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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Syria: Massacre of Fertilizer Plant Workers

June 23, 2015
last edits June 26

cropped video still
Starting Point: SNHR and Wikimapia
The recent SNHR report on sectarian massacres (review - PDF) gives some incidents I've never heard of or looked into. One of these is "Eastern Buweida Massacre," May 31, 2012. This one I knew of, but for some reason never researched (except a bit once, by accident). They list 12 dead, all workers at a fertilizer factory, killed after their bus was hijacked.

I'm not finding any direct pro-government sources easily, but I know they exist and blame rebels just as clearly as rebels do the opposite. Just from a quick search of sources crediting rebel accounts, there's enough here to work with and get a good view of the more likely truth of the matter.
In the report they cite a sub-report "fertilizer factory massacre..." I found here, but referring to "the manure factory located in Qattina village." The 12 men were taking the bus home to Eastern Bowaida (Buweida al-Sharqiya ) but the bus was soon "stopped by a government forces checkpoint, and it’s a known checkpoint at the entrance of Qattina village" - not some improvised one, or so they hear. The workers were taken to a "nearby farm," and tortured "in methods that goes back to the inquisitions of the middle ages," shot them dead and then mutilated them more. It's not evident, even after some research, just what the "sectarian background" aspect is supposed to be here.

The 2-page pdf adds 12 names, and lists some videos or images "attached" (but not). These cite previous shelling and other attacks in the area, especially on May 25. "The moment of the shells falling on Al Bowaida May 25, 2012" sounds worth looking, but I can't find it anywhere.
The area layout is easy enough with Wikimapia, used for the inset image. The inset graphic shows the "manure factory" - a state-run enterprise, not some poop-shack but a large technical facility, per the map. The most logical route for a bus from a parking lot there is traced in orange here, likely checkpoint spot marked in green. This may or may not matter - I suspect the abduction happened either right there as SNHR insists, or further south (see point 4-6  below). A nearby farm they were killed at could be in any direction, depending - other than probably not  towards the nearby army base.

Other Sources
June 1, Telegraph: "Syrian troops brutally slaughtered 13 factory workers after forcing them off a bus in the third massacre in less than a week, it has been claimed. ... Activists said the victims worked at a fertiliser factory and their bus was intercepted by militias, who robbed them, forced them to chant pro-regime slogans and then killed them." (cited some more below)

BBC reports June 1 New Syria 'mass killing' reported ahead of UN meeting - itself a possible clue. Nothing in the article adds to the material above.

No detailed review for videos and photos yet, but there's one prominent low-resolution one still available here on Youtube. The still used here above is from that.

The opposition VDC list 10 clear fits, maybe 12 8 have the note "A bus containing 13 workers in the in the factory of fertilizers was kidnapped and they were taken to Military Al-Rahba area were they were tortured, killed and their bodies were distorted." Some are listed "Worker in the factory of fertilizers." Names and details later - three victims seem to be brothers, or have the same name anyway.

Issues to Ponder
1) They were robbed - FSA and friends need funds - as does the Army, I suppose. I bet the abductors timed it to line up with payday or right after.

2) They were made to chant loyalist slogans and then killed - do they get bonus pay for that? How do rebels know that happened? Heard the singing across the fields? Maybe this is just rebel code - 'their being forced to be loyal to Assad' (work for a state-run factory = 'sing loyalist songs at gunpoint') caused them to be killed, and their regime pay to be confiscated.

3) Bodies were filmed by rebels - because the Army/whoever ran this crime can't be bothered to cover-up a massacre of state employees their bosses would try to deny and blame on "terrorists?"

4) It's not known if they were abducted at a checkpoint, or on the highway after, on a stretch rebels ran long enough to pull that off. And if a checkpoint, we can't really be sure it was always government-run (see next two points).

5) The VDC lists one rebel fighter Hamoud Mohammad Moheb Al-Dein, age 20, from Qosair also arrested at the checkpoint and executed. Did he wind up on the bus? Or just passing through on this wrong day and picked to share the workers' fate? Or perhaps ... he died in the attack on the checkpoint that can't be admitted, after which rebels took it over and used it to stop a bus full of state-factory workers?

6) Military Context: could rebels take over a checkpoint? Just before the Houla Massacre a ways to the north six days earlier, rebels took over 4 security posts at once to secure general control of Taldou and kill people there (see report). On the same day, Qusayr rebels - who would be the ones hijacking this bus - had overrun the Alawite village of Shumeriyeh, just off the map here to the west, 5km from the green circle (ACLOS).

7) A Pattern of Killing State Workers?
Interestingly, the Daily Mail's piece included this:

"A pro-government Facebook page, the Homs News Network, posted photos of 11 men on the floor of what appeared to be a classroom. It blamed the rebel Free Syrian Army, saying the workers were killed for being state employees. The opposition blamed the government.
Yesterday, 13 bound corpses, many apparently shot execution-style, were found in the eastern province of Deir el-Zour near the Iraqi border. The men were believed to be workers for an oil company. It was unclear who killed them. ..."

Two video stills below the article show bound and executed fighting age men - presumably the same 13 and not a third yet set of 13 - and have captions that say otherwise: "Brutal: In further bloodshed, UN observers found the 13 bodies of Syrian army defectors lying on the ground near Deir el-Zour, in Syria after being killed by Assad's forces" - "Execution: The men are believed to be defectors from the Syrian army who were caught and killed" And also some thought they worked for an oil company ...

If those were soldiers, of course they weren't "defecting." Really? What luck they tried to join rebels, were rounded up and killed by their bosses, and then left there as the bosses leave, and found by rebels who appear, probably before the blood even started to dry - as the usual case goes. These were some kind of security force at some oil facility - possibly state-run - which rebels overran. They were rounded up and executed, likely on a sectarian basis like al-Nusra fighters did more openly at the Shaddadi petroleum factory in Hassakah, in February 2013.
In case that's not plain as day, the very next crystal-clear day, across the country in Homs, 13 state factory workers are rounded up and executed with torture.

8) Other incidents, sectarian signs: in early March, 2012, a reported 13 workers of what sounds like this factory were targeted - at least 6 were listed as killed by regime's thugs "martyred along with 13 others after the shuttle he was taking to his work at the Compost Factory in Tal Al-Shoor (right next to this facility) was targeted by Assad's thugs from the Alameen Town." (I can't find al-Amin, but there's a Mneen along the long implied route)  They're listed as living in Harbinafsah, Hama, which, as explained here, suggests they may be Alawi.

Then, about two weeks after this May 31 massacre, another bus attack on civilians a little ways south of here and headed towards Lebanon was taken by rebels. Alawi passengers were identified and taken away, with nine reportedly beheaded. See here.


  1.  "Eastern Buweida Massacre," May 31, 2012. 
    Damascus southern countryside


    Syria News 12 June 2012. Armed Terrorist Group Kidnaps passengers
    of Two Busses in Homs. @ 5.01 Saleheyeh/ Joseyeh

    Joseyeh suburb of Alqusair

    July 27, 2012
    A Homs Sunni resident told Hackensberger he witnessed armed insurgents stopping a bus.

    “The passengers were divided into two groups: on one side, Sunnis; on the other, Alawis.”

    Nine Alawis were decapitated.

    All three name Al Qaeda behind the May 25 Houla massacre.


    1. This is another incident I heard of, wasn't sure when and where, thought it maybe the same as the May 31 incident - the confusion kept me from looking at both. This here gives enough to go on to include a June 12 massacre now as well. Thanks!

    2. Covered already http://libyancivilwar.blogspot.com/2015/06/syria-joseyeh-bus-massacre-june-2012.html

  2. Every Friday, before each meeting of the UN, Syria goes to auction,
    and the most best journalist brings the most victims :


    @ 0.54 : May 25 2012 al – Hawla/ Houla district Homs – 100 killed @ Hama
    47 km north of Homs, 209 km north from Damascus lies Hama

    @ 4.44 factory Qubeyr : 9 civilians, 1 child killed with RPG

    @ 5.31 Bilal Breigheche : Avaaz

    @ 6.41 FB Newsalyemen : child Yemen

  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnEALQf23pA

    Published on May 28, 2012 BBC illegally uses image of Iraqi victims as propaganda
    against the Syrian government

    News agency "BBC" uses picture of dead Iraqi children
    to depict alleged government atrocity:

    The British media has been caught yet again with its pants down in the effort
    to sell a NATO-led attack on Syria,
    with the revelation that BBC News used a years-old photo of dead Iraqi children

  4. Media lies on syria

    march 19 2012


    EXPOSED Danny Abdul-Dayem CNN Lying...Again

    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4YfKIPDS8E
      Syria Danny


      The truth about Avaaz’s favourite Syrian “activist”: Danny Dayem

      VIDEO BELOW: Syria: coup engineers used the same sniper tactic to incite Venezuelans in 2002:


      al Baida Snipers

  5. a Libyan eyewitness speaks out to Anderson Cooper in 2011

    @ 3.43 http://www.travelmath.com/drive-distance/from/Tripoli,+Libya/to/Benghazi,+Libya


    Vanderbilt Cooper

  6. That was on February 18, three days before the mysterious video appeared on YouTube
    and was broadcast by CNN.

    One Amer Saad, identified as a “political activist” from the rebel stronghold of Darnah, admitted to Al-Jazeera that some “conspirators” – i.e. Gaddafi loyalist forces – were “executed” by insurgents who locked the Gaddafi loyalists in a police station that was then set ablaze.
    On Saad’s account, the Gaddafi loyalists were indeed burned alive. (See the Guardian report here for the exact quote.)

    June 23, 2015
    LEAKED VIDEO: ISIS Puts Innocent People In A Giant Cage, Locks Them Inside, Sinks Them Into A Pool And Drowns Them To Death. They Then Take Another Group Of People, Wrap Them With Explosive Rope And Blow Them Up To Pieces


  7. On 22 June 2012, Turkish Prime Minister Erdo─čan told a group of journalists
    that Syria had apologized for the downed Turkish warplane.

    On 23 June 2012, Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul,admitted that the jet 'may have unintentionally violated Syrian airspace'. "The incident should not be regarded as a hostile action against Turkey in any case," Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Jihad Makdissi, told Turkey's A-Haber TV. "It was only the protection of our sovereignty. It is an incident, not an attack."

    But the head of the NATO military alliance, Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, called it a "completely unacceptable act" that the alliance condemned "in the strongest terms" after a meeting with Turkish officials and ambassadors to the 28-nation North Atlantic Treaty Alliance.

    It is on this way that NATO that, because military-strategic interests in the regio, abused the incident to escalate the tension between Syria and Turkey.

    Meanwhile, the New York Times newspaper reported that 'US intelligence operatives in Turkey were vetting the flow of weapons to Syrian 'rebels'.

    The Times cited unnamed US officials and Arab intelligence officials as saying the weapons were being paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar and taken across the Turkish border.

    There are also NATO weapons in the hands of Syrian terrorists.

    In December 2012, Syria’s U.S.-backed “moderate” rebels pulled off a false-flag kidnapping and “rescue” of NBC’s chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel and his crew, getting the crime blamed on a militia tied to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad,
    a propaganda scam that NBC played along with despite having evidence of the truth.

    On Wednesday, Engel, who had blamed an Assad-linked Shiite militia in reports both for NBC and Vanity Fair, acknowledged that a new examination of the case persuaded him that “the group that kidnapped us was Sunni, not Shia.” He added that the kidnappers “put on an elaborate ruse to convince us they were Shiite shabiha militiamen.”

    According to an account published by the New York Times on Thursday – in its “Business Day” section – NBC executives had evidence from the beginning that the actual kidnappers were part of “a Sunni criminal element affiliated with the Free Syrian Army, the loose alliance of rebels opposed to Mr. Assad.”

    The Free Syrian Army has been the principal rebel force supported by the U.S. government which, in April 2013, several months after Engel’s high-profile ordeal, earmarked $123 million in aid to the group to carry out its war against Assad’s government.

    The other significance of the Syrian rebels’ successful false-flag kidnapping/rescue of Engel
    is that it may have encouraged them to sponsor other events that would be blamed on the Syrian government and excite the U.S. government and media to intervene militarily against Assad.

    On Aug. 21, 2013, a mysterious Sarin gas attack outside Damascus killed several hundred people, causing U.S. officials, journalists and human rights activists to immediately leap to the conclusion that Assad was responsible and that he had crossed President Barack Obama’s “red line”
    against the use of chemical weapons and thus deserved U.S. military retaliation.



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