zich in bendes hebben verzameld. Zodra ze de controle over een stad overnemen is het eerste dat ze doen de politie archieven verbranden, zodat er geen bewijs meer van hun criminele achtergrond is. 'Dit zijn mensen die ervan genieten macht te bezitten,' verklaart Kochneva. 'Zij willen niet werken maar wel over veel geld bezitten. Je kunt een stad met relatief weinig mensen terroriseren. Slechts twee scherpschutters kunnen het openbare leven in de straten lam leggen.' 

De recente verkiezingen waren -in tegenstelling tot wat de Westerse media berichtten- volgens de Russische journalist wel degelijk democratisch. 'Wie beweert dat dat niet zo was? De leiders van de Syrische oppositie, die al vele jaren in Europa wonen? Wat weten zij nu van de echte situatie in Syrië? We moeten de Syriërs zelf over hun toekomst laten beslissen.'
Kochneva wijst erop dat de zoon van de leider van de Nationale Partij onlangs vermoord werd nadat de partij weigerde zich na dreigementen uit de verkiezingen terug te trekken. Deze dreigementen waren volgens de journalist afkomstig van die groeperingen die iedere positieve verandering in Syrië willen tegenhouden: de criminele bendes. Zij willen geen hervormingen maar zijn gebaat bij destabilisering en chaos.
'Amerika wil machtsbalans veranderen' 
Zij worden echter gesteund door de VS omdat de Amerikanen de machtsbalans in het Midden Oosten willen veranderen. Dat is de reden waarom de internationale media de wereldbevolking een parallelle realiteit hebben gecreëerd over een 'opstand' in Syrië tegen het 'wrede regime' van Assad, terwijl deze situatie in werkelijkheid helemaal niet bestaat.

Het recente plan van VN-afgezant Kofi Annan heeft de criminele bendes enkel een adempauze gegeven zodat ze zich kunnen hergroeperen. Iedere inwoner van de stad Homs die Kochneva sprak zei dat het Syrische leger de problemen binnen een week had kunnen beëindigen.
'VN en VS moeten waarheid erkennen' 
Sommigen zijn van mening dat de VS naar manieren zoekt om zich zonder gezichtsverlies uit het conflict terug te trekken. De Russische journalist denkt dat Amerika heeft moeten toegeven dat de Syrische regering gelijk heeft en dat een verdere escalatie daarom moet worden voorkomen. 'Je kunt je ogen niet sluiten voor de waarheid. Men kan iemand één of twee keer misleiden, maar het is praktisch onmogelijk om dit over een langere periode vol te houden. Ik ben ervan overtuigd dat de 300 VN waarnemers de waarheid zullen inzien. Hen laten liegen zal moeilijk worden.'
Niettemin werd de missie van de VN waarnemers opgeschort en lijken zowel de Westerse-Arabische coalitie als Rusland zich op te maken voor militair ingrijpen in Syrië, tenzij de presidenten Putin en Obama vandaag in Mexico alsnog tot overeenstemming komen.


Here is an older interview with Anhar Kochnewa,
This time in English. 

She is not really living in Syria, but visits the country very often, as she works in tourism: 

( The Dutch summary you will find below) 

Western media lie about Syria – eyewitness reports

Published: 29 April, 2011, 15:50

While media reports paint a picture of the situation in Syria as a mass public uprising brutally suppressed by the dictatorial government, the events are viewed in a totally different way by those living there.
RT caught up with Anhar Kochneva, director of a Moscow-based tourist firm specializing in the Middle East. She often travels to Syria, and stays in touch with hundreds of people in the region. She shared what her contacts say about the unfolding unrest and who they blame for the spreading violence.

RT: What’s happening in Syria? What have you seen? And that are the Syrians saying?

Anhar Kochneva: Not even once did I come across anyone who would in any way support these riots; and mind you, in the line of my job, I deal with all sorts of people. There are many vehicles with the president’s portraits driving the streets throughout the country – ranging from old, barely moving crankers to brand new Porsches and Hummers. You can't force people into hanging up portraits. It means that people, irrespective of their status and income, support the president rather than the rebellion. I saw quite a number of young people walking or driving around with Syrian flags. How can you force a young person hanging out with friends to wave flags? I think it's difficult too. If you understand the mentality of the Syrians you can tell there is a sincere impulse from a forced obligation.

On March 29, I saw a rally in Hama to support the president – indeed, many thousands of men and women, with their children, and entire families went out. The streets were flooded with people. It was quite a shock to see Al-Jazeera presenting rallies in support of the president as if they were protests against him. It was just as surprising to see the Israeli websites post photos and videos of supporters' rallies with comments saying those were opponents of the regime. There you have people holding portraits of Bashar al-Assad and flags, and we’re told that these people are against him.
RT: The media reports mass anti-government rallies.

AK: There’s a powerful misinformation swell going on. On April 1, the media reported a large anti-governmental rally in Damascus. I was in Damascus on that day. This rally never happened – I didn’t see it, and neither did the locals.
On April 16, Reuters news agency wrote that 50,000 opponents of the regime took to the streets of Damascus, and that they had been dispersed with tear gas and batons. Damascus’ residents realize that such a rally could not take place in the city unnoticed. How many policemen would it take to disperse it? And how come nobody saw it except Reuters? Five hundred people in the streets of Damascus are a large crowd. Reuters broadcast their material around the world, including Russia. One source lies, and then this lie is like a snowball rolling downhill creating a fake reality, and picking up rumor and speculation.

People in Syria watch the footage. What do they see? A picture allegedly from Yemen. A picture allegedly from Egypt. A picture allegedly from Syria. But the pictures all show people dressed in the same fashion. People in Syria can tell their fellow countrymen from their neighbors – both by their faces and their clothes.

There are videos on the internet showing how amateur footage of the so-called riots is made. There's a parked car and nothing’s going on around. And there's a man standing next to it throwing rocks. And people around are taking pictures.

There are a lot of staged videos. A Lebanese can tell the difference between footage taken in Lebanon and that taken in Damascus at a glance. And they show footage from Tripoli, or footage taken several years ago in Iraq, and say it is unrest in Syria.

There are many online forums for women in Arab countries. Women share information following TV reports on ‘mass unrests’. Women write – what’s happening outside your window? And they reply: we looked down from the balcony, and didn’t see anything that the TV was talking about.

Presently, a lot of young unarmed policemen get killed. The media propaganda immediately labels them as victims of the regime. I repeat, policemen are unarmed. The Syrian police are not too good with guns, because nothing like this has happened here for a long time. But the killed rookies are reported as either victims among the protestors, or as policemen who refused to shoot at their fellow countrymen, depending on the editors’ preference. Goebbels’ words seem to be true: the bigger the lie, the more easily they believe it.

RT: But why are policemen dying if there are no mass protests?

AK: Policemen die because they get shot by those who know that they are unarmed.

RT: Who shoots policemen?

AK: They talk a lot about it in Syria. Rumor has it that trained commandos came across the border from Iraq. People in Syria are well-aware that after the US occupied Iraq, they formed special squads there. They were killing people, stirring up conflicts between the Shiite and Sunni communities, and between Muslims and Christians; they were blowing up streets, markets, mosques and churches. Those terrorist attacks targeted civilians rather than the occupying regime.

Not long ago, they caught three such commandos in the outskirts of Damascus, when they were randomly shooting at people. They turned out to be Iraqis.

Syrian TV showed footage of somebody shooting at policemen and passers-by from bushes and rooftops. They occasionally get caught, and they either turn out to be Iraqis, or they admit that they were paid for it. Such militants were detained in Deraa and Latakia. They had US-made weapons.

The Lebanese security service intercepted several cars carrying weapons as they were coming into Lebanon. One such car was stopped coming from Iraq. There were American weapons in those cars too. Also there are reports about detained people who had large sums of money with them – with US dollars. These people carried expensive satellite phones that cannot be tapped by the Syrian security service.

In Syria, it is no longer a secret to anyone that the Americans have an unhindered opportunity to recruit and train the commandos in Iraq, and then send them wherever they want.
Hilary Clinton has already stated that if Syria cuts its relations with Iran and withdraws its support for Hamas and Hezbollah, the demonstrations would stop the next day. They don't even bother to keep secret the hand instilling riots in Syria.

There’s plenty of evidence of foreign interference.

Finally, people say protestors are brought in from afar for the rallies. Those people speak and look differently from the locals. Nobody in the neighborhood knows them. Who rents the buses and finances the delivery of these people?  The question stands.

The former Syrian Vice-President Abdel Halim Khaddam had initiated the riots in the coastal regions. He had plundered half of the country. He was involved in corruption schemes and finally fled to the West. It was he who tried to accuse Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of assassinating the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri. The Syrians firmly believe that Sayed Hariri had personally given a villa to Abdel Halim Khaddam for spreading this version of Rafic Hariri’s murder. But when that version fell apart and was not confirmed, the villa was taken away. Today, those who shot at cars in Banias are shouting: “We don’t want Bashar. We want Abdel Halim!”

There are peaceful and cultured opposition members in Banias who have been against al-Assad’s regime for many years. But they are shocked by what’s going on and do not support Khaddam at all. They say: “He’s a thief. He who stole most calls to fight corruption and thievery.”

RT: What role are Syrian emigrants playing in the Syrian destabilization? 

AK: It’s an open question. There was a leak claiming that Dan Feldman, Hillary Clinton’s special representative for the Middle East, met representatives of the Syrian opposition in Istanbul in mid-April and suggested the tactics for assassinations of civil and military officials. In less than three days, on April 19, several military officials had been brutally killed in Syria.  Not only were they attacked and shot dead, some victims of the attacks, including three teenage children of a Syrian general, who were in a car with him, were cut to pieces with sabres.

Murders committed with a high degree of brutality are aimed at intimidating the population. The news that children had been cut to pieces served that purpose quite well.

RT: Media reports used to say that the riots started after the arrest in the city of Deraa, in southern Syria, of several children writing anti-government slogans?  Is it really so? 

AK: All the children had been released very quickly. Moreover, the government-owned Syrian newspapers published the release orders.

RT: Have the troops been brought into Deraa? 

AK: Yes, troops are there. After an Islamic emirate had been proclaimed in Deraa, the local residents asked the government for help. Troops have been brought in. I’ve just seen the videos. The demonstrators published them on the internet and shortly after erased them. But people made copies. There are soldiers, and people come to them and talk peacefully. Nobody shoots anyone.

RT: Is there a sentiment in Syria that if it gets rid of Hamas support and the Palestinians and strike a peace deal with Israel, all the riots will end immediately? 
AK: No, there’s no such sentiment. There’s consolidation of society. The people are sticking together because they see that the enemy is extremely dangerous. For instance, previously I never heard anything except pop music and the recital of the Koran on the radio when I rode in a taxi. Now, patriotic music is coming from all cars. When Bashar al-Assad was speaking on television, the people who were listening to him at the market applauded him. You cannot force people to applaud a president who speaks on television.

RT: What has the public mood been in recent days? 

AK: People are afraid of going out. In some regions, people risked their lives to record with a secret camera how unidentified persons sneaked into a car, moved off and started shooting in all directions. This is how they are sowing panic in residential areas.

Bandits blocked a bridge on the road near the coast. Soon, the military pushed them back. One of my Syrian contacts told me: “you don’t need many people to plunge the country into trouble.”
Putting five people on a major road would be enough to paralyze the whole area. People are unable to deliver foodstuffs or reach hospitals. And the whole country is in shock because of a handful of bandits.
Now, Syrian television is making live broadcasts from various parts of Damascus and other cities for people to see how the situation is unfolding and how life is getting back to normal, whatever the Western media show.
It’s noteworthy that bandits intentionally tried to rouse hatred among various communities.  Recently, a sheikh was insulting the Druze, particularly women, in an address to the residents of the south. This video is being broadcast by the foreign media and is advertized on the internet. Nothing like that ever happened in Syria before. Provocations failed in Damascus though attempts were made to set religious communities against each other. Provocateurs lack support in rural areas too – the sowing campaign has started there.

The most massive demonstrations in Dera gathered 500 people. But they say 450 people have been killed.

RT: Has the government launched any reforms? 

AK: The government has lifted martial law and has allowed the staging of authorized rallies if permission for them is obtained five days ahead. Foreigners have been allowed to buy real estate. The Kurds have been granted citizenship. The Kurdish population didn’t have it before for a number of historical reasons. The government is opening business courses for women in northern Syria. Many provincial governors have been dismissed. Unfortunately, in some cases they were honest people. Like those who refused to free criminals from prison for bribes and had been targeted by smear campaigns in public for it.

RT: Have the number of flights to Syria been cut? 

AK: There are no tickets for Syria.  We wanted to dispatch a group of tourists to Syria but there were no air tickets to Damascus for April 30. But Russians are not fleeing from Syria. I have full information about it for my job.
Nadezhda Kevorkova, RT


Anhar Kochneva: “Westerse medialeugens over 


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Terwijl de berichten in de media een beeld geven over de situatie in Syrië als een massale publieke opstand die brutaal onderdrukt wordt door een dictatoriale regering, worden de gebeurtenissen op een totaal andere manier bekeken door hen die er wonen.
RT TV – 29 april 2011 – RT TV had een gesprek met Anhar Kochneva, directeur van een in Moskou gevestigd reisbureau gespecialiseerd in het Midden-Oosten. Ze reist vaak naar Syrië en heeft contact met honderden mensen in de regio. Ze deelde mee wat haar contactpersonen zeggen over de onrust en aan wie zij de schuld geven voor het verspreiden van het geweld. Haar relaas.
Over de gebeurtenissen in Syrië:
Zelfs niet één keer heb ik iemand ontmoet die op enige wijze deze rellen zou steunen – en let wel – in de lijn van mijn werk, ga ik om met allerlei mensen. Er zijn veel auto’s die met foto’s van de president in de straten in het hele land rondrijden – variërend van oude, bijna wrakken tot gloednieuwe Porsches en Hummers. Je kan mensen niet dwingen tot het ophangen van portretten. Het betekent dat mensen, ongeacht hun status en inkomen, voor de president zijn in plaats van voor de opstand. Ik zag een groot aantal jonge mensen lopen of rondrijden met Syrische vlaggen. Hoe kan je een jongere dwingen om samen met vrienden met vlaggen te gaan wuiven? Ik denk dat het moeilijk is. Als je de mentaliteit van de Syriërs begrijpt, dan kan ik u vertellen dat het echt impulsief is en geen gedwongen verplichting.
Op 29 maart zag ik in Hama een bijeenkomst om de president te ondersteunen. Inderdaad, vele duizenden mannen en vrouwen met hun kinderen en hele gezinnen gingen naar buiten. De straten werden overspoeld met mensen. Het was nogal een schok om te zien dat Al-Jazeera de bijeenkomsten ter ondersteuning van de president voorstelde als protesten tegen hem. Het was net zo verrassend dat Israëlische websites foto’s en video’s van aanhangers uit die bijeenkomst plaatsten met als commentaar dat het tegenstanders van het regime waren. Dan heb je mensen die portretten van Bashar al-Assad en vlaggen vasthouden en dan vertelden ze dat deze mensen tegen hem zijn.
Over “massale anti-regeringsdemonstraties” in Syrië:
Er is een sterke deining tot verkeerde informatie aan de hand. Op 1 april werd in de media melding gemaakt van een grote anti-regeringsbijeenkomst in Damascus. Ik was in Damascus op die dag. Deze manifestatie is nooit gebeurd – ik zag het niet, en ook niet de lokale bevolking.
Op 16 april schreef persbureau Reuters dat 50.000 tegenstanders van het regime de straten van Damascus innamen en dat zij werden verspreid met traangas en wapenstokken. De inwoners van Damascus beseffen dat zo’n bijeenkomst niet onopgemerkt kon plaatsvinden in de stad. Hoeveel politiemensen zou men nodig hebben om de menigte uit elkaar te drijven? En hoe komt het dat niemand het zag, behalve Reuters? Vijfhonderd mensen in de straten van Damascus zijn een grote menigte. Reuters stuurt hun materiaal over de hele wereld, waaronder Rusland. Eén bron verspreid leugens en dan rollen deze leugens als een sneeuwballen naar beneden voor het creëren van een schijnwerkelijkheid en het aannemen van geruchten en speculatie.
Een Libanees kan u in een oogopslag het verschil vertellen tussen de beelden die in Libanon en in Damascus werden genomen. En ze tonen beelden van Tripoli of beeldmateriaal enkele jaren geleden genomen in Irak en zeggen dat gaat om “onrust in Syrië”.
Over de buitenlandse betrokkenheid bij de onrust in Syrië:
Niet zo lang geleden werden drie commando’s gevangen genomen in de buitenwijken van Damascus toen zij willekeurig schoten op mensen. Ze bleken Irakezen te zijn.
De Syrische televisie toonde beelden van iemand die schoot op agenten en voorbijgangers vanachter struiken en van op daken.  Als deze criminelen dan worden gevat, blijken het ofwel Irakezen te zijn of geven ze toe dat ze werden betaald. Dergelijke militanten werden gevat in Deraa en Latakia. Zij hadden in de VS gemaakte wapens bij.
De Libanese veiligheidsdienst onderschepte meerdere auto’s die wapens vervoerden wanneer ze in Libanon aankwamen. Eén van deze auto’s, die halt gehouden werd, kwam uit Irak. Er waren ook Amerikaanse wapens in die auto’s. Ook waren er berichten over het vasthouden van mensen die grote sommen geld – dollars – bij zich hadden. Deze mensen waren in het bezit van dure satelliettelefoons die niet kunnen worden afgeluisterd door de Syrische veiligheidsdienst.
In Syrië is het voor iedereen niet langer een geheim dat de Amerikanen een ongehinderde kans hebben om commando’s te werven en te trainen in Irak en hen dan te sturen naar waar men ze wil hebben.
Hillary Clinton heeft al aangegeven dat als Syrië haar betrekkingen met Iran en de steun voor Hamas en Hezbollah stopt, de demonstraties de volgende dag zouden stoppen. Ze doen niet eens de moeite om het geheim te houden dat ze een hand hebben in de rellen in Syrië.
Er is genoeg bewijs van buitenlandse inmenging!
Bron (volledig artikel): Russia Today.

The links below come from this website: 

More articles: YEye witnesses in Houla  ( Russian ANNA organisation)

Alfred Hackensberger , German journalist:

Russian TV: Those killed were allies of Assad :

New York,  Saana:


Russian TV:  UN commission only speaks by telephone to rebels... will these rebels tell the truth??


25 june: another blog from 'Iraansnieuws'  with a lot of links and a very good interview by 'Syrian Girl' with a newpaper-man and also cell-phone impression of the downing of the Turkish F4 plane.

The video: ( downing of the plane and good interview)


Footnotes and a Wikipedia article. 

(*) If you go to Google Maps  you will see that Houla is 31 km norhtwest of Homs. And the christian monastry of Qarah is 68 km south of Homs. It all is about 20 km from Lebanon.

(**) Muslims are split in Sunni and Shiites, like Christians are split in catholics and protestants. Then Alawi muslims are a subgroup of the Shiites, like reformed  christians are a subgroup of the proterstants. Assad is a member of the Alawi muslims.
The Al Qaida terrorists are all Sunni.
But atthe same time many Sunni governments are kept in power by the USA.  Countries like the Emirates and Saudi Arabia are big friends of the USA.
Shiite governments don't want to be 'slaves' of the USA, so in the Western Media these countries ( Iran and Syria) are described as dangerous and bad.   According to Seymour Hersh the USA decided in 2006 that the Shiites were a bigger threat to the US than the Al Qaida terrorists.(Hersh )
The Sunni House of Saud  is worried about the Shiites and want all Shiite governments 'taken out'. There are Sunni extremists like the Wahabites and the Salafists who do behave really barbaric. They are blind fanatics who are used by the USA to commit barbarous acts toward muslims and non muslims. Thes barbarisms are exposed in the Media to bash all muslims, and thus to create tollerance for Israels barbaric acts. The Salafists  were helping Naser Oric in Srebrenica where they tortured and killed the inhabitants of 50 villages around Srebrenica. That was done to provoke Mladic to kill muslims. 



Houla massacre

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Houla massacre
Part of the Syrian uprising (2011–present)

Mass burial of Houla massacre victims.
LocationHoulaHoms, Syria
Coordinates34°53′7″N 36°30′42″ECoordinates34°53′7″N 36°30′42″E
DateMay 25, 2012
Deaths108, including 25 men, 34 women and 49 children (per U.N. observers)[1]
AssailantsShabiha (pro-Assad) militias and Syrian military (alleged as most likely perpetrators by the UN)[3]
The Houla massacre was an attack that took place on May 25, 2012, in the midst of the Syrian Uprising, in two opposition-controlled villages in the Houla Region of Syria, a cluster of villages north of Homs. According to the United Nations, 108 people were killed, including 34 women and 49 children.[3] While a small proportion of the deaths appeared to have resulted from artillery and tank rounds used against the villages, the U.N. later announced that most of the massacre's victims had been "summarily executed in two separate incidents".[4] According to a German report allegedly citing unnamed opposition members, most of the killed were Alawites, and the massacre was perpetrated by rebels.[5] However UN investigators have reported that witnesses and survivors claimed that the massacre was committed by Shabiha.[3]
The Syrian government alleged that Al-Qaedaterrorist groups were responsible for the killings,[6][7]while Houla residents[8] and opposition groups alleged that the Syrian military and government-hired militias known as Shabiha were the perpetrators.[9]Townspeople described how Shia and Shabiha, men from Shia/Alawite Shia villages to the south and west of Houla (Kabu and Felleh were named repeatedly) entered the town after shelling of the ground for several hours. According to one eyewitness, the killers had written Shia slogans on their foreheads.[10][11]
The fifteen nations of the U.N. Security Council unanimously condemned the Syrian government for firing heavy weapons at civilians.[1] The U.S., U.K., and eleven other nations jointly expelled Syrian ambassadors and diplomats from their territories.[12][13] On 1 June, the U.N. Human Rights Council voted to condemn Syria for the massacre in the town of Houla and called for an international criminal inquiry into the events. The resolution - approved by 41 of the 47, whilst Russia, China and Cuba voted against - blamed pro-regime militia and government troops for the deaths.[14]




Houla was a regular protest hub, even before army defectors formed the Free Syrian Army. The Syrian army had been accused of raiding and killing protesters in Houla before.[15][16]
According to Al Jazeera's correspondent Hadi al-Abdallah, the Free Syrian Army had gained control of the town of Houla, and it became a hub for opposition militants. The Syrian Army was unable to enter the town, so they shelled it from a distance.[9]
The Syrian government gives an alternative context for the massacre. It claims that the attacks fit a pattern of armed groups escalating attacks prior to Security Council sessions on Syria, or in this case, coinciding with Annan's announced visit to the country. As an example it cited a March 15 massacre in the Karm Allouz neighborhood in Homs in which 15 Syrians were killed, including a woman and her four children, one day before a Security Council session on Syria.[7][17]


On May 25, 2012, activists say Syrian soldiers dispersed a crowd of protesters with gunfire at a checkpoint inTaldo, a village of Houla. Shortly after, armed rebels attacked the checkpoint, destroying an armored personnel carrier. The Syrian military responded by bombarding the town with tank and artillery fire.[18]
Witnesses said Shabiha militia forces from neighboring Alawite Shia villages,[18][8] entered the town around 7 pm, shortly after nightfall.[18][19] Some were wearing uniform, while others were wearing casual civilian clothing.[19] The men proceeded to loot homes for the next five hours, killing many civilians as they moved from house to house.[18] In some cases, gunmen herded whole families into rooms and sprayed them with bullets.[19] Satellite images showed a large Syrian military contingent 1.5 km southeast of the massacre site.[20]
Video later emerged on the Internet showing the bloodstained bodies of many children huddled on a floor in the dark,[21] some with their skulls split open,[22] some with their throats cut, and others knifed or shot to death.[23] The video also featured a man's voice screaming, "These are all children! Watch, you dogs, you Arabs, you animals – look at these children, watch, just watch!"[24] Another video showed what was said to be a mass burial of victims.[25] The U.S. State Department later published satellite photos said to show mass graves in Syria that line up with images from the ground supplied by Syrian opposition forces.[26]
According to the U.N. investigation, of the 108 confirmed dead, "fewer than 20" were killed by tank and artillery fire.[27] Most of the remainder were killed in "summary executions", and "entire families were shot in their houses" in the village of Taldo.[3] However, members of the international community in Damascus later said that, contrary to initial UN reports based on the testimony of opposition activists, most of the people in Houla were killed by gunfire spraying the rooms, not by "execution-style" killings. People's throats were not cut, as had been originally claimed.[28] The Local Coordination Committees, a network of opposition activists inside Syria, stated that the attack by the military was preceded by mortar shelling of the town, which in itself left entire families dead.[9][29] Activists stated that they had attempted to contact U.N. monitors during the night of the massacre, but the monitors refused to come.[30]
According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the massacre was perpetrated by the Syrian army, which attempted to break in to Houla after the town saw many anti-government protests. Political activists said that Syrian government forces and loyalists fired heavy weapons.[9] Other activists blamed Assadloyalists of the surrounding Alawite towns for the violence. A local man, who gave his name as Abu Bilal al-Homsi, accused Alawites in ranks of Shabiha of executions of locals in the town of Taldo, where they bayoneted civilians as a retaliation for a previous demonstration and an attack of Free Syrian Army fighters on army checkpoints in the vicinity of the towns.[9][31]
In interviews with Channel 4 News, townspeople described how Shabiha from Alawite villages to the south and west of Houla (Kabu and Felleh were named repeatedly) entered the town after shelling for several hours. According to one eyewitness, the killers had written Shia slogans on their foreheads. Reporter Alex Thomsonstated that he had been told many bodies were yet to be recovered, and that he had seen at least two bodies not included in the initial U.N. count.[8]
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]
On the same day, the Syrian foreign minister sent a letter to the U.N. Security Council, the U.N. General Secretariat and the Geneva human rights bodies detailing the government's account of what happened in Houla. According to this, hundreds of gunmen gathered around the locations of the massacres, armed with heavy weapons including anti-tank missiles. The letter read, "The terrorists started the offensive at 2:00 pm on Friday, attacking the area from al-Rastan, Talbiseh and al-Qseir, savagely killing several families, including children, women and elders." The letter supplied the names of the dead. It further explained that armed terrorist groups had burned crops and houses and also vandalized the national hospital in Taldo. Five positions of the Syrian military, outside the affected area, had also been attacked by the militia, and these clashes had lasted until 11 pm. Three soldiers had been killed and 16 injured in the fighting. The ministry stated that no tanks had entered the area.[6]


U.N. observers visited the site on the following day, viewing the bodies of the dead in a morgue.[33] They confirmed that at least 90 civilians were killed, including at least 32 children.[24] Robert Mood, the U.N. mission head, described the killings as "indiscriminate and unforgivable" and said that U.N. observers could confirm "the use of small arms, machine gun[s], artillery and tanks".[24] On the day of the attacks, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the Syrian government's "unacceptable levels of violence and abuses", including use of heavy weapons on civilian populations, before the U.N. Security Council.[9] The U.N. report on the killings strongly implied that forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad were responsible for the slaughter, demanding "that the Syrian Government immediately cease the use of heavy weapons in population centers."[34]
Several towns held rallies to protest the killings. In a Damascus neighborhood women were filmed carrying papers that read "Banish the U.N. tourists" and "The Syrian regime kills us under supervision of the U.N. observers".[9]
The Free Syrian Army stated that it could no longer honor the ceasefire if the safety of civilians was not guaranteed,[24] and that the peace plan negotiated by Kofi Annan was "dead".[35] Members of the group stated their intent to retaliate against government forces.[35]
On May 27, France, Germany, Great Britain and the U.S. proposed a collective statement at the U.N. condemning the Syrian government in "blistering" language, accusing it of using tank shells and artillery on a civilian population. However, Russia blocked the statement's adoption.[36] Kuwait called for an emergency meeting of the Arab League to discuss the attacks.[36] Later in the day, the fifteen nations that comprise U.N. Security Council unanimously condemned the Assad government for its role in the attack, though the language avoided direct blame for the deaths.[36]
On the same day, opposition activists claimed that the Syrian government renewed shelling of Houla, and set up snipers in the area in an apparent attempt to prevent any more civilians from speaking with observers.[31]
On May 29, Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the U.S. announced that they were expelling Syrian diplomats in response to the massacre.[37][38][12] Turkey and Japan later expelled Syrian diplomats, increasing the number of nations to do so to 13.[13] The Syrian government described the expulsions as "unprecedented hysteria",[39] and in turn, ordered the Dutch chargé d'affaires to leave the country within 72 hours. Russia called the expulsions of Syrian diplomats "counterproductive" and insisted that a U.N. Security Council statement Sunday condemning the incident was "a strong enough signal to the Syria parties."[40]
The following day, Denmark, the European Union, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the U.S. proposed a special session of the U.N. Human Rights Council to discuss the massacre. The request was supported by 51 nations.[41] The Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman stated that "They do not want to listen to Damascus, and that, from our point of view, does not improve matters in the current situation." Russia also called for no new U.N. Security Council action for the time being.[42] Russian First Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Denisov stated that: "One cannot take decisions on military operations in Syria by being guided by only emotions...the Russian position is not formed on the basis of emotions, which our respected French partners have unfortunately not escaped in the formulation of their position."[40] Despite the U.S. State Department's earlier hope that the events in Houla might prove a "turning point in Russian thinking", Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said: "We have always said that we are categorically against any outside interference in the Syrian conflict because this will only exacerbate the situation for both Syria and the region as a whole."[43]
A Syrian military officer, Major Jihad Raslan, stated that he defected to the opposition after "witnessing hundreds of pro-regime militiamen" carry out the massacre. Raslan stated that defections rose sharply following the attack.[44]
The Arab League held a special meeting on Syria following the attack, and on June 2, called on the U.N. Security Council "to take the necessary measures to protect Syrian civilians, including increasing the number of international monitors".[45] The following day, Assad addressed Syria in a 70-minute televised address[46] in which he denounced the Houla attacks as "massacres which even monsters would not have carried out". He stated that the attackers had been funded by "outside forces" and promised a "real war" against them.[47]
On June 3, Houla was still being shelled. Thomson reported that he could find no evidence of rogue militia in the area with heavy weapons - yet "still the shells fall" - and wondered if the heavy weapons might be ones being used by Assad's own army.[48]



  • Syria – Syrian government: Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said that "[t]here is a huge, misleading, well-planned campaign to distort the facts on the ground and mislead the people."[49] Jihad Makdissi, spokesman for the Syrian Foreign Ministry, said in a press conference on May 27, "We completely deny responsibility for this terrorist massacre against our people". He also repeated the claim that the Syrian government was the target of a "tsunami of lies. […] Women, children and old men were shot dead, […] This is not the hallmark of the heroic Syrian army." As had already been claimed the day before by the state-owned news agency SANA, Makdissi also pointed to the "suspicious coincidence" that the attacks occurred in conjunction with the visit to Syria on May 28 by Kofi Annan, making them "a slap to the political process". The foreign ministry spokesman informed that a military judicial committee is investigating the massacre and that its findings would be announced in three days.[50][51] He also emphasized that no tanks or artillery had entered al-Houla town, and that law enforcement units "never left their positions", being pinned down in self-defense. He also said, "The Syrian state is responsible for protecting civilians according to the constitution and Syria preserves its right to defend its citizens."[51] A Syrian honorary consul general in California resigned.[52]
  • Local Coordination Committees: "We in the Local Coordination Committees are pained by the international community's apparent blindness to the bloodshed, and believe the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) bears the responsibility for its inability to protect Syrian civilians."[29]
  • Syrian National Council: The SNC called on the U.N. Security Council to examine the massacre that had taken place in Houla.[22] Burhan Ghalioun, former leader of the SNC, called for a "battle of Liberation" in Syria, asking Syrian civilians and FSA alike to engage in combat with the Syrian government until foreign countries intervene.[53]


  • United Nations – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the U.N. special envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, described the attack as an "appalling and brutal crime involving indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force [which] is a flagrant violation of international law and of the commitments of the Syrian government to cease the use of heavy weapons in population centers and violence in all its forms". They called on the Syrian government to cease the use of heavy weapons in densely populated areas, and they reiterated the call for all sides to cease violence.[36] On May 28, U.N. Security Council unanimously condemned the killing of at least 108 people and confirmed that massacre took place amid "series of government artillery and tank shellings on a residential neighborhood", which the Syrian government denied just hours before.[54]
  • Arab League – Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby described the events as a "horrific crime", calling on the Syrian government to "stop the escalation of killing and violence by armed gangs and government military forces".[24]
  • Australia – Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr called on the Syrian government to withdraw from all military action and described the "massacre of civilians" as a "hideous and brutal crime". Senator Carr also explained that the Syrian Chargé d'affaires, Mr Jawdat Ali and another Syrian diplomat would be expelled by Australia and would be required to leave the country by May 31, 2012.[55]
  • Bulgaria – The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry formally expelled the Syrian ambassador and two other diplomats, and temporarily withdrew its diplomatic staff from Damascus in response to what it calls a "monstrous massacre".[56]
  • Canada – Canadian Foreign Ministry formally expelled Syrian diplomats. Speaking to reporters on Parliament Hill the Government of Canada indicated it was "deeply offended and outraged by the actions that occurred in Syria this past weekend by the government and thugs supporting the government" in the Syrian area of Houla.[57]
  • China – A spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry said that "China feels deeply shocked by the large number of civilian casualties in Houla, and condemns in the strongest terms the cruel killings of ordinary citizens, especially women and children".[58] However, the ruling party's official newspaper warned against intervention and argued that the international community should stick with the Annan peace plan, saying that "the Syrian question should be resolved by the Syrian people. Outside powers do not have the right to stick their hands in."[59]
  • France – France condemned the "massacre in Houla" and called for greater international action. Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced arrangements for a Paris meeting of a "Friends of Syria" group.[9]President François Hollande stated that military intervention could not be ruled out.[61]
  • Germany – German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said that "It is appalling that the Syrian regime does not put an end to the brutal violence against its own people ... Those responsible for this crime must be punished."[62]
  • Hungary – According to the Hungarian government's website, the Hungarian Foreign Ministry "most firmly condemns the murder of more than hundred persons including children in Houla, Syria. We express our most sincere condolences and deepest compassion to the families of the victims […] The deployment of military force against civilian population in such a brutal and inhuman manner is the most ruthless violation of fundamental human rights and the earlier commitments of the Syrian leadership. We call upon the Syrian Government to immediately end violence, support the mission of U.N. observers, and fully implement Kofi Annan’s six-point plan."[63]
  • Iran – On May 28, Iran's foreign ministry released a statement via its official media condemning the killings in Houla, stating that "[t]he killing of a number of innocent people in the area has distressed the Islamic nations." The ministry denounced the "suspect act" and urged authorities "to identify and punish those responsible."[64] On May 30, the country's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, told French TV stationFrance 24 in an interview that "[a]ll those who carried out these murders are guilty and I hope the people responsible are punished."[65]
  • Israel – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who had until the massacre refrained from any comments regarding Syria, expressed "appall at the continuous slaughter of innocent civilians by Assad's forces." He called on the international community to take action in light of "the continuous slaughter of innocent civilians" and added that "Iran and Hezbollah cannot be separated from Assad's massacre, and the world needs to take action against them as well."[66] The Israeli President Shimon Peres, meanwhile, proclaimed that "their president, who is supposed to be the father of their nation, became their murderer". He argued that "The reactions until now have been declarations; unfortunately, declarations don't stop murders and assassinations. I think the time has come to help the Syrians achieve peace and regain their freedom."[67]
  • Japan – Japanese government spokesman Osamu Fujimura[68] condemned the "inhumane violence" that had occurred in Houla, and expressed sympathy for the victims. He went on to state that "It is clear that the Syrian cabinet holds part of the responsibility over that crisis […] Japan will pressure Syria to implement the steps suggested by the U.N to put an end to violence and carry out its duties in protecting its citizens."[69]Syria's ambassador in Tokyo was ordered to leave the country.[70][71]
  • Norway – On May 29 the Norwegian foreign minister Jonas Gahr Støre stated, "I am deeply shocked over the massacre. The situation in Syria is very serious and incidents such as this can lead the country into full civil war."[73]
  • Panama – On May 30, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Panama, announced the decision to "suspend temporarily" the diplomatic relations with the Arab Republic of Syria, based on the massive and systematic violations of human rights that the government of President Bashar al Assad ahead to the detriment of their own people, and until they can not be held definitively and unconditionally.[74]
  • Romania – On May 29, Romanian State Secretary Dan Petre condemned the "unqualifiable violence perpetrated at Houla" and summoned the Syrian chargé d’affaires a.i. to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to express "profound indignation about such actions of a nature to threaten regional stability and security". The Romanian Minstry of Foreign Affairs again called for the Syrian regime to "cease urgently any forms of violence" and requested full support for the UN supervision mission in Syria.[75] On May 30, Foreign Minister Andrei Marga recommended expelling the Syrian ambassador in Bucharest, calling the events in Houla "intolerable".[76] The move was supported by Prime Minister Victor Ponta, who added however that Romania will maintain some diplomatic personnel in Damascus to assist Romanians who have yet to leave Syria.[77]
  • Russia – Although before the massacre Russian rhetoric had often focused on Assad as a "reformer", Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in Moscow following a meeting with the British foreign minister, "The government bears the main responsibility for what is going on" and that "Any government in any country bears responsibility for the security of its citizens".[78] Russia's reaction was considered to be a condemnation of the Syrian government.[79] However, Lavrov also stated that the rebels shared the blame for the killings, noting that some victims had been killed at close range in a district controlled by the opposition fighters.[80] Later, Alexei Pushkin, a foreign affairs committtee chair in the Russian government, took this rhetoric further, saying that "We have very strong doubts that those people who were shot at point-blank [range] and were stabbed, that this was the action of forces loyal to President Assad... The shelling was probably...the troops of Mr Assad, but the stabbing and point-blank firing was definitely from the other side."[81] In response to reports that Russia had shipped weapons to the Syrian port of Tartus in the same week as the massacre and American criticism of Russia's policy on Syria, Putin denied that Russia was shipping any arms to Syria "which can be used in a civilian conflict".[82] The Russian foreign ministry also issued a statement saying "The tragedy in Houla showed what can be the outcome of financial aid and smuggling of modern weapons to rebels, recruitment of foreign mercenaries and flirting with various sorts of extremists."[82]
  • Saudi Arabia – Saudi Arabia condemned the massacre. Its representative at the Human Rights Council said the Kingdom is keen on the unity and integrity of Syria.[83]
  • Turkey – Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said that Turkey "deplores and condemns in the strongest terms the massacre of at least 110 innocent civilians, including 50 children, as a result of the rocket and artillery bombardment carried out by the Syrian security forces on May 25 against the town of Houla and the mass murders committed by soldiers and 'shebbiha' militias who entered into the town afterwards." He further stated that Turkey would continue its solidarity with the Syrian people as well as the international community for the democratic transition process based on the legitimate demands of the people to end tragedy experienced in Syria before it took more innocent lives.[84] On May 30 Turkey and Japan joined other nations and expelled senior Syrian diplomats.[85]
  • United Arab Emirates – The UAE called for an Arab League meeting regarding the massacre, describing the killing as "a violation to our humanity, and signifies the tragic failure of our collective Arab and international efforts to put an end to the violence against the civilians in Syria."[86]
  • United Kingdom – British Foreign Secretary William Hague called the massacre an "appalling crime" and stated that the British government would seek a "strong response."[24] He blamed the Syrian government and called an emergency meeting at the U.N. security council.[87] On the 1st of June, Hague went further and argued that given how rapidly the situation was deteriorating, it would be wrong to "rule out any options.[82]
  • United States – U.S Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the U.S. condemned "in the strongest possible terms" the "atrocity" in Houla. She said the U.S. will work with the international community to put pressure on "Assad and his cronies," stating that their "rule by murder and fear must come to an end." She added, "Those who perpetrated this atrocity must be identified and held to account."[30] The American government said that this act was further evidence of an "inhuman and illegitimate Syrian government" that responds to peaceful political protest with "unspeakable and inhuman brutality."[88] On the 1st of June, Clinton criticized Russia's actions, including its alleged "continuous supply of arms to Syria" and that in her view, Russia's stance in the conflict was not neutral as it claimed it was.[82]
  • Vatican City – Vatican City released a statement saying that the "massacre causes pain and profound preoccupation to the Holy Father and the Catholic community as a whole" and asked for the "cessation" of violence.[89]
  • Vietnam – Vietnam Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Luong Thanh Nghi said: "Viet Nam strongly condemns the killings of more than 100 civilians in the town of Houla. We extend our heart-felt condolences to the families of the victims and call on parties concerned in Syria to promptly conduct full and objective investigations into the case and to strictly observe the UN six-point peace plan so that stability in Syria will soon be restored and the Syrian people will be able to build and develop their countries.”[90]


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Update 3 august 2012:
A German article that conmes down to propaganda for Israel.

An article in 'The National Review ' ( Which pulicised the FAZ article) where pro rebel people get a chance to rebut the FAZ information.:
It is telling that they only are able to write: FAZ gets his information from pro Assad people.
They are not able to say: these are the names of the people who were killed, and the were anti-Assad people.
FAZ gives the names of the killed families, and their affiliation was : Pro Assad.  That makes me believe that it was the rebels who did it.

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