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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

September 21, 2015 Aleppo Market Attack

September 21, 2015 Aleppo Market Attack
September 23, 2015
last edits Sept. 24

Note: No real research on this yet, but some thoughts, starter material, etc. ...

AP reports (via New York Daily News) under the headline "Syrian government forces kill at least 18 in market blast: activists" "Activists" again refers to the SOHR, and also the LCC, calling on their sources in Shaar, "a rebel-held neighborhood" of Aleppo city. Rebel shells and rockets on government-held areas have been rather intense lately, killing sometimes dozens of civilians at a time. Once again, the rebels and sources - who should be ebtirely Islamist-leaning by now - come back with this market-centered accusation to shift the balance of propaganda back in their favor. 
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the surface-to-surface missile hit a market in Aleppo’s Shaar neighborhood, killing 18 and wounding dozens. It added that a wave of rockets struck the area afterward.
The Local Coordination Committees said the attack by Bashar Assad’s brutal regime targeted a street with clothing stores. It said 20 died and more than 40 were wounded.
* Mashable: attack caught on video (shares Civil Defense videos of aftermath, not the attack)
* Al-Jazeera Assad forces kill dozens of civilians in Syria's Aleppo: "(SOHR's) Abdelrahman said 18 civilians were killed, but other sources told Al Jazeera that the fatalities were as high as 32." Byline claims "at least 32."
The "brutal regime" targeted clothing stores - whose? Which rebel group runs this area? Are they terrorists? If so, they might do this themselves. If not, they'll surely have terrorist competitors in the area who would do it.

Or maybe, as they say, the regime did it. But that's not fair to presume by recent precedent It has some similarities to the Douma market attack just over a month ago - an alleged jet attack that allegedly killed over 100, that appears instead to be done by surface rockets and as cover for people mainly dead before that. There's also the August 3 market attack in Ariha, Idlib province, where activists swear a jet bombed the market then deliberately crashed into it. In reality, that too was probably a surface rocket rebels have plenty of. Other jet claims that fell apart are among the precedents for these precedents, and there may well be other insights from the spectrum of alleged market attacks in Syria cataloged here, many blamed on jets or, more often, helicopters with their all-powerful "barrel bombs."

In this case, there's no jet alleged, just a surface rocket. I suppose this time the weapon is true, but one way or another anti-Syria terrorists probably fired this, just like the others hitting market areas and fulfilling their propaganda needs. It's quite likely, however, that they managed to fake a firing line that points to a Syrian forces position, and the unanswered question will be how far out along that line. (that's just a guess before even looking)

And by precedent, the majority of the dead may have nothing to do with the blasts themselves, which serve mainly to launder whichever local massacre rebels want to shift the blame for on that day. .
Victim Records
VDC Record Evolution
Opposition Center for Documentation of Violations in Syria (VDC), linked to the LCC lists 24 dead this day under the note "More than 20 people killed due to shelling by Syrian regime forces using what so called "elephant missiles" on the civilian population areas."

There were only 22 entries, so two were added since I first looked. All are dated 9-21, suggesting no later deaths among the critically wounded. These 24 are 17 men (was 18), five boys (was 2), one woman, and one girl. No repeat family names, but 12 adult males were unidentified when I first looked. Now 4 of those are named, some as boys.

Names compared to other recent deaths in the area might yield interesting patterns, but I haven't yet. All are listed as from Shaar, no non-locals - some do include ages, if no other info. Boy ages: 10, 13, 16, 17, 17. I'm guessing men cluster on the other side 18. The girl was aged 10, the woman aged 50. All females in between these ages were miraculously spared from death?

All civilian, killed by shelling 9-21, from Shaar
Abdullah Kharmah Child - Male 13
Hani Darweesh AlDarweesh  Child - Male     17
Ahmad Assaf  Adult - Male    48
Abdulnaser Beetar  Adult - Male    
Taha Mamdouh Sabbagh  Adult - Male   
Majed Omran  Adult - Male   
Amira Ghazal   Adult - Female   
Deebow Qbeia   Child - Male    
Nawaf Housein Ibrahim Albaha   Child - Male    
Mohammad Hassoun Rannan    Adult - Male    
Unidentified 12    Adult - Male    
Firas Jaber    Adult - Male   
Sara Masree     Child - Female  
Unidentified 1   Adult - Male     Aleppo 
Unidentified 2   Adult - Male     Aleppo 
Unidentified 3   Adult - Male     Aleppo
Unidentified 4   Adult - Male     Aleppo 
Unidentified 5    Adult - Male     Aleppo  
Unidentified 6     Adult - Male     Aleppo 
Unidentified 7     Adult - Male     Aleppo  
Muhammad Jamal Beibee    Child - Male 
Osama Abdullatif Abdulaltif      Adult - Male  
Muhammad Jamal Ramee     Adult - Male   
Bakree Ahmad Marroush        Adult - Male    

Another Arabic list I found has only 15 entries, at least some matching names, most with ages. (note: VDC entries can be switched to Arabic for checking: type /ar in the url were /en is and reload). This has victims from two districts/neighborhoods: 6 from al-Sha'ar and 9 from al-Midan Children ages shown: 12, 16, and 16. This says three unidentified dead from Midan were of family al-Basha ( الباشا ) , first names unknown - VDC's list has no such name, but one is close: one is identified Nawaf Housein Ibrahim Albaha ( البها ) age 17. I'm guessing this is what they meant, and 2 more of the unidentified share his name.

Just being lazy and saving the whole list here:
حي الميدان :

1- ﻣﺤﻤﺪ ﻋﺎﺩﻝ ﺍﺣﻤﺪ ﻋﺰﻳﺰﻱ 21 سنة
2- ﻓﺮﺍﺱ صالح ﺟﺎﺑﺮ 25 سنة
3- فاتح نجيب سراج الدين 18 سنة
4- ريان بكري نيرباني 12 سنة
5- عائشة بكري نيرباني 16 سنة
876- من عائلة الباشا
9- مجهولة الهوية

حي الشعار :

10- احمد عساف 48 سنة
11- عبد الناصر بيطار 38 سنة
12- طه ممدرح سباغ
13- ماجد عمران 50 سنة
14- اميرة غزال 50 سمة
15- ديبو قبيع 16 سنة

Images  (video and photo)
*  aftermath: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pv207oFslU
* aftermath, helmet camera (in compilation) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dK9pmqLWY8E
* Damage photo, Getty/Anadolu
* There was at least one photo I saw of a small rocket impact mark on pavement that could easily show the firing direction. 

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