Massacre of Syrians Discovered in Fields Around Damascus
Syrian human rights activists report that rebels this week uncovered evidence of a Syrian government massacre in a suburb of Damascus.
The gruesome discovery of the bodies of at least 24 men showed that all had apparently been tortured prior to their execution. The men were probably killed where they were left by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, in the fields surrounding the capital in the surburb of Deriya'a.
The Arabic Human Rights Information Network has reported the massacre, according to the U.S.-based Syrian Expatriate Organization which recently began sending statements to media. A Facebook page has been posted showing the photos of the massacre and a poster of at least 13 of the bodies that were found. Readers who understand Arabic are being asked if they recognize and can identify any of those who were murdered.
Activists said Wednesday that 11 men were executed by government forces in Damascus as well, and provided video of men with bullet holes in the side of their heads. They said they found on Wednesday the bodies of the 11 men, who were executed by Assad forces in the Damascus district of Qaboun.
Footage showed 11 bloodied bodies, some in an alleyway and some inside a building. Three appeared to have been shot through their shirts, which were pulled above their heads, and one was kneeling against a wall.
Rania al-Midani, an opposition activist who lives near Qaboun, said that the men were arrested five days ago in a nearby district.
"Activists found them today in Tishreen alley. They thought these men were in jail. They could only enter the alleyway today to find their bodies as it was previously occupied by (pro-Assad militia) shabbiha," she told Reuters over Skype.
Assad's forces and plain-clothed shabbiha militiamen are accused of several massacres, including the May 25 killing of at least 108 people, nearly half of them children, in Homs province, which was later verified by United Nations monitors on the ground.