About 9 days ago, Assad’s loyalists and Shabiha (thugs) have yet again committed a horrendous massacre that took the lives of nearly 50 children out of a total of 108 civilians, most of which were women and elderly too. Despite the fact that the world finally yet merely looked upon the Syrian struggle for freedom and decided to launch several campaigns for these slaughtered children, nothing is ever enough to bring justice to these martyred angels.
Although the massacre was condemned by world powers, barely anything was done in order to delegitimize Bashar Al Assad. Several world countries, including EU countries, expelled Assad’s ambassadors. A Geneva meeting was held, discussing further means that would prosecute those responsible of the massacre and take Al Houlah’s massacre to the International Criminal Court for further investigations. Yesterday, Annan’s plan was assigned a timeline of 2 months, when by then, Annan is supposed to submit his report about the situation in Syria. But on ground, none of this matters. Al Houleh’s families were further bombarded after the massacre occurred on the 25th of May, taking more civilian lives and forcing more families to leave their houses. Every day, nearly 40 civilians are martyred across Syria by the continuous military campaigns carried out by the regime’s forces. The “Death Squads” literally are moving from a city to the other, killing more in every step they take; all of these death are occurring whilst the “not-yet-complete” 300 UN observers are present on ground.
Survivors of Al Houleh massacre told horrific stories, just recounting the dreadfulness all the martyrs underwent prior to their slaughter. Most of them confirm that the Shabiha (thugs) and loyalists mostly came in from Falleh, Al Kabu, Fahel, Al Shurkaleyyeh, etc, all of which are located near Taldu, where the massacre occurred. Here is a satellite map showing these areas surrounding Al Houleh. Again, I have mentioned in a previous post that Al Houleh is surrounded by pro-regime villages and towns.
Here are the areas where the slaughtered families were uncovered – Taldu, Al Houleh
Those who survivied this massacre said that most of the loyalists and thugs who raided their districts then stormed their houses were wearing military clothes. Some of those accompanying them were bald and had long beards. The Shabiha (thugs) were reportedly on tanks in some eye-witnesses, others said they saw them coming in on military vehicles. These militias have not only killed these families, but have also robbed their most precious belongings, such as TVs, golden rings, and other valuable properties. The following are amongst the most important recounts of the massacre (all are subtitled in English)
(more videos could be found on this page: https://www.facebook.com/HoulaGraphic )
One of the children recounted one of the most horrific stories ever. Regime’s militias shot him, but the bullet penetrated the ground and missed him. Concerning his family, he said:
“They stormed our house after opening gunfire at our door. They then arrested my brother, Shawqi, and my uncles. My mom then started screaming at them, asking why are they taking the men along with them. They grabbed my mom, trying to frighten her after she kept yelling. They threatened to shoot her, and eventually did so 5 times and shot her once in the head. They shot my other brother, Nadura, twice, once in the back and once in the head. I was near him, hiding under a cover. He took the cover off me and shot me, but they missed me.”
This woman lost all of her 4 children; 3 of which were killed, and one of them got kidnapped by regime’s Shabiha (thugs) and loyalists. She sustained severe injuries after being shot by the forces too. Nearly at the end of the film, she begins to cry, pledging the world to bring her back the only alive son kidnapped by regime’s loyalists.
This elderly woman got tongue-tied and partially lost some of her neural functions after being psychologically traumatized of what she has witnessed occur to her family members. She obviously looks very much unresponsive and refuses to answer anyone.
Many of these survivors need physical therapy after losing limbs/ability to move because of the injuries they sustained. But most importantly, most of them need immediate and specialized psychological therapy; these civilians have underwent the unimaginable, watching their family members and beloved relatives being slaughtered/shot, one after the other. Unfortunately, psychological therapists are currently very hard to find in Syria, let alone urgently needed medics to treat wounded civilians.
Mass exodus is also a massive obstacle facing activists, who can merely sustain the humanitarian aid needed to allow these civilians to survive these extremely harsh times. Countless number of families, most of which are children and women, fled Taldu area to nearby villages, such as Al Burj village. These families feared both the continuous, indiscriminate bombardment targeting their districts and the thought of falling victims to more slaughter massacres similar to that of Taldu. Here is a video, subtitiled in english, showing only one of the asylums civilians from Al Houleh city and Taldu area are taking refuge in. More than 50 people, all of which are children and women, were filmed in the video, packed in one small room that barely fits the children lined beside each other, sleeping. These refugees lack the most basic needs to survive, such as an adequate health care, a sustained source of provisions and water, and safety and security.
Even with the most professional psychological and physical therapy these civilians could be given, nothing can make them forget the miseries and the flashbacks of the massacre they underwent. The scars will remain, and the lost limbs will never grow again. Many Syrians fell and still are falling victims to such ghastly genocides, but the world still chooses to ignore all these sufferings. What you have seen in Al Houlah are only the corpses of these civilians, all of which were silent and immobile, but you have not lived what they lived, saw what they saw, or cried the way they did.
You indeed are not any of these victims’ relatives, but you definitely are responsible to immortalize their story and memory and to help them by donating and campaigning for them. Amongst the most well-known charities dedicated for Syria is the Hand-in-Hand for Syria charity, which is registered in the United Kingdom. For more information, please do visit their Facebook page here.