Al Nusra Massacres in Lattakia

The following is a report from the Sham Times – an independent Syrian newspaper. It has been translated from the Arabic.

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www.shamtimes.net…

A Documentary Report on Al Nusra Massacres in Lattakia

by Hussein Mortada

The Syrian coast is witnessing a state of collective suicide/ mass murder perpetrated by armed men ideologically affiliated to Al Quieda under the banner of the “liberation of the coast”. The armed groups commenced their attack on more than one interval; the operation began with these groups bombarding the villages of Kafriya, Tala, Bramsa, Anbata and Beit Alshekouhy; these villages are considered to be loyal to the Syrian leadership.

The spontaneous bombardment contributed to mass exodus from the villages, and as they were besieged, the civilians found themselves in the hands of the armed Islamists. The armed men considered themselves victorious. One of the survivors of the massacres has stated that the armed men committed crimes against humanity in villages they entered;  including the liquidation of the entire family of retired army general Youssef Al Qusseiby, who was slaughtered along with his family. The survivor added that the armed men slaughtered over 136 individuals, most of whom were women and children, also relaying that a pregnant woman was slaughtered following the slitting of her belly and the killing of her fetus . Additionally, many people are missing and their whereabouts remains unknown. Information was also obtained in relation to the fact that many civilians and soldiers were taken hostage by the armed men, the most prominent of whom was Sheikh Bader Ghazal from the village of Tala, whose photograph emerged , his clothing bloodied and his face slashed, exhibiting signs of torture. After this massacre the armed groups exerted control over Anbata, Barouda and Alhamboushia, however the Syrian Army managed to regain all of this territory, with the exception of Al Hamboushia, which was regained after it was completely destroyed by the armed men. Less than 48 hours after the Syrian Army battled the armed men, it regained the greater part of the area they occupied, after killing 6 of their senior leaders, most prominent of whom  was the leader of Tawheed Brigade and the battle for the “liberation of the coast” Qahtan Haaj Muhammad. The armed groups withdrew to the Haffa and Salma area, which witnessed heavy bombardment, in addition to widespread fires engulfing the northern outskirts of Lattakia.

The Syrian Army carried out bombardments against the positions of the armed groups in Saraya area, which contributed to the deaths of an unknown number of armed men who had set up base in one of the government buildings. The Syrian Army also managed to enforce a military blockade on the areas in which the armed men took refuge.  In this context, an observer notes that the goal of the armed men in attacking the villages of the coast was to create a state of sectarian tension in the area in accordance with a plan devised by Saudi Intelligence under auspice from Washington. The so-called “co-ordination” committees had stated that the armed men had managed to control the area of Abrad Barouda, Anbata, Astarba, Al Hamboushia and Balouta, yet simultaneously, sources from within the armed groups, via one of the co-ordination committees, have stated that the information previously given conflicts with other sources citing that the armed men withdrew from Abrad Barouda after subjection to heavy bombardment targeting them.

Sources close to the Syrian Army have stated that “ the clashes in which the army engaged have forced the armed groups to withdraw  under fire especially in Marsad Barouda and buildings in the mountain of Barouda, where “ more than thirty armed men were killed…This highlights the fact that clashes continue on many fronts as the armed opposition attempts to exert control over areas”.

The sources also indicate that “most of the dead are foreign fighters, fighting in groups affiliated to AlQuieda”, and this was evident via photographs which emerged of the dead, most of them being of Libyan and Saudi-Arabian nationality. Pertaining to the last massacre, “ Al Hor Ghazal”- one of the sheikhs of the region-confirms that none of the residents of Al Hamboushia have survived, whereas in Nabata there were nine survivors, and the rest were killed via method of slaughter; in addition to the women who were taken as sex slaves, one of whom killed herself to avoid such a fate.

In the village of Kharata, a small housing collective, the residents of which number no more than thirty-seven, all were liquidated. In Balouta, a retired army general was slaughtered, following which the residents of the village were rounded up in its centre, the children were killed in front of their parents; those who tried to run were shot to death. Despite this, ten people survived the slaughter wounded, three have since died in hospital.

The village of Asterba was also subjected to slaughter and every home was set on fire. Sheikh Muwafaq Ghazal stated that “ on Sunday morning Sheikh Bader Ghazal (one of the religious notables of the Alawite community in the area) was in Barouda for Qadr night which is commemorated towards the end of the month of Ramadan and he remained there until morning, the armed attack on the area occurred, and the sheikh was kidnapped. The village was subjected to massacre, and the family with whom the sheikh were staying were all slaughtered”. Sheikh Muwafaq Ghazal added that the number of martyrs from the massacre at Barouda exceeded fifty women and children, and male and female youth were bound and taken as sex slaves, their fate still unknown.

The massacre commenced in the village of Ramtha, where the armed men killed eighteen to twenty people, no survivors with the exception of one who ran towards the forest.  The residents of Barouda and Kharaba were all killed by method of slaughter, and in Alhamoushia at least fifty people were killed. The number of martyrs in all the villages combined number approximately 400 people, with a great number of women, children and sheikhs kidnapped and taken to the villages of Doriya and Salma where they are subjected to torture. The armed groups acknowledged holding 150 hostages including women and the sheikh, demanding an exchange.

Sheikh Muwafaq Ghazal stated that “ the point of these massacres is to create sectarian conflict between Alawites and Sunnis, however the sons and daughters of the Alawite community will not resort to these divisive actions, given that the kidnappers contacted one of the families and requested an exchange to take place- 150 hostages for three Libyan prisoners broadcast on Syrian Television three days prior”. A large number of the victims of the massacres committed by” Jabhat Al Nusra” and the” Islamic State in Iraq and Syria” in eight villages on the northern outskirts of Lattakia resulted in the liquidation of entire families.

The victims of Nabata:

  • Hafez Mehrez Shahada- 80 years
  • Kamal Muhammad Shahada, his wife and three children; Rand- 11 years; Naser- 9 years; Muhammad 7 years
  • Jaffar Alsheikh- 4 years. Jaffar, in terror, asked to drink water, and one of the armed men stabbed him to death.
  • Yaseen Najdat Shahada
  • Jawdat Shahada
  • Imad Alsheikh
  • Tamador Saleem Shahada- 17 years
  • Khitam Adib Shahada
  • Ibraheem Al Sheikh
  • The kidnapped of Nabata
  • The wife of Hafez Shahada, and Fahima Muhhamad Suleiman, his second wife
  • Ramza Alsheikh and her daughter Taymaa
  • The child Amer Ghassan Yahya
  • Ahmad Shahada and his wife Shazza Hitaab and their nine month old son
  • Ali Hitaab
  • Kazem Mehrez Shahada, his wife Diaa Sweid and their three children, Ala, Heidar and Zein, who is one.
  • Mona Fatima, kidnapped after her husband was slaughtered
  • Samara Alsheikh
  • Lotus Al Sheikh
  • Marah Alsheikh; the three daughters of Emad Al Sheikh, who was slaughtered
  • Inaam Alsheikh- 13 years
  • Bashar Alsheikh- 11 years
  • Ahmad Alsheikh
  • Aktham Alsheikh

The victims of Al Hamboushia, mostly children

  • Hani Shakouhy
  • Hamza Mariam
  • Taher Mariam
  • Munzir  Darweish
  • Hala, wife of Munzir Darweish, the pregnant woman who was slaughtered and her belly slit open, killing the fetus
  • The child Ayman Mariam
  • The child Lina Qadra
  • The child Ahmad Mariam
  • Rafaat Mariam
  • The child Dalaa Mariam
  • The child Muhammad Mariam
  • The child Marah Mariam
  • The child Farah Mariam
  • The child Muhammad Mariam
  • The child Jaafar Ismail
  • Wisaal Tamer
  • Taim Shakouhy- one year old child
  • Tamer Shakouhy- 3 years old
  • Lamiya Shahada and all of her children
  • Entisar Mariam
  • Esrar Mariam
  • Narjes Mariam
  • Waheeb Mariam
  • Nazeera Areefo
  • Adel Mariam
  • Wael Mariam

 Those kidnapped by Jabhat Al Nusra of Al Hamboushia village

  • Fadel Shakouhy
  • Wazifa Shakouhy
  • Kinana Shakouhy
  • Afaf Shakouhy
  • Mustafa Shakouhy
  • Faten Mariam
  • Widad Mariam
  • Eleeen Shakouhy
  • Duaa Mariam

The Victims of Balouta village- entire families were liquidated here

  • Azab Salim
  • Taim Salim- one year old child
  • Samir Salim
  • Haidar Salim
  • Wafiq Ibrahim and all of his three  children
  • Shadi Ibrahim
  • Muqdad Ibrahim
  • Geidak Ibrahim
  • Nohad Deeb
  • Fawzia Deeb
  • Ghadeer Deeb
  • Amjad Deeb
  • Zeina Deeb
  • Ziad Deeb- one year old child
  • Hussein Ibrahim
  • Mariam Ibrahim
  • Zahra Ibrahim
  • Ismail Ibrahim
  • The names of those kidnapped from Balouta are unknown

The Victims of Bramsa

  • Sleiman Fateema and his wife Samira Ghanem
  • Muhammad Fateema and his wife Fakeera Yasseen
  • Nadi Fateema, his wife and their  two children
  • Bassem Fateema, his wife and three children
  • Until this point in time, the names of the  kidnapped of Bramsa remain unknown

The victims of Abu Makka

  • Asaad Sleiman Qadra
  • Muhammad Kamel Qadra
  • Faeqa Haidar- teacher
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