Saturday, July 12, 2014

Houla Massacre Victims

last edits July 27

The original reading of the death toll, with a variety of lists from both sides roughly agreeing, is a widely-accepted death toll of 108, with victims in 4 groups, largest to smallest:
  1. The Abdulrazaq families (app. 62 instances of that name, including most of the children killed.
  2. "Other" or unclear civilian of various names (about 20-25 entries).
  3. The Al-Sayed families (about 15-20 entries).
  4. Apparent rebel fighters and helpers killed by "shooting" or "shelling" instead of "field execution." (about 6).
So a better reading for the thing they reported - a massacre of innocent civilians, including whole families - would be about 100-104.  However, it seems some victims were missed in these lists and the number comes out probably at least as high as stated even without the rebels included (see lists, below).

Defending soldiers are not even mentioned, of course. Sources suggest these totaled at least 5-6, and one official source put the overall death toll at 114 - 108+6. They may or may not count the few "terrorists" killed in defense, and may or may not bear out their 108 otherwise toll.

ACLOS-compiled victim lists for reference (PDF download pages):
* Early Arabic-language opposition lists, translated, compared - 113 entries, a few duplicates, mostly in agreement.
* 2014 List, from a new Facebook page  -105 entries, sorted by family, with ages, family name details (all alleged) and links to the gruesome but useful new images they share for each family.
* "64 Children" Correlated List - combining the above two lists with another database, compressing duplicates and several most-likely matches, this still has 112 civilian victims listed, including 63-65 children, depending (most of the teenagers are usually listed as adults). Further, nine distinct apparent rebel fighters are split off, for a total of 121 entries. The degree may not be exactly right, but this document supports a slightly larger death toll than first reported.

The size of the massacre and names of the victims are only slightly disputed, compared to the story behind it all - who they really were, who really killed them, and why. The "why" part will have a post here for discussion space (f/c).

We can add a few specifics with the research done so far. To start, a recent one:

* On examination (see here), records suggest most of the “other” civilians are clearly intermarried with the Abdulrazaqs, and the rest might be. Names Al-Kurdi, Harmoush, Zegahi/Mousa, Abbara, Al-Sweiee, Bakour, Ismael, make the category for the alleged Shi'ites and those killed living with them, or related and tracked down elsewhere in some cases, becomes a vast majority of the Houla Massacre death toll – about 85-90 or even more, out of of the 108 or so.

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