Warning

Warning: This site contains images and graphic descriptions of extreme violence and/or its effects. It's not as bad as it could be, but is meant to be shocking. Readers should be 18+ or a mature 17 or so. There is also some foul language occasionally, and potential for general upsetting of comforting conventional wisdom. Please view with discretion.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Syria: Ghouta Chemical Massacres (plural) {Masterlist}

May 26, 2015

Incident: Early hours of August 21, 2013: the simultaneous "chemical" death of x-hundred civilians in the suburbs of Damascus, east and west, by apparently varied and usually unclear "chemical" methods. Rebels blamed government-fired rockets, and buried all the dead in their own mass graves. 

The UN later found Sarin remains in dirt next to rockets that may be irrelevant to the basements these folks were gassed in. And they found seemingly token amounts of Sarin product in the blood of some rebel-supplied alleged survivors. Of the people who died - x-hundred in number, widely-parroted as 1,429 - none were tested for what killed them. It's said this is because a "dead body can't tell you how the person died," but that's clearly not why the UN's investigators chose to rely on living, rebel-screened, alleged survivor can tell it all for them.  

One man who might've pulled through and be a credible witness to sample and interview apparently started waking up in the morgue in Kafr Batna shown above (later as it's being emptied). In the center here here is a blood-soaked bed sheet they wadded under his neck after rebels finished "Assad's" work with a cut to the throat. It was okay, they had stand-ins. And they didn't have to settle for 1,428 martyrs making their case for a military bailout. The basement these folks were gassed in seems to be directly beneath the floor here (or maybe it is a bit behind here and below, whichever - it's the former tuberculosis hospital).

fuller intro perhaps forthcoming - I just need this post up now

Existing posts here, in order of importance
* The Ghouta Massacre's Sarin Myth, Brightly Lit: Exploring Kafr Batna's... Rebel Gas Chambers?
* Visual Evidence that the Victims were Prisoners and Unflattering before-and-after images of those prisoners
* Ghouta Massacres (plural) by District (lots of details here but broken up - will be 10 district sub-posts when done)
* Ghouta Massacre Victims: Medical and Media Staffs Decimated? Killed in the line of duty, and/or with family, in Zamalka

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Misrata Brigades Accept the GNC

Thanks to some comments by h at Refugees and Human Traficking, something new (as far as I know)

Libya Dawn revolutionaries show support for GNC
https://www.facebook.com/lyobserver/photos/a.515960841842334.1073741828.515956728509412/696849840420099/?type=1

Libya Dawn Operation revolutionaries representing 23 cites issued on Wednesday
a statement in Al-Zaweya to show support to the General National Congress
as the sole legitimacy in Libya urging everyone to comply with its orders.

The statement indicated that all of the revolutionaries must be united all around Libya
and that Libya Dawn partners are not allowed to declare neither war nor peace unilaterally



May 20 2015
https://www.libyaherald.com/2015/05/20/ghariani-stirs-new-controversy/

Mufti Ghariani denounces Misrata brigades statement for peace and reconciliation

http://www.alwasat.ly/ar/news/libya/75385/
4 Misrata Brigades confirm their support for dialogue, putting an end to the fighting.

In Misrata, 236 revolutionary brigades are registered with the Misratan Union
of Revolutionaries (MUR),7 accounting for almost 40,000fighters

http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/fileadmin/docs/F-Working-papers/SAS-WP12-After-the-Fall-Libya.pdf

This was preceded by European threats over the recent death voyages, coming from ports run by Libya Dawn. GNC officials had been complicit, out of greed and/or fear, but "when Italy and other major EU state leaders started talking about military action to destroy the smuggler boats before they could load up with illegal migrants," the GNC offered to patrol the coast with EU coordination, to stop the traffic. Italy, by far the biggest absorber of the influx, welcomed the move.
Al-Arabiya Italy welcomes collaboration with GNC

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Ghouta Massacre Victims: Medical and Media Staffs Decimated?

Killed in the Line of Duty, and/or With Family, in Zamalka
May 21, 2015

The following is mainly from The Weekly Report on Dignity Revolution's Martyrs 8/17-8/23 2013 by the Center for Documentation of Violations in Syria (opposition). And mainly, it's information provided to them by one "Murad Abu Bilal, Information Officer in Zamalka's Coordination Committee," who's also "one of the few survivors of the media team during the massacre." In fact he says he's the only survivor. If rebels had gassed people there, he'd likely know and be the first to say it - or maybe not. But the facts, or something, force him to blame the silly regime for an exceptionally harsh version of attack, compared to what most other activists allege.

His contribution was video-recorded in two sessions (all in Arabic)
* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmjZplt5lzQ indoors interview
* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxRrih_nZcA field interview at the medical point

Medical Point Destroyed and Entire Staff Killed
"Murad Abu Bilal" atop the medical point
"Murad Abu Bilal" gave his field interview (second video) in what he callled "Zamalka Al Balad - Al Mazra'a" (the farms? maybe east end of Zamalka?). Indicating a semi- destroyed building, he told them "here was the medical point of Zamalka." Much of the video is filmed from its roof. He says "on Wednesday 08.21.2013, at quarter to two in the morning (1:45 AM, or maybe meaning 2:15, or maybe 2:45 as most give the attack starting) we were helping people here." "We" presumably means "they," or "us in the opposition" - he's not medical staff himself. The number of patients was huge; he says "about 600 people had been moved to this medical point during the first half hour after the bombing" (which started at 1:15/45/2:15?).

He says at that time, with 600 patients gathered within a half hour, at 1:45 AM or whenever, "another missile fell on the same building where the "medical point" was, which led to the death of many patients and the whole medical staff." He explains:
"The top of the: "medical point " building was bombed heavily with chemical weapons, and it is this building that we were assisting the infected people to climb to the top of to inhale some fresh air, however, the second rocket that fell on the mentioned building claimed dozens of lives as well. There were more than 60 people on the top of that building, in addition to dozens of people who were standing on the stairs, and others were waiting in front of the medical point downstairs."
The report doesn't give a number or any identities for any deaths among this medical staff of unclear size, but "Abu Bilal" says they all died in one or another of these strikes.

Murad Abu Bilal, indoor interview
"Abu Bilal" follows, "There were hundreds of victims; from this exact building we took out 400 martyrs." That's the usual reported total death toll from the CW attack in all of Zamalka, always rounded - not anyone killed by missile attack. "The injured (affected) were about 12000, that is the whole population of the city," he further says. That's incredible - the most detailed list has about 10,000 total affected, and specifies 1,200 in Zamalka - he just added a zero, to a number that was likely crap to begin with.

Another activist the VDC cited in this report explained there were originally four medical points just in Zamalka, and this was presumably one of three shut down somehow by the attack, leaving just one operating. But if so, it's also the one that yielded the entire 400 dead reported in Zamalka, at least per "Abu Bilal." This makes it sound like three clinics were already down somehow before they could collect any dead, so that within 30 minutes this mass of 600 people were funneled here, at the 4th and final medical point ... only for 400 to die along with all the staff as this last clinic was bombed - twice - in both explosive and chemical manners. That's not just extra harsh, it's preposterous in several ways.

Paramedics Killed in Line of Duty, With Family
The information officer "Murad Abu Ali" also told the VDC: "Some paramedics were killed although they had put the masks, because the masks were overfilled with chemical and toxic gases, which led to their immediate death. The main reason for their death was the lack of their pre-knowledge on the use of masks." That's clearly some kind of professional lapse by people out doing rescue work.

An exact number isn't given, but the VDC tries to correlate records, and here gave three "names of some of the medical staff members in "Teir" medical point who were martyred in Zamalka while they were performing their duty helping the injured after the massacre." It's suggested there are more than these three. It's not clear if these are supposed to be the medical staff killed in shelling, but they're listed after paramedic talk, and are all "paramedic martyr," no doctors or nurses, etc.

1 -The paramedic martyr: Samer Saleh Naseef "Sroor", known as Abu Majed. http://www.vdc-sy.info/index.php/en/details/martyrs/92418#.VVQaSDpFDcc photo, Arabic number = 22
2 - The paramedic martyr: Ghassan Naseef. http://www.vdc-sy.info/index.php/en/details/martyrs/92617#.VVQafTpFDcd Nicknamed : Abo Slaiman
3 - The paramedic martyr: Sa'ed Dandash, died with his wife. http://www.vdc-sy.info/index.php/en/details/martyrs/92444#.VVQavDpFDcc

Why two Naseefs? Were these brother paramedics killed while working together? And how did the third one manage to die alongside his wife? Were these 3 examples, the only ones given, even killed in the line of duty as advertised? Or were they hit at home, with their profession - if that's even true - being irrelevant? Was this really an issue of improper gas mask usage, or more like an issue of wrong religion, or other perceived expendability?

Media Activists all Killed in Line of Duty, and with Extended Family
Khaled al-Naddaf, VDC photo
Murad Abu Bilal continues:
The chemical attacks, on the first day of the massacre, claimed the lives of many media activists in Zamalka Coordination because they inhaled the chemical toxic gases. The day following the massacre, on 22-8-2013, the fighter jets, by two air raids, shelled the Coordination office itself. The office has also been shelled by "FozdiKa" that left it heavily damaged.
As for the media staff in Zamalka Coordination, they have all been martyred except for me as they went out to shoot and collect information about the chemical attack, but none of them came back. One of them is the martyr Khaled Naddaf, who was killed while he was reporting the massacre.
VDC was able after this to cite exactly one media activist among the many killed in these repeated attacks, that killed everyone but "Abu Bilal." It's the same one that he specified. No one mentions any others by name or number.
* Khaled Nasouh Omar Mosa Al-Naddaf, 92587 "He known as Abu Abdo. Member in Zamalka coordination" - same photo as used in report (inset), plus a video still, alive.
In fact, he's listed twice:
* Khaled Omar Mousa 99453 - Occupation Media Activist - Photographer - Zamalka coordination member
The first one mentions that, like the paramedics, Mr. Naddaf was "Martyred with His family." Were out in the field "reporting the massacre" with him at 2 am? Were they hunted down by the Sarin separately? Or maybe his media work was unrelated, and he was at home with them - with home maybe being a rebel basement by then, for unclear reasons.

It was apparently an extended portion of his family that fared poorly in this attack: maybe not all are his relatives, but VDC has 17 likely ones for 18 total, or probably 19 including his wife, who should have her father's name, which isn't clear yet. 18 Naddafs - all civilians, all from Zamalka - removing one double-listing here (Baraa Fayez, girl, photo, baby = Baraa, boy, age 2), the Sarin chose 11 adult males, 3 adult females, 1 boy, 2 girls. 5 people are from the same Omar Mousa al-Naddaf branch photographer Khaled was from (should be brothers and sisters, etc. but probably not his wife) 

Probably adding to that 17 is #92158 Suad Omar Mous (missing Naddaf, like Khaled's second entry) Adult - Female, unusually listed as from Kafr Batna - maybe because "The name Came From al-Sel hospital in Kafr Batna." One to add but then subtract is Maimounah Mousa" Babea'a " 92622  "Wife Of Mohammed Sobhi Abd al-Malek al-Nadaf And She Was Martyred With Him." She's also Badea'a Mahmoud Omar Musa al-Nadaf 101621 Wife Of Sobhi al-Nadaf. The husband must be Muhammad Sobhe Abd al-Malek al-Nadaf 92582 photo, elderly man. And one wife here at least gets named as Naddaf, which is unusual - maybe Khaled's wife is in there. Maybe it's Suad?

Anyway, as we're seeing with Ghouta Massacre(s) by District, this "Assad Sarin" seemingly works a lot like "Assad's Shabiha" when it comes to massacres. Noxious molecule or Alawite militia, it hardly seems to matter - they pick out certain  families and kill the hell out of those, while sparing others, and do it while rebels are in charge. Consider the "Shabiha" massacres of Houla (May, 2012) and al-Bayda (May, 2013). One can only wonder what got this photographer into such trouble with the rebels that they had to kill him and take out so many family members, like in those other cases.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Syria, Ghouta Massacre(s): Visual Evidence that the Victims were Prisoners

Syria, Ghouta Massacre(s): Visual Evidence that the Victims were Prisoners and Unflattering Before-and-After Pictures of those Prisoners
May 12, 2015 (incomplete, rough)
last edits May 24

In our research into the Ghouta incident of August 21, 2013, we (the general research community of A Closer Look On Syria - ACLOS) have found some cases of deaths that contradict the rebel narrative - Some deaths cannot be attributed to any "Assad" Sarin-rocket, some  can be pinned on someone in the rebel crowd, and some show recurring signs that many or all of the victims were Syrian civilians who had been imprisoned by anti-Assad rebels, for whatever mix of reasons, and fatally gassed by them - mainly in confined spaces (basically, improvised gas chambers).

Being a conscious plan, that could be done at a coordinated moment of their choosing. Consider the timing of the "Assad" attack that baffles so many - just as UN CW "inspectors" had landed a stone's throw away in Damascus, and exactly one year after Obama first announced his "red line" offer to help the rebels out ... if a CW attack was proven. That would be a good moment to chose, wouldn't it?
The sheer scale of death - a widely parroted "estimate" of 1,429 or what I call "x-hundred" (probably under 1,000 but enormous) - tends to suggest a gas chamber efficiency. In fact, some rebel reports try to explain why it might almost seem that way in places - people hid in basements, sometimes dozens in the same one, and sometimes started burning tires there, before the gas got really concentrated and killed all of them. We kind of suspect this isn't the literal truth, but it might be a distorted glimpse of it.

We suspect the largely foreign Salafist brigades of FSA, al-Nusra, and especially the Islamic Front led by Zahran alloush, themselves intentionally gassed the victims to get "Assad" in trouble - it would mean enough were on hand that the x-hundred could be knocked off all at once chemically  just to blame "Assad" and get Obama's "red line" crossed - and maybe even get a Libya-style NATO "humanitarian" air force in place to help the rebels get even more Syrian enemies in their grips.
It may sound outlandish to anyone who believed the rebel claims; the victims were their friends, family, and neighbors. They were probably mostly Sunni but it was irrelevant - they were killed randomly in the streets and in their homes just off those streets, brought to field clinics dead or nearing it, and were past saving in well over 1,000 cases.

But consider the cases (those with "Before-and-After" below) where victims seem to have suffered further harm after getting into these supposedly protective hands. These are seen in one state in one image, apparently alive, and then there's another image where they seem to be truly dead and in a visibly worse state. And in between, only rebel helpers were around to cause that. These before-and-after images, to the extent they pan out as that, are very unflattering to the anti-Assad militants, and suggest the victims were never friends of theirs. Rather, they seem like human chattel the rebels felt free to barter away in pursuit of deals with world powers bent on destroying Syria.

* Irbeen Accommodation Clues: This might mean nothing, but it might mean something. Two photos of victims in a morgue in Irbeen (see by district part 3, Irbeen) at least show some detail in the background. These cropped views are at right. The wall there is plastic sheeting fastened tight over wall studs, then a pillar, then open space to the right. The high angle of incoming light in the lower view suggests this is a basement.

On the left, a laundry basket on something, extra bedding piled on about 4-5 full-sized pieces of luggage. Were lodgers  living in this basement where corpses now lay?

Around the corner, nearer the sheeted-off room, we see a big green 44-liter gas canister of the kind seen in the Kafr Batna basement-level DarkMorgue. Were unsuccessful medical efforts undertaken right here as well? To the left of the green tank, a brown shelf or maybe a brown tank? Behind it, what might be a blue barrel, maybe of the same type as the blue barrel set aside up on the right (it's not the same one - that's barely visible at this angle but hiding back there). Also note on the right maybe a wheelchair, an office desk, and a strangely blurry and distorted morgue helper, maybe a ghost.

I'm kidding on that last point, but it's a spooky scene. It's possible to read too much into these contrasted signs of sub-standard lodging, gas tanks, and large-scale chemical death all in one place. But heck, isn't also possible to read too little into it?

(notes on gas tanks or cylinders: a Bing image search suggests oxygen ones tend to be blue, specifically sky blue, as seems natural. This picture suggests someone thinks light blue = O2 and green means either helium (no medical use likely to be relevant here) or hydrogen (H2 - no medical use, just industrial,) But they can be re-filled with other things anyway, depending on the technical details - even if that color-coding info is correct) Not sure what a brown cylinder is supposed to hold.

Here's the same scene a week or so later, from NBC News video. Note two green tanks, blue barrel(s) maybe just visible back there. The luggage, likely the same pieces, slowly being re-arranged/removed, maybe gone-through. Sack of clothing is maybe from luggage the owners weren't going to re-use, ever. The box of other objects might for other objects found in the suitcases. Laundry basket on white-drizzled object remains.

* Before-and-After: Nosebleed Boy (Irbeen): This is an unidentified composite victim, based on deciding the boy seen in three different images being the same one down the line. It seems likely, as all three images come from Irbeen (see by district, part 3, Irbeen), where a reported 23-30 children total died. In this small pool, we have 3 images of a boy or boys of about 12 or 13, with a similar square-ish face, darkened eyes, distinct eyebrows, off-center prominent front tooth, large rounded lips, consistent freckle near left eye, and consistent nasal issues in all 3 cases. Chances of this being the same boy: not quite 100% but close enough I'm calling this a single composite victim. He's in a clinic in Irbeen with children seen in the morgue above, but he's not clearly included in that display.

And he's an unusual victim, seen alive and getting treatment, having that ceased, and then getting some unseen mystery treatment - maybe in the basement we just looked at. And that, most likely, finally caused his death. The pictures here say all we had to start with, with the sources and some technical considerations laid out in  this ACLOS discussion.

From that, it seems the top image shows an endotracheal tube in place, with a nasogastric tube (nose to stomach) as well - a standard treatment for someone who's stopped breathing or is in a comatose state, to protect the airways from vomit, for example. This process often irritates or disrupts the nasal lining and can cause nosebleeds. At lower left, order unclear, his nose is too red for simple irritation to that area, he had a nosebleed but it stopped, with some residue not wiped away. The final image shows the same boy is the only serious nose bleeding victim I've noticed - others have mucous and blood mixed. And as far as I've noticed, this is also the only nasal tube patient (though I was never really looking for that before and might've missed other cases).

Another obvious difference between the bottom images is besides the freckle there all along, he's got more "freckles" now - little scars or marks added to his lower face, and was also apparently subjected to another chemical exposure that was fatal and an irritant, renewing that nosebleed with a vengeance. Something like chlorine could explain that, besides a number of other common chemicals rebels surely have access to. The little marks are what's harder to explain. I have no theory yet, but similar appear in some other cases (next section), and I suspect it's somehow a clue to the overall crime.

* Other Marked Faces 
Before-and-After: Hani Abo al-Qasab, civilian, adult male, from Jobar, died who knows where, taken to Douma and buried there, per his VDC martyr's database entry. Why does that contain two photos of the same man, both seemingly dead but one with a different look and little marks on his face? (cropped and compared at right) I'll just ask that and cut this one short for now.

Others with no before image, moved below

* Haircut Kids (Ain Tarma)
This case first explored here in about the same way, under Ain Tarma but with Jobar and other connections as well (the whole record is confused like this).
Left: Rida Mohammad Ali al-Baladi, boy (girl's name, usually) from Jobar, buried in Ain Tarma. Right: Yousef Mohammad Ali al-Baladi, boy, from Ain Tarma, or Jobar but died in Zamalka (has 2 entries). There are also two adult males of the same names Reda and Yousif Baladi, from Zamalka and Jobar. That's five entries, probably for what looks like maybe one child appearing different before and after something bad (you'll be tempted to call Yousif's eyebrows heavier, but note the difference in lighting and thus glare, which makes eyebrows appear lighter). Both pictures are supposed to show dead people, but the Rida (left) at least is not obviously dead. If this is one child, the redness is probably no clue of the bad thing, but it proves he/she is dead by then, but with an added mark to the nose and the lower lip. The face with a red half is from livor mortis, with his/her head turned to the left for some hours after death.

Siblings as listed, or before and after? It's really hard to be sure. If it's two, then this doesn't even count as a before-and-after thing. But we could still wonder why a boy and a girl - as the names suggest - seem to have the same exact haircut - especially if they are identical twins. It's kind of short for a girl, long for a boy, with no real style, but it looks kind of good on them, kind of punk. It also means they had the same haircut, this short or shorter, at the same time, however long ago. That's not at all unusual for siblings, especially if they get the same cut anyway.

However ... noting the gender and hairstyle ambiguities of the above case, it's quite interesting that another victim passed through Ain Tarma is a short-haired girl Riham Muhannad Tieba. VDC says she died in Ain Tarma ("martyrdom location") but came from Mleha (shown dead and alive on the page, both compiled at right). That's a district with no other victims listed coming from, to the southeast, across the Ain Tarma valley and next to Christian-majority Jaramana. As we can see, she died with shorter hair than usual, pretty much the same un-style as the Balladi children, but with hints she was trying already to shape it back to normal (down). She also seems to have suffered the mild-seeming death the Baladis did, no sign of pain and coughing up blood, like some other victims passed through Ain Tarma.
However long it takes hair to grow this long, it's worth wondering if these 2-3 children all had their heads shaved at the same time. That might be due to an outbreak of head lice in the ... displaced peoples' hotel (?) they all wound up in ... and then they also wound up in the same place(s) where poison gas killed a bunch of people ... or it was all the same place and they never moved because they weren't allowed to? 
Because, you see, the "Assad regime" cannot micro-manage things like this. Rebel authorities connected to the "legitimate representatives of the Syrian people" in Turkey did the moving around of people and shaving of heads in East Ghouta in those days. These kids were more than likely among a group of civilians imprisoned for an extended time by... someone able to do that in this rebel-held area.

* Before-and-After: M015 (Kafr Batna): We may be able to narrow down a victim ID guess on this one, but it's less likely than usual and we'll likely only ever know him as M015, in a system devised by Denis O'Brien PhD in his 2014 study Murder in the SunMorgue (see on-site summary article with link to the original work). There's a broad argument there about how these people died that is far more important than this one unusual death, but it serves as a smoking gun that the rebels wanted these people dead, badly enough to do it themselves. Here is a not-so-great graphic I finally threw together (video forthcoming) to make a singular visual explanation for this important detail so few people know even now, a year on.
Top: an image from apparently just before dawn as the SunMorgue is being filled. M015 is just being brought in/up on a stretcher. His face is covered with a small white sheet, hands on his belly, relaxed, not bound in front like some (that's for body handling, not a clue of captivity)

Middle: during one of the mid-day videos of a fuller morgue, we can see where he was laid - right next to where he was in the last photo, next to the boy (B004) and near the feet of the woman wrapped in aqua green (W00..) But by now, he's got blood coming out of the head-neck area, and his right hand has flexed, clenching into a half-fist clutching the fabric of his shirt - meaning he was momentarily more alive than presumed, but then died again (cadaveric spasm) Where is the blood coming from? Nowhere visible. His neck is covered up now instead of his face. And in at least one video frame it can be seen that blood is soaking up into its middle, right over what could be a linear slice or, as other victims show, a small round hole instead (apparently they think this is less obvious). It almost has to be in the major arteries of the neck - we can see it's a lot of blood, meaning he is/was alive with a pulse - they took a full-size bed-sheet of the kind we can see covering some victims here  and wadded it beneath his head and less so under his neck. Already it's absorbed enough at the neck part that it's overflowed onto the floor in three directions.

Bottom: a bit later in  the afternoon was a set of photos showing an emptier SunMorgue as most of the victims were removed - in the same spot M015 was is the same "bloody, blue blanket" O'Brien made such a careful study of - it got soaked through entirely, looking like a single lump of bloody tissue laying there, the same overflow pattern evident but worse. Dead people simply don't bleed that much, and there's no reason anyway to slice the throat of a guy who's already dead anyway.

As the photo and video record makes clear, this M015 at least managed to survive the chemical massacre, and it was up to the morgue's managers to finish him off. Of course messed-up survivors don't help get sympathy and air support like "martyrs" do, and if they survive to speak of their ordeal they might even do serious harm to the rebel cause. So they murdered this survivor right there in broad daylight, just did it between video/photo sessions. We can see that this happened and was apparently approved and slightly covered-up. What remains in question is how unusual or how telling the fact is for the mass-death of the rest of these x-hundred victims...

* M012
Yet another victim of a likely throat cutting is seen in the same Kafr Batna morgue just feet away from M015 (forthcoming)
Slaughtered by Islamists Days Before the Rockets (Zamalka)
There's a handful of victims, reported as 9 and visually at least 8, including 5 children aged about 1-10, who are the only victims of the attack we get to see in situ, in the home or place where they allegedly died. And this place has been geo-located in the right area - right between two rocket impacts. victims are seen mainly at different levels in a stairwell, illustrating the rebel claim they rani in here and up the stairs to escape the Sarin cloud, but didn't do it quick enough and died where they did. But As explained at the ACLOS page Zamalka Ghost House and clearly enough, they died too early and too violently to be what's described.
These 8-9 people may have been, as described, and "entire family," but they could not have been "killed by chemical weapons attack on Damascus." One case that's clear in this is the adult male victim who shed lots of blood in this spot. And he has a neat little hole, not a slice, in the middle of his throat. That's likely where the blood came from, and not caused by any "Assad chemical weapon."
Note also that this victim is badly decayed - bloated, puffed-up tongue and eyes, discolored and starting to ooze fluids - he's been dead at least 4 days in the summer heat, maybe close to a week. All the other victims appear about the same, very icky. The video is filmed about 36 hours after the alleged Sarin rockets landed right around this house. We're supposed to presume this is a mystery sign of the "Assad's" brand of Sarin, but it would be a kind that causes rapid decay, and holes in throats. Not buying either of those.  
Next, the house: it's unfinished and vacant, not anyone's home. They weren't here long, not the slightest bit covered in the dust the place is full of. It's as if they just ran in here and got killed. The woman shown here has no dust on here silk trousers. But she does show signs of Islamist murder; a nasty slice to the right forearm is visible. And something also made blood come out her mouth and nose. Unlike the man, she was likely killed elsewhere and just laid here.
Note what she's wearing: a black winter coat, in late August. A second woman seen with baby girl further up wears the same kind of coat, a bit more tattered. Homeless people dress like this, to keep their valuable coat when they have nowhere of their own to hang it. Captives allowed only a few clothing items would be kind of the same, and would wear their coat during any prison transfer, even one that unexpectedly turned into a massacre.

So in the Zamlka ghost house, the clues suggest these 8-9 alleged Ghouta chemical massacre victims were prisoners of the rebels, taken to an abandoned building and executed with blades and maybe guns about 1-4 days before the alleged Sarin attack. In fact, the blamed rockets - fired from a rebel-accessible area north of Jobar - may have been aimed largely so as to land around these "stair-climbing" victims and use that to help paint their picture. But the viewer has to squint a bit for that to work (and many did).
* Raed al-Homsi Civilian, from Ain Tarma and died from Chemical and toxic gases on August 21. Possible relative, Emad Muhammad Khier Al-Houmsi, also of Ain Tarma, also died in the massacre. Homsi means "from Homs" - it can be a real name, or a way of saying "we don't want to say their name, but they fled from Homs to Damascus, and we caught up with them here." Raed has a photo, at right. That was some swift cloud of Sarin vapor to get to him before he bled to death out the hole in his throat. Or, did they maybe get the cause of death wrong in this case, like they did with M-015 and 012 in Kafr Batna, the Zamalka Ghost House victims, and Safi al-Nabki (see below)?

* More Marked Faces with no Before Image









Left: a boy seen in the corner of the Kafr Batna SunMorgue...mark to forehead, under chin, not clear if significant.

Center: same morgue, an older boy - mark on front of chin, and one of at least 4 SunMorgue victims exuding apparent mucous from the nose or mouth. In this case, its runnier than usual, but darkened. This may actually be vomit or something, or it may be a sign that he was confined somewhere where they filled the air with smoke, as some victims reportedly did to themselves for no given - or sane - reason. The Jobar medical point director says this happened in Ain Tarma at least, where he also ran the medical point for a time.

Right: unnamed adult female victim (as it appears) in Irbeen, judging by image stamp. Consistent blackening of likely prior wounds near eye, corner of mouth, under the chin. Black suggests heavy smoke? (black nostrils are the best clue, but can't see here) Maybe a sharp, localized chemical burn to the edge of her nose? Her lips got badly irritated anyway. She bled from the mouth a bit, and died with mucous, dry and thick as tree sap it seems, clogging her nostrils. This suggests maybe she was dehydrated for a time before being hit with something like chlorine that triggers bronchorrhea (mucous from the nose) - something seen with several unidentified victims "buried in a cemetery in Ain Tarma Jadida" (see by district part 5, Ain Tarma) To get such a concentrated dose itself suggests she was in a confined space anyway, and that the poison was probably released right there, not something that drifted in. The likely knife wound under her chin is probably from some earlier incident(s) of her likely captivity by anti-Assad rebel forces.

So far, this doesn't show much of a single, clear pattern. But this line of investigation might yield a usable pattern or two, if more examples can be located.

At right, VDC Martyr #94546 Unidentified woman from Jobar, per VDC records, wrapped in a blue spider man blanket (cropped here). She has mucous clogging the nasal passages, dark rings around eyes, notable burns or marks on her lips.

VDC doesn't say where she was taken to, but she's probably the larger person wrapped in such a blanket seen in some views next to a row of children's bodies in the Irbin basement space (as seen above, with luggage and gas cylinder). She was perhaps considered a woman first and then a girl, despite her proper (for "liberated" areas) adult dress. Irbeen's tally changed from 17 women in the first reports to 16 later. She might be the difference, and this might suggest she was identified by someone, if they knew her age).

* Before and After: Safi al-Nabki
On August 21 in Douma, something pummeled this man's body, especially his eyes. Something didn't like his eyes, or skull, and beat the hell out of them, just beat him to death, it appears. Rebel media office there said don't know - unidentified guy they found killed by "barbaric shelling." That's per a video and notes posted by Douma revolution on Tmblr.

However the VDC lists the same guy (it looks like to me) as a victim of the day's poison gas attack, the only CW victim listed as from Jisreen district (spelled Jesreen) and identified fine as Safi Khaled Al-Nabki - 92786 (possible pseudonym still: Khaled means immortal, and Kabki means from Nabk, for what it's worth). Here, he's non-civilian: FSA member, shown with rifle.

So VDC hears he was FSA. Did the local rebels just not know that?  Was it even true? If so, did a group less inclusive than the FSA decide to take him out for some reason? Etc. Was he offered up as a token local fighter someone didn't like anyway, and then even reported as a Sarin vapor victim? He's listed immediately after victim 92785, Muhammad Aakash Balla, the only martyr of the gas listed as from Saqba. He was also a local FSA fighter, with photo and video that's a better fit - unscathed outside, inside leaking yellow fluid, could be fake or real. But him and Safi were reported together in a pair of oddball entries. Interesting.


* Other
forthcoming. Taking submissions and question via comment)

Monday, May 11, 2015

Ghouta Massacres By District, Part 5: Ain Tarma

Ghouta Massacres (plural) By District
Part 5: Ain Tarma
May 2 (incomplete)
last updates May 11/12

Warning! Extra ugly images in this post

Background:
Just south of Zamalka, and larger than I first thought, Ain Tarma (different spellings) should have been hit by drift across its northeastern sector, besides two impacts just in the district itself. Early reports claim only 75 people died here. VDC records suggest about 40...

VDC report includes the account of a paramedic named Sakhr (probably not "Dr. Sakhr" with a "clinic" in Kafr Batna) He tells them
"At two o'clock after midnight, the regime's forces shelled the area with mortars, specifically the first parts of Qusour neighborhood in the Ein Tarma behind the cemetery. During this time, a gas with a rotten smell spread quickly resulting in symptoms such as nausea, shortness of breath and difficulty in vision that turned into a complete lack of vision. Some people fainted, became fully paralyzed and suffered a severe head ache. We hurried to help them; I helped nearly 370 person-to-several medical points including Hamourieh, Irbeen, Sakba and Kafarbatna and Douma. "
There is a cemetery in Ain Tarma where some victims are buried, per the opposition's records. The only evident cemetery in Ain Tarma - likely the same referred to by both - is here on Wikimapia. A comment there once said "Tunnel Entrances to bunkers and secret chemical weapons facilities." That was around the time of the attack - 4 months ago, on May 19, 2014 - this interesting but unsupported comment has since been removed.

"Behind the cemetery" probably refers to whatever direction he was relative to it. Just to the northwest of the cemetery (upwind) is a girls' primary school. 735 meters northeast of the cemetery is the famous impact spot of volcano rocket 197. Others were about the same distance due north. For what it's worth, a map, at right. This is using an image from Human Rights Watch that seems pretty accurate for impact spots. Al-Ziniya doesn't figure in widely - it was once labeled on Wikimapia as part of Hazeh, since incorporated into a large Ain Tarma. I'm going with the latter, so the cemetery is in the middle of Ain Tarma, not its edge.

As usual, we don't know where the hospitals/morgues are, nor where the victims were when they were poisoned. They tend to come from Jobar, or to have once been said to come from there... and Jobar did have tunnels and rebel CW facilities that might well matter here. But as part 2 explains, it had no rocket impacts and was completely upwind, so anyone from there would have to venture a ways downwind - like to Ain Tarma - in order to die from "Assad's" rocket attack.

Victim Records
Table, early count: 50-67 (unclear) Final Count:  75 people died here.

VDC: 25 victims from Ain Tarma - 20 from elsewhere with "martyrdom location" Ain Tarma = 45 accounted for, or 38-42 minus double-listings.

Double-listings, more than usual:
* 2-4 of them under Baladi, below.
* #92915 Muhammad Alloush, adult male, photo, no clinical signs visible - "Manger at the field hospital" "(he known as Iqab)" Then #93741 Mohammad Alosh Oqab AM, same photo, "Administrator of a medical point." Obvious implication: secondary poisoning - fatal, but not so bad as to leave any clear signs.

Consider: Raed al-Homsi Civilian Adult - Male Damascus Suburbs Ein Tarma 2013-08-21 Chemical and toxic gases. Possible relative, Emad Muhammad Khier Al-Houmsi Civilian Adult - Male Damascus Suburbs Ein Tarma 2013-08-21. Homsi means "from Homs" - it can be a real name, or a way of saying "we don't want to say their name, but they fled from Homs to Damascus, and we caught up with them here." Raed has a photo, at right. That was some swift cloud of Sarin vapor to get to him before he bled to death out the hole in his throat. Or, did they maybe get the cause of death wrong in this case, like they did with M-015 in Kafr Batna? (see part 7)
Is this the sound of scraping the bottom of a strangely empty barrel? Double-listings and shooting victims, just to get maybe 40-ish killed here?

"Buried in a cemetery in Ain Tarma Hodeidah" = 13 martyrs - 9 unidentified, 2 Baladi children and their father, and a guy named Zaibaq. Hodeidah = means nothing I can find in Syria, just a town in Yemen. This I later found should be Jadida (see Tari, below). Looking at the entries in Arabic, it gives   الجديدة  . That second letter is a J sound, not H (they look similar). Still, I cannot place it just yet. There's a distinct area with Jadida in the name, but east of Hamouriya, and the victims with this note have a tendency to be listed as from Ain Tarma.

Baladi: 8 victims named Baladi + mother = 9
* 93798 Mona Santiha Family Status married PHOTO (alive) - Area Jobar wife of Ali Albaladi Martyrdom location Damascus Suburbs: Ein Tarma
(Note: 5 Santihas killed, whole war - Mona was the first, more died all in later 2014 - all from Jobar.)

* 92311 Mohammad Ali Adnan al-Baladi AM photo
** Double-listed: 93797 Ali al-Baladi, same photo, from Jobar but Martyrdom location Damascus Suburbs: Ein Tarma, like wife Mona
* 92305 Yousef Mohammad Ali al-Baladi, boy, photo Mother's Name Mona Santeeha Area Ein Tarma
** Double? 93282 Yousif Al-Baladi  Adult - Male  Damascus Suburbs  Jobar 
** Triple? 92920 Yousif Al-Baladi  Adult male, from Jobar, died in Zamalka  
* 93308 Rida Mohammad Ali al-Baladi, boy (girl's name, usually), photo - from Jobar \\ Buried in a cemetery in Ain Tarma Hodeidah
** 101722 Reda al-Baladi  AM from Zamalka, died somewhere
* 92633 Mwafaq al-Baladi  Child - Male  from Jobar 
Actual total = 5-7 Or...

Rida and Yousef are supposed to be brothers, even though Rida is a girl's name - they both have adult versions. One was corrected from Jobar to local, one not. And they look exactly the same, more-or-less. I don't suppose this is in fact one child before and after poisoning, (playing dead first time?) but apparently identical twins? Brother and sister, or what? Not sure.

Rida from Jobar, left, Yousef not from Jobar, right.
Noting the gender and hairstyle ambiguities of the above case, it's perhaps interesting another victim passed through Ain Tarma is a short-haired girl Riham Muhannad Tieba who died in Ain Tarma but came from Mleha (shown dead at right, also shown alive on the page). That's a district with no other victims listed coming from. It's southeast, across the Ain Tarma valley and next to Christian-majority Jaramana.

Is this this middling-length hair thing a cultural clue to the victims? Perhaps not. Note it's about the same between these 2-3 children - long for a boy, short for a girl. In Riham's case, shorter than she used to wear it. However long it takes to grow this long, it's worth wondering if they all maybe had their heads shaved at the same time, that span prior to the poison gas massacre.
 
Hazroumeh: 19 with this name listed for the whole massacre, minus 4 double-listings = 15.
These have some members with the cemetery note, but overall the Jobar connections seemed better, so they're covered in part 2.

al-Tari: VDC records 6 martyrs named Tari, 3 women, 2 men, one boy, all from Zamalka. They also list one martyr named Tary, which is the same name ( الطري ) I'd render al-Tari, so it's 7. The last is another adult male named Adnan al-Tary, victim #93059, from Salhia (SW of Damascus), not Zamalka. But he must've been in town with family in order to be gassed there with them. He's the only one of these 7 with the note "Buried in a cemetery in Ain Tarma Hodeidah." And he's the only one (?) with a photo, showing no particular signs (right). The same photo appears in miniature in a graphic by Hisham Ashkar, posted here - he's one of several fighting-age men lined up dead in a morgue in Hamouriya, all of them (18 of them anyway) identified by name and small photo (note: other bodies of women and children lay nearby, so the degree of gender-specificity of this "sarin" isn't totally clear - it may have a thing for fit men aged close to 30, one possible teenager). There it says "Adnan al-Tary (92) from Zamalka, the son of Ali al-Tary, and he was buried in the cemetery of Ain Tarma al-Jadida" (rendered better). Otherwise the records suggest these were mainly from and died in Zamalka, and were among those buried in mass graves in Hamouriya. This one stands out from the other al-Taris and the other Hamouriya men. 
 
Where does he fit in with the others? Adnan may be related to Ayman al-Tari, who died with what sounds like an adult son and adult daughter (middle name Ayman). And he's even more likely related to three children with the middle name Adnan - Ammar Adnan Tari (photo at right), Esraa Adnan Tari (photo) and Sara Adnan Tari (no photo). All are from Zamalka, and that's why they all died. Unless they were from Salhia, and somehow stuffed in a Zamalka-area basement as Obama's "red line" offer turned one-year-old and someone claiming to be "Assad" crossed that line with hundreds massacred in a variety of "chemical"-seeming ways...

At least one al-Tari family mother probably appears in these records, likely both, but under "maiden" (father's) names as usual, so it's unclear at the moment.

Clinical Signs
A distinct set is seen with those - especially those no one could identify - that were "Buried in a cemetery in Ain Tarma Hodeidah" - which I finally realized (see just above) should be Jadida. Still don't know where that is, aside from the cemetery the attack happened near as discussed up top. Anyway, I'll call this the "Ain Tarma Cemetery" sign set. This is where the
WARNING
comes in.

Red faces: coulde be chemical burn/irritation, combined with livor mortis (reddened areas after death and blood settles). The left-halves of many faces are redder, suggesting livor mortis for the asymmetry - heads turned to the left, some time ago. A more direct clue is the massively plugged noses and ooze from the mouth, in most cases mixed with blood to some degree (orange to full red), something you don't usually see in the other cases (in Moadamiyeh, it's usually just mucous or just blood, depending, but the faces there are also unusually red). The amount of exuded material here is unusually high, and icky.

One explanation for the Ain Tarma cemetery signs might be: concentrated chlorine blast to the face, causing irritation, burning along seems and small cuts, causing intense choking and mucous secretion. And perhaps before they did this, the dehydrated the people - cut them off from water for a couple of days - so they had no hope of clearing their airways. Unidentified man #92307 apparently tried his hardest, rupturing his face and all the blood vessels in his eyes, trying to cough himself clear.
Unidentified 92299 AF, Ein Tarma (unlike some, face wiped clean)
92300 Tarek al-Zaibaq, AM Ein Tarma
(major Cyanosis, possible smoke, but not enough time in it to stain nostrils)

92301 Unidentified CM, Ein Tarma

92302 Unidentified CM, Ein Tarma

92303 Unidentified CF, Ein Tarma

92307 Unidentified AM, Ein Tarma
 

82311 Mohammad Ali Adnan al-Baladi
(note: besides cyanosis, at this angle, he may have a light coat of smoke residue - but again nostrils not stained by it)

92316 Unidentified CM, Ein Tarma

92314 Unidentified AM, Ein Tarma

92314 Unidentified AM, Ein Tarma (entry has two photos of different men)

92315, unidentified
 
92312, unidentified
 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Ghouta Masacres by District, part 6: Hazza

Ghouta Massacres (plural) by District
Part 6: Hazza
May 10, 2015
(incomplete)

Background:
Fairly little is said about this smaller, less-populous district next to Ain Tarma, in relation to the August 21 incident or in the records of those killed in the whole war (182 martyrs listed as from Hazza , 2 so far this year, 14 in the Ghouta incident) It was not hit with any of the alleged Sarin rockets, but some came near to its boundaries (as understood, and shifting) It would be the most affected by any Sarin that drifted, by the best guess as to actual wind direction at the moment. If the wind blew east or E-SE like records suggest, much or most of Hazzeh should likely be covered.

So unlike Jobar, for example, martyrdom location: Hazza might make sense, depending on the actual science of the alleged Sarin stormfront ...
 
Victim Records
Table tallies: Early count of at least 50 dead (unclear, 50-67) final count = zero maybe rounded down, or just ignored - not mentioned.
 
VDC's records specify 14 martyrs of the Ghouta massacres were from "Hazza." all civilian - 6 men, 3 women, 4 girls, 1 boy. Clear names of interest: Laham, Tayer, Arhim. None of those are specified as dying there. 5 entries - most of the Arhims and Lahams - say (suggest) they were over in Zamalka for some reason when they died. The rest say "Damascus Suburbs: East Ghota" or have the space left blank.
 
Laham = 56 killed in the whole war, 15 in this incident: 8 men, 4 boys, 2 women (one an adult daughter) and one young girl. 13 are listed as from Zamalka:
 
* Family of Issam al-Laham = 6 (all from Zamalka): Amera (wife of Issam Al-Laham) AF "Wife of Issam Al-Laham Hwe full name couldn't be identified Martyred with her family" - Son of Amera (wife of Issam Al-Laham) 1 - Son... 2 - son ... 3 - son ... 4 (all Child - Male) - Masarra Issam Laham AF (adult daughter of Issam)
* other Zamalka = 7: Muhammad Hasan Al-Laham "al-Akhras" AM(Hasan placement suggests he's a son of Hasan Al-Laham) (photos, alive: serious, clean-shaven, militant?) - Son of Hassan al-Laham AM Zamalka (suggested: brother of Muhammad) - Salah al-Laham AM - Abo Salah Laham (Salah's father?) - Ibrahim Moafak al-Laham AM - Kasem al-Laham AM - Ahmad Al-laham AM Z
We've established that Zamalka can just mean "you know, the accepted place where rockets actually landed," when previously they might've said another area, and even that mightn't've been true. So the Hazzah link with the final two is worth noting, as well as the fact that these families were likely targeted in multiple areas.
 
  • Fahed al-Laham 93234 Civilian Adult - Male Damascus Suburbs Hazza. "Married with a Child" and maybe two: "known as Abu Ahmad" (father of Ahmad) and died with Maria. Died in Zamalka. 3 photos - 2 alive, one with new beard - one dead with beard, mucous.
  • Maria Fahed al-Laham 92057 Child - Female Damascus Suburbs Hazza (name says her father is named Fahed). Died in Zamalka, it says. Photo, alive, distorted (stretched back out at right)
Note: Dad Fahed Laham was previously "Unidentified" from Douma - by looks, a likely rebel fighter. That makes no-ID entry 92239 a double-listing.

Name implications for Laham: not totally clear, but interesting. There's Gregory III (Laham) Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, and Alexandria and Jerusalem, spiritual leader of the Melkite church - born in Syria, 1933 as Lufti Laham. I've seen around that the nun Mother Agnes of the mixed reliability is named (Fadia?) al-Laham, born in Lebanon. Maybe most famous for us is Mimi Al-Laham, pseudonym for Maram Susli, "Syrian Girl." Adopted from where and why unknown. There's famed Syrian comedian Duraid Laham, who's Ismaeli. And there's the speaker of the People’s Assembly, Mohammad Jihad al-Laham, elected 2012, Baath party, sect unclear. The presence of a Maria suggests these might be of the Christian type? (name commnality: 9 Marias recorded killed in the whole war )

Arhim = 4 killed in the whole war, all in this incident. These are Amira Arhim and her son Mohammed and daughters Massarah and Sondous, all listed as children. This almost has to be the same family already listed as one of the Arhims (but from Hazza, not Zamalka), Issam al-Laham must be the husband of Amira Arhim, and his wife was given as "Amera (wife of Issam Al-Laham). Mohammed should be one of the 4 unnamed sons, Massarah must be Masarra Issam Laham (adult) and Sondous just not mentioned. So total between Arhim and Issam Laham = 7, from Hazza.

Tayer = 5 in this attack, one a month before, none before or since. Those killed 2013-08-21 by Chemical and toxic gases. By name these should all be adult siblings, but maybe one is a wife:
* Shadi Ibrahim al-Tayer  Civilian  Child - Female  Hazza 
* GHayeth Ibrahim al-Tayer  Civilian  Adult - Male  Hazza   
* Serag Ibrahim al-Tayer  Civilian  Adult - Male  Hazza
* Malak Ibrahim al-Tayer  Civilian  Adult - Female  Hazza 

The other one: Ahmad Omar al-Tayer  Civilian  Adult - Male  Damascus Suburbs  Erbeen  2013-07-23  Shelling. Notes say "Martyred due to shelling on his car" and it happened in Douma.  

Clinical Signs
92355 Monira Ahmad Badran, photo, no signs
 
Fahed Laham: rather white and foamy mucous

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Ghouta Massacres by District, Part 3: Irbeen

Ghouta Massacres (plural) by District
Part 3: Irbeen
May 6, 2015
(incomplete)
last edits May 17

Background:
Attack Claimed, But Unlikely
Like Jobar (see part 2) Irbeen can have no rocket impacts, but wind directions varying, it's not impossible some would drift over it southern edge. Most likely there would be no Sarin in its streets or homes, by the accepted story.
But Reuters reporter Khaled Oweis reported August 21 the attack was on "Ain Tarma, Zamalka and Jobar" and later adjusted it to "Irbin, Ain Tarma and Jobar" (Aug. 26 report). NBC News made a video from there a week later described Irbeen as a district "where the people will tell you poison gas seeped through the streets one week ago."

Early tallies of bodies counted there, and generally listed as locals, ranged from 51 to 63, with an unusual breakdown into men, women, children. (23-30 children, 16-17 women, 11-17 men). It's said early reports of an attack in Irbin were confused references to victims brought and counted there. This might be so, or maybe people were poisoned there anyway because the rockets had nothing to do with it.
 
Either way, Irbeen's rebel facilities turned over a good number of victims and seems to have the biggest hand in media management of the massacre, via its Local Coordinating Committee and the rebel "Legal office of the city of Irbeen." The logo for that is at right, being the same or similar to the stamp generally seen on videos produced there. 
 
Below, the main Irbeen victim spread, one row of children has at least 12 of them, maybe 13, the other about the same, for 24-27 or so. The green gas tank (app. warning label plus color and size says 44 liter type) must be oxygen someone tried but failed to save all these people with? Why do rebel doctors always fail so badly, no matter how well their sponsors equip them?

Expanding on that: there's a brown tank, I think, and two large blue barrels (see views at right).

A week later NBC News filmed here and it's said to be the basement of the clinic where they tried to save people upstairs. At that time, there's two green tanks and maybe one or both barrels, but pushed back, almost out of view. Note also the piled luggage on the left, as seen on the 21st at right, slowly being moved a week later (below), and see also here.


Notes on gas tanks or cylinders: a Bing image search suggests oxygen ones tend to be blue, specifically sky blue, as seems natural.

This picture suggests someone thinks light blue = O2 and green means either helium (no medical use likely to be relevant here) or hydrogen (H2 - no medical use, just industrial,) But they can be re-filled with other things anyway, depending on the technical details - even if that color-coding info is correct) Not sure what a brown cylinder is supposed to hold.

Victims Records
Table, Early total: 51 Final total: 63 (apparently meaning people who died here, not necessarily people from, though this is not totally clear) Breakdown: 17 women, 23 children, 11 men at first. Later 16 women, 30 children, 17 men.

VDC:
- from Irbeen = 13 (all civilan, 8 women, 2 men, 2 unidentified girls and a boy)
 - died in = 0 (specified/reported/admitted)
- Irbeen in notes = 3 from elsewhere, "rescued to" or "buried in"
= 16 total? Others like the Gheras not noted.

All Children Unidentified?

The UK Daily Mail ran a horrible story from a medic, apparently in Irbeen, with 20 unidentified children, "because their entire families were wiped out by poison gas," and then someone who had no idea who they were brought all of them to this place. That sounds a little strange. They use scenes from an ITV video where unidentified infant girl, #14, is held up for dramatic effect (VDC record victim 94048, unidentified, different photo but seems to be the same baby, jaundiced). But the Mail article also include a table of photos of 15 children were recorded dead there an unidentified, by which the infant is actually #11.  Top row, reading right to left, we have Eastern Arabic numbers for 1-5. Next row, from the right is 6, then 8 (7 is skipped here) then 9, 10 (that's baby Mohammad Fayad Abdul Ghafar from Erbeen, #94004 per VDC) then 14 (one of only two Irbeen kids they list as still unidentified - the other is 94548, added exactly 500 entries later) Bottom row, maybe 16 then 17, next is clearly 18 and 20, then unreadable, but higher than 20, presumably. Suggested: more than 20 unidentified children at the Irbin collection center (94548's VDC photo does not appear here, but she could be the one in the bottom middle photo)
(note: a better view in the NBC News video shows that's 1 and 4, I just couldn't tell )
 
The initial reports for Irbeen gave a breakdown including 23 children, or 30 by later reports. Were just 21 of these 23-30 once unknown, or was it a total problem there? Did they come in with their dead unidentified families? Why were there so few survivors to explain who the rest were? Why did no extended family or neighbors who knew them bring in anyone? All just strangers finding strangers? Or just mostly that?

Or was "unidentified" just a crap story for drama? Or a crap story with another purpose as well, regarding the true identities they didn't want to publish?

Note: VDC lists only two unidentified Irbeen children, both girls - but it only lists 3 Irbeen children total.
 
Note: a larger image spread, with the 15-children table in the middle and adults shown above and below, was seen on video less clearly - see still here - with adults included, I found VDC record matches all in the #94000-94004 range, and 94048 for the infant girl, so far. All but the last that I've matched so far have names just fine, per VDC, and are listed as from Irbeen, but with no additional details past the photo that matches. By inclusion with the unidentified babies, put around on fliers as if seeking identification, we can say some of these if not all were handled in Irbeen. So did these locals just go somewhere else to die, and then get sent back, where they were identified but also with a show of not being able to identify them? This all makes fairly little sense, doesn't it?
 
Ghera/Ghorra Family:
To counter the issues raised above, there is exactly one family unit with identified children, survivors, etc, and a clear story of death elsewhere, that tries to rescue this whole sorry mess. Let's give this Ghorra/Ghera family some consideration.
 
Hisham Ashkar passed on this activist-provided ID via the alleged grandfather, seen in photos like the one at right, in his article "the distance between the images and the victims" (translation to English April 22, 2014 from an Arabic original done last fall) Showing the photo at right, Ashkar explained the girl was named "Fatima Ghorra, three years old," and the girl in yellow next to her is sister Hiba, age 4. That might not be correct, but... The man holding Fatima is "their maternal grandfather, Abu Hamza al-Sheikh," he heard. "Their father is Nabil Ghorra, a medical doctor," of course married to a woman "from al-Sheikh family." They had six kids: these two, brother Mohammed, age 12, and 3 older sisters Danya, age 9, Rama, 15, and  Battoul, 16. According to Ashkar, they lived in Zamalka, and were home-schooled after regime teachers started threatening the kids at school with guns. Fatima reportedly told her grandfather, as he says on video and passed on here:
"This girl. she said, “Dad,” before … she put the food for her. This girl. She told me before: “Dad,” today is not my turn to eat its the turn of my siblings. From the siege, from the bread, and the food, and the hunger..."
...which causes Mr. Sheikh to forget if he's supposed to be their father or grandfather?  There was really no lack of food that acute - the story is patent propaganda, even if the word for "dad" might translate "grandpa" as well. Ater the attack, Ashkar writes, "the ghorra family was dispersed. Abu Hamza al-Sheikh arrived with Fatima and Hiba to the field hospital in Erbine. Fatima and Hiba died, as well as their sisters Rama and Dania. Their father, Nabil, was at first listed among the victims, but was later found in another field hospital, receiving medical treatment. Their brother, Muhammad, was still missing at the time of the interview." Battoul isn't mentioned. But dad was alive, he heard, and Mohammed just unclear, "still missing at the time of the interview" - maybe still alive out there. It's a story packed with drama.

The VDC's records partly bear this out, but also challenge it. 8 victim entries, all but the father specified as from Zamalka:
* 93038 Nabel Ghera Adult Male, Married and has children. No other notes.
* 94005 Salima Mohammad Salim al-Sheikh AF, Zamalka. Notes: Buried in Erbeen
* 93014 Mohammad Nabel Gharra Child-male age 12
* 93041 Betoul Nabel Gera girl, 16
* 93040 Rama Nabel Ghera girl, 15
* 93044 Danya Nabil Ghera girl, age 9
* 93049 Heba Nabel Ghera girl, 4
* 93042 Fatema Nabel Ghera girl age 2

The father is listed as dead, not revised. Mohammed is listed as dead, not missing. The story of scattered members getting tallied in different areas is contradicted by the entry numbers here: the mother was added much later, for whatever reason. And Mohammed was the first confirmed dead, 93014. The other seven all come within 11 entry numbers of each other, 93038 to 93049.

Mohammed is one of the better guesses as to the boy of about 13/13 with a horrible nosebleed, but seen in better shape before that next to Fatima (girl in purple, would be his sister) - see below under "Signs that Get Worse with Treatment?"

Ashkar heard "The Ghorra girls were buried in a mass grave in the town of Saqba." The VDC reports their mother was buried in Irbeen. No one says where the older girls were buried. Saudi Arabia, some time later, seems possible.
 
Irbeen Links to Other Groupings:
* There's a Mazen Sheikh from Zamalka who died, photo, looks tough if not militant, in his 30s, could be a brother of Salima Sheihk of the Ghera family, but it's a common name. entry #92003, he was one of the very first victims tallied anywhere, by the Douma-based VDC (91977 is the first one, in Moadamiyeh. Mazen is the 4th from Zamalka - after 2 rebel fighters, he's the second civilian listed - see full database list, he's about 30 names down on page ).
* 92151 Fawzeh al-Boush Adult Female age 65, from Erbeen, died in Zamalka (another Boush woman was married into the Ghazi family covered in part 7, Kaf Batna) 
* Nour Atiq links to Ahmad-Atiq and other Ahmad-related names, who wound up all over but since that includes Moadamiyeh, see part 1. 
* Baraa Hazroumah, girl, from Jobar, died in Ein Tarma, "rescued to Erbeen" (see Jobar for the rest of her realtives who died wherever)
* Unidentified woman from Jobar seen there? VDC martyr #94546 comes with the photo below. She's listed beside an older woman and a teenage boy all unidentified but from Jobar, processing area not clear. But a roughly woman-sized body is laid alongside the smaller children here, wrapped in a Spider Man blanket. Consider: She's dressed properly for a grown woman in a "liberated" area, but looks possibly teen-aged. Irbeen's total for women changed from 17 to 16 at some point. That may be the judgment call there.


 
Clinical Signs
Signs that Get Worse with Treatment?
See photo comparison here at ACLOS. A boy seen alive but in bad shape in the hospital in an Irbeen video, compared to one seen dead with blood pouring out his nose, unlike before. I noted the facial similarity, but then had doubts, and considered the victim pool far too big to make such a match.
 
 But coming back to it now, I think it's either a match, or good enough reason to risk calling it. The horrible right (after?) photo was published, I notice now, by Irbin News. They used  a few Zamalka general shots to show the rockets, dead animals, and a truly massive victim display from there. Otherwise it seems they use their own local images. So these two boys should be in the same pool of 23-30 children, and being so similar in that context, are most likely the same. They appear the same age (13-ish?), same basic face shape, seemingly different skin tone but that's never clear. Nose shape looks bigger on the right, but may be an angle thing. My prior doubts: the line over his nose: from the oxygen mask, would fade or wash off later, no problem. "eye shadows might have a different shape" (not much different if so), "lip proportions top vs. bottom may not match" (but may - the different photo angles could explain that). But that's not clear enough to say no, and hair type (actually looks a bit different, but simple ruffling can do that), basic face shape, long lashes, prominent front tooth (left of center), puffed lips, shaded eyes, and especially those eyebrows, all are really similar." And both are among the very few showing this kid of redness of / bleeding from the nostrils.
 
If these photos show the same kid, the problem should be clear. After he was getting medical care from rebels, something marked up his face with little wounds as if from flying micro-debris, caused splotchy burns, and aggravated that nose irritation into totally failed tissue releasing a torrent of blood, or maybe the flying particles helped cause that too. Flying particles marking up victim's faces, lower half. What the hell in the rebel story could cause this? There are other cases - one below, others seen in Kafr Batna's morgue, at least.
 
Later, I found another picture of what may be the same boy, maybe earlier than the other pictures, and with a tube up his right nostril. The orange circles indicate a mole or freckle in the same spot in all 3 images.
 
Boy ID: none yet, but from laying next to Fatema Ghera and appearing about 12, the best guess is Mohammed Nabil Ghera, by some sources listed as missing and not confirmed dead. But there's another boy of about 12 and if he looks more like the girls, then we can guess this kid is not Mohammed. Sources otherwise give almost no ages with victims to get a next guess. This boy does not clearly appear to be in the clinic basement morgue scene with the Ghera girls, nor in the courtyard or on unidentified posters. As noted above, rebels claim Mohammed Ghera is missing and not even confirmed dead - this might be consistent with nosebleed boy.
 
Morgue Photos
Photo published by Legal Office of Irbeen, provided with no victim ID (can't say "unidentified" for sure, maybe they just didn't share it there) Note burns in certain spots, likely prior injuries. Mucous like tree sap. This is similar treatment to the Ain Tarma cemetery set of clinical signs (see part 5) But here we see little wounds, as if from flying debris, like we see with the boy above. And that may have happened after he was brought to the rebel clinic here.
 
 

Mohammad Fayad Abdul Ghafar (center) has a mark on his nose, and an older boy to the right has marks across the bridge of his nose.


VDC entry 94002 girl Yaman al-Basal, from Erbeen. Similar: fully plugged nostrils, reddened skin The right-half effect is likely from livor mortis, natural to death in general, but the lips at least also seem injured - chemically, not that we can see with little nicks like the above.

morgue close-up -  child on left, no clear signs - on right, cyanotic (blue)

Ghera girls (reportedly Fatema, l Heba, r)
sunken/shadowed eyes, otherwise not much I notice. The dark spot on the left-hand girl is most likely a birthmark, not a wound like we briefly thought from less-clear views.
 
not sure ... mucous bubble, supposed to prove Sarin

 

94003 Basima Othman, burns or abrasions, mucous

94048, unidentified infant #11/14 (see above), often held-up. She's evidently yellow, probably jaundiced, but probably not fatally.

94548 the VDC's second and last unidentified girl "from" Irbeen, 500 entries after the above. Dark rings around eyes, slight cyanosis in lips?