to Human Rights Watch, al Qaeda-led frebels in Syria conducted an early
August attack on village killing at least 190 unarmed civilians
and abducting more than 200, committing a war crime, an international
human rights group
Five groups, including two linked to al-Qaida and others with jihadi
leanings, led the campaign, which appeared to have been funded in part
by private donations raised in the Persian Gulf, the report said.
The Aug. 4 rebel attack tool place in more
than a dozen villages in the coastal province of Latakia were systematic
and could even amount to a crime against humanity, according to the 105-page report released this morning.
report documents serious abuses committed by opposition forces on
August 4 during their attack on the villages. Eight survivors and
witnesses described how opposition forces executed residents and opened
fire on civilians, sometimes killing or attempting to kill entire
families who were either in their homes unarmed or fleeing from the
attack, and at other times killing adult male family members, and
holding the female relatives and children hostage. At the time of
writing, according to opposition sources, over 200 civilians, the vast
majority of whom are women and children, continue to be held by the
Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) and Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar,
groups that led the opposition offensive.
Do you think Cubans are fighting for healthcare or freedom from Communism?
Witnesses said rebels went house to house, in some cases killing entire
families and in other cases killing the men and taking women and
children hostage. The villagers belong to the minority Alawite sect, an
offshoot of Shiite Islam which forms the backbone of President Bashar
Assad’s regime — and which Sunni Muslim extremists consider heretics.
In some cases families in their entirety were executed or gunned down
by opposition fighters, in others, surviving family members had to flee
leaving loved ones behind. One resident in the hamlet between the
villages of Blouta and al-Hamboushieh described how he was able to flee
his home with his mother as fighters entered his neighborhood but that
he had to leave his elderly father and blind aunt behind in their house
because of their physical infirmness. He said that when he returned to
the hamlet after the government retook the area he found that his father
and aunt had been killed:
My mom was here in the house
with me. She came out of the house first, and I was behind her. We saw
the three fighters just in front of us, and then we fled on foot down
behind the house and into the valley. The three fighters that I saw were
all dressed in black. They were shooting at us from two different
directions. They had machine guns and were using snipers. My older
brother came down and hid with us as well. We hid, but my dad stayed in
the house. He was killed in his bed. My aunt, she is an 80 year old
blind woman, was also killed in her room. Her name is Nassiba.
residents and first responders told Human Rights Watch that they
witnessed executions or saw bodies that bore signs of execution after
opposition forces were pushed out of the area on August 18 by government
forces, including in some cases corpses that were bound, and bodies
that had been decapitated. A doctor working in the National Hospital in
Latakia who was receiving the dead and wounded from Latakia countryside
told Human Rights Watch that they had received 205 corpses of civilians
killed during the August 4-August 18 operation. The doctor showed Human
Rights Watch a medical report the hospital prepared on August 26 stating
that the, “[c ]ause of death in several of them [the bodies] was
multiple gunshot wounds all over the bodies, in addition to stab wounds
made with a sharp instrument, given the decapitation observed in most
bodies…Some corpses were found in a state of complete charring, and
others had their feet tied…” The medical report reflected that the
amount of decay the corpses received by the hospital after opposition
forces left the area exhibited was consistent with having been killed
around August 4. An opposition activist who was present in the affected
villages during the operation told Human Rights Watch on the night of
August 4 that on that day there were “160 or 200 Alawite dead.”
Human Rights Watch said at least 67 of the 190 civilians slain by the
rebels were killed at close range or while trying to flee. There are
signs that most of the others were also killed intentionally or
indiscriminately, but more investigation is needed, the group said.
The rebels seized more than 200 civilians from the Alawite villages,
most of them women and children, and demanded to trade the hostages for
prisoners held by the regime.
There is much more in this report of the horrors the villages endured in this one attack
are the same rebels who the President wanted to support, first by
arming then by a full-scale attack on the regime after reports of
government-led chemical weapons attack. These are the same rebels
Senator John McCain has constantly urged Obama to help.
Human Rights Watch report is additional proof of the fact many in our
government refuse to acknowledge—this is a “Civil” War between the bad
guys and the other bad guys. The United States should not be risking
the lives of our American heroes by taking sides and entering this
Click here to read the entire report.