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Monday, May 4, 2015

Ghouta Massacres By District, Part 2: Jobar

Ghouta Massacres (plural) By District
Part 2: Jobar
May 4, 2015

Jobar is large, relatively populous and central, and primarily opposition-controlled at the time of the attack. It cannot have suffered a direct attack of the accepted kind, but apparently hosted the launching of the rockets that fell elsewhere, and one of the district that clearly deserved its own ACLOS page aside from the general locations page. It's the focus of a few fascinating relations and detailed study, some of which I didn't fully follow the first time around. A couple, in summary:

Attack on Jobar Alleged?  One important piece of evidence is a video statement from Jobar's "medical point" (rebel-managed) about what sounds like a strange version of the attack that never happened. (Video, with English subtitles) He specifies that it's about sunrise as he speaks, and gives much dubious detail about the preceding hours, but still with some details worth considering. His details about the East Ghouta rebel medical point system is covered at ACLOS here.
The unnamed Jobar site director explains "The front of Ain Tarma and Jobar in Eastern Ghouta was bombarded with chemical weapons. We noted the incident early, thankfully. We put ourselves on the highest alert." He seems to treat Jobar and "Ain Tarma" medical points as almost one unit, with him taking over management in Ain Tarma at some point. (see part 5) But looking at the map, there should be no shared Jobar-Ain Tarma front - they don't touch. He might be using different definitions, including Zamalka and Ain Tarma under the one name, but he also mentions other medical points he didn't run, one in Zamalka. But he only mentions sharing drugs and supplies with Ain Tarma, going through an astounding 25,000 ampules of Atropine, which was all they had. He says an unspecified number of medics also died.
The guy mentions no other attacked areas, but goes on to say the casualties in this one "front" were "massive." He gives no total numbers but says he alone handled 50 dead children between the two medical points. The VDC lists 117 children dead in the whole attack, so he claims he oversaw about half of them, If this is true, it's an important clue.

It doesn't come through clearly, like that medic made it sound, that Jobar itself was hit with rockets, but the claim was explicitly lodged tosome degree anyway. There was a video at this EA Worldview article (since pulled, probably the same video) called "Statement Of Medical Committee After Attack On Jobar, Damascus." Initial opposition reports sounded like many died in an attack there - Jobar was one of those districts mentioned with 50+ victims minimum. And Reuters' reliable rebel repeater Khaled Oweis at least reported here "To the West, in Mouadamiya, activists said at least 80 people were killed when the district was hit with nerve gas an hour after the attack on Irbin, Ain Tarma and Jobar." Oweis, with Dominic Evans, also wrote here that "Activists said rockets with chemical agents hit the Damascus suburbs of Ain Tarma, Zamalka and Jobar during fierce pre-dawn bombardment by government forces."

Jobar was not hit:
Within a day or so sources agreed Jobar had no attack or direct ceaths or "massive" illness. People may have been taken there, but that's a different story. I'm a little hazy on the different sources, but it seems some would again claim a Jobar attack. However, by the more credible sources (like the UN's investigators) Jobar is another area not directly hit, and with wind blowing away from it. Any locals would have to go elsewhere to die from "Assad's" Sarin rockets.

To die in a rebel-held basement, however, might well be do-able in Jobar. And this may have happened, on a scale that was "massive," like nearly half the total, including around 50 children. The way they wound up spread so widely might suggest less centralization than that however, with people killed in smaller batches all over. And anything that seems like an extra-tempting lead could, of course, be a false one.
But the victims seem to get partly "corrected" to be from Zamalka, mainly. The VDC records reflect 4 victims who were wrongly listed as from Jobar, but still show 82 victims - nearly 10% of the total - were from Jobar. And unless the Sarin picked off their relatives in different areas, some of the family members of these should have been claimed as Jobar victims too. How many were so claimed, however briefly, and however many actually died in Jobar ... VDC lists two, both rebel fighters! ... it seems possible this remains unclear because the opposition had to work around this early script defect with some clever accounting.
East Ghouta Hit From Jobar?
The best reading of rocket impact angles combined with established range of 2-3 km, puts the launch of the 12 Zamalka rockets in or near the northern tip of Jobar (as shown on the map above - see Sasa Wawa/WhoGhouta analysis for details, and note the evident arc of impacts lining up with that reading). This was at the time something of a no-man's-land accessible to either side, for limited operations anyway - like firing 12 rockets that would be blamed for the chemical massacre (wrongly, in my opinion, but again that's very contested).
Jobar's Rebel CW Industry:
(See ACLOS section) In mid-July a rebel chemical factory was uncovered in Jobar, with corrosoves made in Saudi Arabia, and various tools for what the state media claimed was a plan to fire mortars and/or rockets with chemical warheads in the Damascus suburbs. That exact operation was shut down.

But the August 21 incident went ahead, and the army began a new offensive in response. On August 24, SAA soldiers uncovered another underground facility with material for improvised explosives, including propane tanks like the "hell cannon" can fire, protective gear, and boxes of Atropine ampules. State TV reported this, showed video, and said several soldiers suffered suffocation issues when they entered the place. Later, I think ... one of these tested positive for Sarin exposure when the UN's investigators tested him, with others testing negative but only weeks after the attack, and afer 4 tested positive in a Syrian hospital right after the incident - see Aug. 24 Jobar section by WhoGhouta here

Victims Records
Early total: 50-67 Final total: not mentioned (implied, zero)

VDC records:
82 from Jobar (4 FSA, 78 civilians, died in Ain Tarma, Zamalka, "East Ghota," unstated)
died in Jobar = 2 (both FSA, they shielded the civilians there?)
Jobar in notes = 4 (civilians, to say they were actually not from Jobar)

Died In Jobar
Again, VDC lists TWO people, both FSA fighters, dying in Jobar. Maybe they were affected elsewhere but made it back to base before croaking?
* Hasan Ali Hamza 92599 FSA from Hamouria Martyrdom location Damascus: Jobar. Morgue photo included.
Abdul Rahman al-Modawer 92594 FSA Martyrdom location Damascus: Jobar "Known as (Abu Bashar), Operation leader." What kind of operations? 3 photos of him alive included. He has a red beard that seems to get longer over time.

Compare the second to:
* Entry 194 on this Facebook list for Douma: (auto-translated) Abdul Rahman trochanter (Abu Bashar al-) / Damascus - (from?) Douma / Army free (FSA) / cited (died) in the Jobar neighborhood of Damascus. A linked photo (gone now) looks like a CW victim, asphyxiation, roughed up eyes, mucous from the nose. Did he have a red beard? I don't remember. What may be the photo, from another page connected to Douma's local coordination committee, is shown below under clinical signs. It looks like a guy seen on a video searching the Arabic name here: عبد الرحمن المدور  - still at right.

* VDC Abdulrahman Qatma 92454 FSA Jobar, Martyrdom location Damascus Suburbs: East Ghota rescued to Hamouria and buried there. Again no image

* VDC Adnan Qatma, 92408 AM, civilian, from Jobar, rescued to Hamouria and buried there, called as Abo Rodwan (AbdulRahman? same guy? Or did the gas get his brother or something?)

Some of the Civilians, all of whom Died Somewhere Else
Baghdadi: 8-9 with this name: A very interesting family from a mix of Jobar, Jobar corrected to Zamalka, and/or corrected to Deir-Ezzor province (but were passed through and named by a "hospital"
* 92001 Osama al-Baghdadi, AM, non-civilian, FSA, from Zamalka (photo, in militant gear) unique notes say "His nickname is : Abo jaafar, the leader of Mojahidi Alsham batalion." That's interesting. Whether he's related to the rest of these Baghdadi victims or a coincidence is not totally clear.
* 92108 Abo Zaid al-Bagdadi AM Zamalka The name Came From al-Ihsan hospital in hmouria
* 92141 Ahmad Abd al-Qader Bagdadi AM Deir Ezzor Martyrdom location Damascus Suburbs: Ein Tarma. unique notes: "it came from another source that he is from Jobar"
* 92142 Doae Ahmad Abd al-Qader Bagdadi AF from Deir Ezzor Martyrdom location Damascus Suburbs: Ein Tarma (suggested: Ahmad's sister)
* 92144 Houda Ahmad Abd al-Qader Bagdadi Province Deir Ezzor Sex Adult - Female Martyrdom location Damascus Suburbs: Ein Tarma. notes: "it came from another source that she is from Jobar" (implied: another sister)
** dl? 93284 Houda Bagdadi Child - Female, from Jobar, died in Zamalka
* 92395 Khadija Baghdadi AF Jobar. Martyrdom location Damascus countryside: Zamalka. unique notes: She was buried in Hamouria
* 92928 Ahmad Bagdadi AM, Jobar, died in Zamalka
* 92945 Unidentified (Believed to be from Al-Bagdadi family) (includes morgue photo) Fom Zamalka. Martyrdom location Deir Al-Asaffir. unique notes: Believed to be from Al-Bagdadi family exposed to the chemical attack in Zamalka

Hazroumeh: 19 with this name listed for the whole massacre, minus 5 double-listings = 14. largely from Jobar but died in Ain Tarma, buried there or in Hamouriya.
* Inaam Hazroumah AF Zamalka no more info
* Baraa Hazroumah CF Jobar ML Ein Tarma rescued to Erbeen
* Hassan Hazroumeh AM Z no more
* Jana Ahmad Hazroumeh CF Jobar photo 93777 (cyanotic, Hello Kitty) age 4 died in Ein Tarma
* Nour Hazroumeh AF Jobar ML Ein Tarma Rank: Hamouria Notes: Buried in a Hamouria cemetery (no one shares that exact note - all Ham in notes = 15, mostly Jobar, 14 w/standard note "rescued to Hamouria and buried there")
** Nour Hazrumi AF Z no more ("correction" entry)
* Safa Hazroumeh 93789 AF Jobar ML AT rescued to Hamouria and buried there
** Safa Hazrumi AF Z no more ("correction" entry)
* Hala Hazroumeh 93790 AF ML AT Jobar rescued to Hamouria and buried there
** Hala Hazrumi AF Z no more ("correction" entry)
* Rawda Hazroumeh AF J ML AT rescued to Hamouria and buried there
** Rawda Hazrumi AF Z no more ("correction" entry)
Marwa Mohammad Hazrouma AF Ein Tarma age 18, no more info
Nouri Tawfeq Hazromeh AM Jobar The name Came From al-Ihsan hospital in hmouria
* Ayman Hazromeh 92612 AM J Married With Children martyred with his son
* Mohammad Ayman Hazroumeh 93788 CM Jobar photo (should be a son of Ayman)
** Mohammad Hazromeh 92611 CM Jobar, died in Ain Tarma, photo (same - double-listed) "Known as (Abo Ayman)," (father of Ayman? A bit young) "... Martyred With His Father"
* Husam Hazromeh AM Jobar no more
* Alaa Hazroumah CF Zamalka no more
5 double-listings = 14

Rafqa Naqeshbandi AF, Kafr Batna - Mohammad Waleed Naqeshbandi AM, Jobar - Yahia Naqeshbandi AM, Jobar -Ziad Naqeshbandi AM, Jobar - Amal al-Nakshbandi AF, Zamalka - Amirah al-Nakishbandi AF, Zamalka - Fawaz al-Naqishbandi AM Zamalka - Maha Naqshbandi AF, Zamalka

Other: Juha, Unidentified...forthcoming.

al-Ihsan hospital in Hamouria: "The name Came From al-Ihsan hospital in hmouria" for these 37 Ghouta victims from Jobar, Zamalka, Ain Tarma. Some include:
* 92122 Mohammad al-Qaq AM, Jobar. Qaq is a rare name shared by 7 previous civilian victims in all of Syria's conflict, per VDC records, mostly in Idlib. They tend to die close to each other in time, in small bursts of three. He was the 8th, or at least there were 9 total before #10 died on March 16, 2015 - Ayosh al-Qaaq (diff. spelling) of Sarmin, Idlib, the grandmother of the Taleb family allegedly killed by chlorine in March 2015, whose grandchildren's preventable death in a rebel "medical point" moved the UNSC to tears.... And 3 more Qaq relatives were killed by "regime missiles" in Sarmin a week later, so now it's 12 dead, 1/6 of those in dubious chemical attacks blamed on the government.
* The rest contain names seen elsewhere, like a random-seeming mix of the same several families, like the 17 listed from al-Sel hospital in Kafr Batna (see part 7). Several of the same names, in fact. Bagdadi, Srouji, Hazroumeh. Some one-name folks: Shima, Abdlerahman (a doctor), A'aqeb.

Clinical Signs
The number of victims with photos is fairly small, and only some of those seem worth much as clues.

Abdulrahman Trochanter/Qatma/Modawer
cyanosis? miosis?
92599 Hasan Ali Hamza
Unidentified woman 94546
unidentified boy 94547
more forthcoming?

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