Assad's forces kill 85 in Damascus suburb, activists say

AMMAN Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:25pm EDT

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AMMAN (Reuters) - Syrian forces and militiamen loyal to President Bashar al-Assad killed at least 85 people when they stormed a Damascus suburb after five days of fighting, opposition activists in the area said on Sunday.

There was no immediate confirmation of the activists' account of what they described as a "massacre", including of women and children, at Jdeidet al-Fadel. Syrian authorities have banned most independent media since the uprising began in 2011.

Syria's Sana state news agency said the military "inflicted big losses on terrorists in Jdeidet al-Fadel and destroyed weapons and ammunition and killed and wounded members of the terrorist groups".

Jamal al-Golani, a member of the Revolution Leadership Council opposition group, said the number of dead may be higher than 250, mostly shot at close range, but the presence of army patrols made documenting all of them difficult.

"Jdeidet al-Fadel was militarily a lost cause from day one because it was surrounded by the army from every direction. There are almost no wounded because they were shot on the spot," he said.

The killings happened over several days when pro-Assad forces stormed an area where there were up to 270 rebels, Golani said, adding that he had counted 98 bodies in the streets and 86 people who he said had been summarily executed in makeshift clinics where they were lying wounded.

The working class district, part of Sunni Muslim towns surrounding the capital that have been at the forefront of the uprising against Assad, is situated near hilltop bases for elite loyalist forces, who mostly belong to Assad's minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam that has dominated the country since the 1960s.

Abu Ahmad al-Rabi', an activist in the adjacent district of Jdeidet Artouz, said: "We documented 85 summarily executed, including 28 shot in a makeshift hospital after Assad's forces entered Jdeidet al-Fadel. We fear that the victims of the massacre are much higher."

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition monitoring group operating from London, said it documented 80 names of people killed, including three children, six women and 18 rebel fighters.

The Syrian Network for Human Rights said the International Committee for the Red Cross should be allowed to evacuate civilians from the district after credible reports of "extrajudicial killings and summary executions inside homes and tens of cases of sexual violence".

Syrian state television showed troops in a pickup truck patrolling the dusty town and several bodies of dead men which a commander described as "terrorists" in front of a building that appears to have been wrecked by gunfire.

Video footage taken by activists showed three bodies of young men lying next to each other and apparently hit by bullets, and bodies in what they described as a makeshift clinic, two of which hit in the face.

In a pattern seen in other towns and neighborhoods overrun by Assad's forces, activists said shops in Jdeidet al Fadel were looted and torched.

Assad's forces have been accused of massacring hundreds of Sunni in areas they stormed in Hama and Homs provinces and Damascus suburbs, while international rights groups say rebel forces have also committed atrocities, although on a smaller scale.

(Reporting by Khaled Yacoub Oweis; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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Comments (15)
byrond2 wrote:
Current count exceeds 450 killed. Guess there’s no real superheroes.

Apr 21, 2013 1:55pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
kent05r wrote:
Obama Gives 230 more millions of borrowed money to fight this guy. Wish this dumb son of a gun would look who he is taking on. Look at who supports Bashar Al Assad.
I wonder if he ever read “Divide and Conquer”. I’ll bet he does not have a clue as to whom even said it. ( Julius Caesar)
We can not afford this; And Obama knows it, millions must die he claimed; Here are a list of the Syrian friends and families. Russia is playing Obama for the Sucker he is. “The Best is Yet to Come”. Obama meant it.
Listed Below;
Who are Allies of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad?
Vladimir Putin and Russia were one of his top allies until June 2012.
Here is a list of his last remaining allies.
* = Dictator

- Hu Jintao (President of China)
- Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (President of Iran)*
- Alexander Lukashenka (President of Belarus)
- Kim Jong – Un (President of North Korea)*
- Serzh Sargsyan (President of Armenia)*
- Omar Al – Bashir (President of North Sudan)*
- Viktor Yanukovych (President of Ukraine)*
- Hugo Chavez (President of Venezuela)*
- Blaise Compaore (President of Burkina Faso)*

Apr 21, 2013 4:00pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Fromkin wrote:
“There was no immediate confirmation of the activists’ account of what they described as a “massacre”, including of women and children,”

This is a fake report.

I fully expected to see in this false report the words “women and children” next to massacre. This propaganda would be useless without the word “massacre” right next to” women and children”…

Those who are getting killed near Damascus are insurgents that the Western special forces are training in Jordan. The Syrian army is only targeting those militants who engage it with Saudi, Qatari, Turkish,French, British,American provided weapons.

The militants have the entire western media to seek public sympathy on their behalf and bail them out when they are in trouble. This article is an attempt at just that.

Western countries must stop sending hopeless young Muslims to a certain death for their own selfish interests or for Israel.

There are no terrorist groups or armed rebels/Jihadists that can defeat the Syrian army. Western countries are giving lethal aid to young Muslims to see them kill other Muslims and get killed. This is evil.

Apr 21, 2013 4:27pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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