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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
 

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