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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.

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