The War of Terror on Syria Through Forensic Medicine 2 – GRAPHIC

April 2, 2020 Arabi Souri

Syria - War of Terror through Forensic Eyes

This is Part 2 of a documentary series by investigative reporter Ugarit Dandash, the documentary is part of Ms. Dandash’s From the Ground documentary series where she reports from Syria the horrors the Syrian people lived inflicted on them by the USA and all its cronies, lackeys, and stooges combined efforts over the past 9 years.

From the Ground – The Syrian War through the Eyes of Forensic Medicine was made exclusively for the Lebanese Al Mayadeen news station in Arabic. It was aired on Thursday night 26 March 2020.

All countries which supported the ‘freedom fighters’, ‘armed opposition’, ‘moderate rebels’, call them whatever Orwellian name that suits you, are an accomplice in each crime committed against the Syrian people, needless to say, that each taxpayer and each citizen of those countries has much blood on their hands especially those who keep quiet hiding behind the ‘democracy elections’ delusion while their governments kill in their names, murder using their money, destroy families and hide behind the ‘democracy’ slogan, and not being held by those citizens for the crimes they committed all over the world. If you didn’t know for over 9 years what your government did in Syria, this will leave you with no excuse.

The video file size is beyond the capacity of our site, our YouTube channel was long deleted by YouTube, so we had to split it into two parts embedded below, followed by the transcript in English of the full video for history. Please excuse any typos, it was definitely unintentional.

Part 1 of 2, Episode 2:

For Episode 1:

The War of Terror on Syria Through Forensic Medicine – GRAPHIC

English translation transcript:

The War in the Eyes of Forensic Medicine – 1

Report by Ugarit Dandash

A story that took a huge media sensation was that of journalist Marie Colvin, the forensic medical report proved that what happened was the opposite and that the state did not kill her, but the gunmen themselves who were using her were the ones who got rid of her.

The shape of the distribution of shrapnel and the nail, this is proof that it is not a shell but an improvised primitive handmade grenade.

Ochlik (Remi Ochlik) and Marie Colvin died instantly, the injuries were not survivable.

There was the story of the photojournalist Remi Ochlik, on March 2, 2012, a body buried in the Baba Amr neighborhood was examined, by a forensic examination, we saw extensive wounds with extensive material loss and stable shrapnel in the body. There was talk of negotiations to transfer him for treatment with renowned journalist Marie Colvin. The forensic report concluded that the death was direct and immediate, and that all the negotiations were fictitious and false.

At that time, it was said in the media that the Syrian government had been asked to agree to evacuate injured foreign journalists in the Baba Amr neighborhood in cooperation with the Red Crescent for treatment, I say that the nature of the injuries that exist does not allow for life.

Question: Was it an immediate death?

A: It was an immediate death, so there was an attempt to smuggle bodies or smuggle other journalists into a particular convoy.

The role of forensic medicine in identifying unidentified bodies is the essential and important role, as the ring begins with forensics. We study any unknown remains and conduct photographs in coordination with the Criminal Security Branch and the Burial Office, where the same number given by the forensic doctor is circulated through the Criminal Security Branch and the Burial Office and then burial as soon as the studies are completed.

There were bodies that were re-examined in the countries to which it was sent to, it caught my attention in one of the reports I read the word “hand-made” means in English Hand Made, this phrase was translated from Arabic to Local Made, a phrase that if translated in good faith it is not true, because the local bomb It may be made and it may be made by the gunman in Syria, but when you say Hand Made, it means that it is often made by a terrorist, not by an army.

We were able to identify the injuries in decomposing bodies, there were injuries of explosive nature.

In Aleppo city, there are many unidentified remains, with the number so far reaching 3,225 unidentified remains, more than 1,000 have been identified so far.

As a forensic pathologist, there is always a high risk, and the main danger was like any citizen of Aleppo at the time who was liable to die, the missiles did not exclude a meter. If I draw you a masterplan for Aleppo, I can show you where the shells landed, I memorize them.

All those I have examined, especially the children, have been ghosts following me until now, and this crisis can be added to the forensic doctor’s crises.

The external looks of the forensic doctor or his personality may be solid, but that does not reflect what happens inside the forensic doctor, how many scars have left a pain? Sometimes I see cases where I hold my tears and leave a lot of pain in me, there are situations I can’t forget.

War through the Eyes of Forensics 2

Investigation by Ugarit Dandesh

The high temperature, the large number of corpses, and the decay that has occurred is a hotbed of sepsis. We were putting the bodies near the campus of the university hospital and the patients and their families up to the seventh floor complained about the smell, sometimes the bodies were stretching over an area of 100 meters, the view was very harmful, so we expedited the forensic examination, and we were exposed to dangers, for example, one time I was examining the body of a foreign fighter and was surprised to find the explosive belt and some bombs with him. We immediately asked the competent authorities to come and deal with the matter.

We, as forensic doctors, like everyone else, heard about foreign journalists in Syria and then we heard that a journalist, Marie Colvin, was killed in Syria and the media claimed that she was hit by a regime-guided missile and targeted in Baba Amr. We received information after a while that a group of bodies were buried in a place in Baba Amr and there is a suspicion that foreign journalists are among them. A specialized team under the supervision of the Civil Defense dug up these graves and was brought to the military hospital in Homs, I had moved at that time to the military hospital building because the National Hospital was directly targeted and blown up and there was no possibility to continue working there and we needed protection.

When we identified Marie Colvin’s body, at this time we collected information about Marie Colvin so that we could identify her, Marie Colvin found that her left eye was covered and that she had been injured while working as a journalist, and also we found that she had 26 dental implants and that she had a silicon ring behind the eye ball. This information is from the Internet.

Upon examination of the bodies, it was found that she was wearing a man’s clothes, which may have been for cold reasons or for field reasons, and only the upper clothes and underneath were wearing a woman’s clothes. Immediately the autopsy was carried out in the appropriate places we saw the silicon ring under the left eye and it is well documented we have, dental implants have been documented, a radial scan of Marie Colvin’s body has been performed and the important thing in this matter and what we are distinguished in documentation is the presence of irregular polymorphic fragments inside the body, including a nail. This needs to be analyzed and read:

First, we learned that this body belonged to Marie Colvin, but we had to read what happened. The bottom line is that Marie Colvin was not killed by a guided missile, but killed by a home-made bomb, because when you find irregular shrapnel in a body, nails, or shots, it’s a homemade bomb because regular armies use regular missiles, regular bullets, while the average person when he makes a package fills them with anything, like iron scatters or something, the presence of such objects on the x-ray indicates that they were killed by a homemade bomb.

She was killed on February 22, 2012, and the body was found on March 2, 2012, almost 10 or 12 days later.

The other thing that we were able to analyze as forensic doctors, at that time it was said in the media that the Syrian government was asked to agree to evacuate the injured foreign journalists who are in the Baba Amr in cooperation with the Red Crescent for treatment, I say that the nature of the injuries that exist does not allow life, death was immediate, so there was an attempt to smuggle bodies or smuggle other journalists into a particular convoy. Because Oshlik and Marie Colvin were killed instantly, when they were injured, they were killed instantly.

Q: You mean the same type of injury for both?

A: I mean the injury is not viable, when you see Marie Colvin’s body and you see the injuries on it and the shrapnel and it’s documented you will see that this person is unviable, he was injured and lost life immediately within minutes, so Marie Colvin did not go through the stage of an injured journalist, she was killed immediately…

Q: Means it can’t be negotiated as an injured?

A: There was something else out of this. I remember when we exhumed the bodies from the grave it the names were written on the shroud, which helped us to identify, it was written in French, Oshlik and Marie Colvin on the shroud.

Question: But forensics can’t be based solely on writing?

A: Certainly not, we did research and saw dental implants that are also documented by photocopies and the silicon ring is also documented by photocopiers.

Q: Was writing in French, not English?

Answer: In French.

Q: Is it possible that there are other French people?

A: Either other people are French or people who are fluent in French, this is a theory only this thought occurred to me because it helped me with the process of identification because the main task for which I came out is to find the bodies of Marie Colvin and Oschlik. The quick scanning of the bodies that I brought and noticing the presence of writing on the shroud at that time helped me get my job done more quickly.

Q: Do you think, by examining the bodies and according to medical data, that they were killed in the same place and time, or that there is a difference between them?

A: Marie Colvin’s body had glass scatters on it, either killed in a car or killed in a house with glass, which is unlikely because no one sits in a room with glass in a war. So, I think she was killed in a car and this is a personal conclusion that I cannot defend scientifically, but this is my observation.

Q: What did you do with the bodies of foreign fighters?

A: We are certainly examining all the bodies that we receive professionally and write their reports, those of them who have special status are fully examined and properly buried, we are a state of institutions, but about their numbers that is in the custody of the competent authorities, we do not interfere with this subject, we end our work when we hand over the body and bury it in a decent manner. In our field, we never interfere with politics, we are a medical authority that respects the oath we have sworn. Indeed, I assure you that all opposition or foreign fighters are systematically screened and properly buried, this is an institutional state.

Dr. Manal Jada, Head of the Forensic Medical Center in Latakia: At this time I remember the first massacre (in Latakia province) that was the Massacre of Slanfah, the massacres in the villages of the northern countryside in Slanfah, in which large numbers of martyrs of all age groups were killed, children, elders and women. Events began on August 4, 2011, injuries began to come to the National Hospital and all government hospitals and others in the Latakia area, and the numbers were large and the injuries were enormous, and the death toll is large more than 80 deaths arrived on August 4.

Two weeks later mass graves were discovered…

Question: After the army liberated the villages?

Answer: Yes, on August 19 and August 20, I will mention the large graves, in the first grave we discovered 67 martyr victims, in the grave that followed the number reached 128, and the number in three graves on 19 and 20 August reached 152 martyrs.

Then we began to discover individual graves, such as a grave in the village of Beit Shikohi, other than the one in Nabbata and Baluta, and graves where there were large numbers, we discovered six or seven graves in each area, in Al-Kashba, Beit Shikohi, for example… The total numbers with us have reached 262.

The bodies were at an advanced degree of decay and the main task on our shoulders was to identify the victims, there were entire families buried, I do not like to remember these incidents because it was repeated, another massacre in Jableh on 23 May 2015, this date is etched in my memory, May 23, 2015, I remember how I was during my shift and it was a Monday, suddenly we started receiving severe injuries diverted from the Jableh area. There were three terrorist bombings in the Jableh area, the Jableh Bus Garage area and the electricity area, and in the garages there a large number of citizens gathered, and the third most horrible massacre at the same time was inside the National Hospital in Jableh.

Q: When the booby-trapped ambulance went in and exploded?

A: The car got in and exploded, and the whole hospital was blown out, the entire medical staff was killed, our colleagues were doctors we examined their bodies, nurses, children, patients, we had 132 martyrs.

Dr. Hashim Shalash, Head of the Forensic Medical Center in Aleppo: There are many graves in the gardens in most of Aleppo, especially in areas previously controlled by armed terrorist groups, and there are graves in areas that were controlled by the state because the Burial Office was unable to carry the deaths to the cemeteries, because of the cordon imposed by the militants on the outskirts of Aleppo city completely.

The number is expected to be around 5,700 bodies buried in the parks, moved in 2018 and 2019 by the Burial Office. This statistic is according to the Burial Office: Some 1,700 identified bodies have been moved, and the remaining approximately 4,000 unidentified bodies we are working to identify, and the identified bodies have been moved in well-thought-out organizational plans by the Burial Office and the City Council and moving them to the modern cemetery. For the unidentified bodies, photographing and coordinating with the CID, DNA samples are taken to better study and identify them.

One evening I left the forensics office in the University Hospital late and the mortars started pouring on us from all sides, I thought that if I died, there would be no forensic doctor to examine the cases, and it’s a disaster that there’s no forensic doctor left, I’ve stayed alone, and if I die, there won’t be another forensic doctor in the city. . We were suffering a lot. Then the army started intervening and the situation improved, but we had suffered as a forensic sit-in a lot. I’m saying this so you know how much the forensic doctor has suffered as a human being. Forensic doctors were killed from us, forensic doctors were kidnapped from us, forensic doctors from us were subjected to massive torture by the gunmen, and a number of forensic doctors emigrated. I used to come out of my house and look around and say to myself that it is very possible that I will not go home, this is a time when I was in Aleppo and before it in Idlib, today could be my last day.

I go into the morgue and look and think when is my turn between these bodies from the number of shells that were coming down on us. As a forensic doctor we were in high risk, the main risk like any citizen of Aleppo city at the time is liable to die, the missiles did not exclude a meter, I can draw you the plan of Aleppo and explain to you where the missiles came down, I save their place because all those who examined them and especially the children remained until now ghosts haunt me, and this crisis adds to the crises The coroner, especially the children I have examined, the cries of their parents is following me. If I tell you some stories, dozens of episodes won’t be enough of how much tragedies we’ve witnessed.

Q: Did any international body or media outlet that Marie Colvin was working for ask you, because of the great controversy that occurred at the time, to send your reports to them or contact you? Because at that time, the Syrian state was held responsible, which was giving the data at the time. Have you dealt with this issue directly?

A: For me as a forensic doctor, I am accompanied by a judicial disclosure body, which is headed by a judge with the CID. I duly handed over all these documents to the courts, like for any body that is examined, we documented everything according to the official channels and handed over to the official authorities and no one asked us about this subject, and we did not talk about it, we did not talk we were a period that we do not dare to talk about, and more than one media outlet asked me for an interview and I refused because we did not have confidence in any of them to give them the information which they would misuse. We had no doubt that the media in the whole world was like that, and that was the reality.

But it was documented in accordance with the judicial principles in which we operate in accordance with Syrian law and the body was handed over. When the bodies were re-examined in the countries to which it went to, But it caught my attention in one of their reports written in English they wrote that Marie Colvin was killed by a ‘local-made’ bomb, and this is a phrase that if translated in good faith it is not true, because the local bomb may be manufactured by the Syrian army and may be manufactured by the gunman in Syria, but when you say ‘hand-made’ it means it was mostly made by a terrorist and not made by armies, this translation was wrong, this is how the reading of things was done, this is one of the notes that I noticed in one of the translations and you can search you will find the word Local Made and you will not find the word Hand Made although in my report in Arabic the word Hand Made is written.

The bodies are decaying, we were able to identify the injuries, there were injuries of an explosive nature, and we had injuries of multiple gunshot wounds i.e. conventional fire weapons such as Kalashnikovs or others, we had injuries though it seemed as of gunshot fire, its head was explosive, because the injuries are wide at the time we see damage in the head, for example, and limited to this injury, we had various injuries with all the weapons, whether explosive or military, we saw burned bodies, we saw burned bodies of children, burned, completely charred.

Q: Was the burn done before death? Have they been burned alive?

A: It was difficult because we did the examination after two weeks, i.e. after digging, there are also weapons that cause burns, I can’t say exactly if they are during life or not, we can confirm if it happens during life if there is not that much decomposition, if it is not long since the time of the accident, the discovery of the graves started rolling after September, the bodies were largely decomposed.

Q: Was there dismembering or slaughter?

A: We saw severed and buried heads; we saw an entire family buried inside a well.

Q: Can the forensics in this case determine whether the bodies were thrown alive (inside the well) or killed and then thrown?

A: Biomarkers are the specialty of forensic medicine, but the way I will explain is a difficult scientific method, we can determine, and it is our job to determine whether he drowned before or after.

Q: Is it possible to mention even a little because the subject of drowning in particular is repeated frequently during the war, some were still alive when they were thrown into the river and others elsewhere?

Answer: Of course there are vital signs when the body is recovered shows whether it inhaled water or killed and dumped after death with water, and of course the sooner we examine the bodies in cases of drowning the more accurate the result, because after the recovery of the body and within two hours there decomposing accelerates, once recovered from the water the rapid decomposing occurs more than a week or two more than if the body is in the open.

After the break:

I have examined many mass graves, the bodies and the remains piled up on top of each other, the remains mingle, and of course if the exhumation is not correct, we will never reach results.

Journalist Jacquier was moving in the neighborhoods of Homs, a mortar shell landed, during which time more than one person was injured in the same incident, it is not possible to say that Jacquier was targeted.

In all honesty, forensics was not ready for such a war and such consequences, and there is a very important problem that most of the forensic facilities were destroyed, for example in Aleppo there was a very large and civilized building that was occupied and destroyed by the militants in a barbaric manner.

What we could notice on the body of Jacquier that there were 3 craters. when we examined them, it was possible to read that each fragment of them had a different axis, when you see three fragments of different axes that often gave the impression that it was caused by an explosion rather than a sniper.

At first the forensic doctors suffered because of the existence of specific cases that we haven’t seen of its kind, types of weapons we do not know what they are, and then the forensic doctors practiced and had sufficient experience and knowledge of how to deal with all cases.

The cases I remember are children, severe injuries to children. What is the psychological state of a child who suffered pre-death, I reveal a dead body but I always put myself (in that place): during the child’s period of torture, was death a mercy for him?

The whole of Syria is suffering from the sanctions on (lab) material, imagine there are sanctions on importing DNA lab testing kits, what humanity is the West is preaching? These DNA testing kits are only used to identify corpses, what does it have to do with politics?

We have periodic courses more than one course a year in cooperation with the International Red Cross and supervised by the General Authority for Forensic Medicine, and we have the problem that there are very few forensic doctors in Syria.

My ambition is to make a file for all the missing under the supervision of the General Authority for Forensic Medicine, to have data on nation level, not only to depend on cross-examining data, it’s a costly project, it will take time but let’s start it.

There was a crossing between us and the gunmen in Bustan Al-Qasr, the people use it to cross from one side (of Aleppo) to the other, the gunmen’s sniper was always targeting the civilian citizens, civilians crossing to buy their items, there was a siege on us and the materials in the eastern areas were cheaper as the people risked their lives and enter the eastern areas to buy their stuff and then come back. There were people who wanted to come to the western areas under state control for the sake of medicine because it was much better, to go to university and others, and they were sniped.

On average, at some point in 2014 and 2015, each day we received between two and three martyrs and six or seven were injured, the opposition were always lying to the people saying that the sniper targeting these civilians going through the crossing was from the state. As forensics, our role was essential and important, we have proven with conclusive evidence that sniping is from east to west and not from the west to the east, which means that the sniper who targets civilians is from the opposition. We always photograph the martyrs and record a precise report and we are prepared to prove conclusively to any UN body that comes to investigate that the sniper was from the gunmen and not from the state side. Here is an important point in how forensics can establish the truth and refute the allegations.

We have long patience with the relatives (of the martyrs), there are many of them who come to us and we explain to them where the entry nozzle and the exit nozzle, we explain the difference between them, so that there is no doubt about it.

Journalist Jacquier was traveling in the neighborhoods of Homs and filming and he entered legitimately and had a license to go in and move around, at that time a mortar shell fell in the area where he was and some people were injured and then a second shell fell, and I think he lost life with the second shell because people ran in this direction, I do not recall the circumstances but there was more than one mortar shell, in that period there were more than one person injured in this same incident, it cannot be said that Jacquier was targeted, in theory, and I have a large number of names who were injured in that period with Jacquier.

Jacquier was transferred to one of the charitable hospitals in Wadi Al-Dhahab, the Nahda hospital, and we were taken to him for examination, and the French ambassador was present at the time, a doctor, and the governor was also present and the official authorities of the importance of the subject. We moved to examine a body in a hospital that was not equipped (for forensics), and simple tools were used to examine the body because there was a risk of going to the military hospital, which became the headquarters of forensic medicine.

It was noted that there are 3 entry craters of fragments on the body of Jacquier, by studying the entry nozzles with their location (in the body) it can be read that each fragment of them had a different axis, when there are 3 fragments of different axes, 3 traces of fire from different axes, it often gives the impression in principle that it is caused by an explosion and not a sniper.

The second thing is that their radial shape seemed irregular, and I told the French ambassador at the time, a doctor, that Syrian law requires us to exhume the body and remove the existing fragments, but I will not do that because we feel that everyone will not believe us and accuse us of tampering with the body, and I added that the extraction of fragments is different from extraction of bullets, because the fragment does not play any role in determining the type of weapon while the gunshot plays a role in identifying the type of weapon so since the lack of this importance I told him that I will leave the body with its evidence because I know that it will be re-examined in France.

We know that it was reexamined, reports came out and calls for prosecution, and then all gone.

Q: The French state didn’t file a case?

A: The French state did not claim because I think someone read things correctly and we are well documented, and in addition, international investigators have to investigate on the ground at the crime scene, there were martyrs with Jacquier in the same incident, and there were large numbers of injuries, all of them can’t be sniped, but as a result of a mortar shell, even the crater of the mortar shell was on the ground and photographed and documented.

Q: Did the French ambassador examine it?

A: It was examined by the CID who photographed it and documented it.

Q: The French ambassador was still in Syria?

A: We don’t have to, as a Syrian judiciary with independent sovereignty, to bring the (French) ambassador to defend ourselves, I’m doing our proper documentation and we brought a French translator who was communicating with us through him.

Q: Could he have obtained approvals and worked through legal frameworks; the Syrian state may have given him approvals?

A: The French ambassador was informed and since he was a doctor, I explained everything to him in detail, even I told him that there was a friend of ours, Henry Kudan, a doctor friend of ours in Syria who we know through conferences and we have confidence in him to examine to Jacquier, and as I told you some noise appeared and then disappeared and we no longer hear about it.

I don’t like to remember the massacres, but I met the people and they were around us. The stench of the bodies of the martyrs we uncovered it was strong, but the cases I remember were the children, the deep injuries in children, I remember the reaction of the relatives standing next to us and around us, and we were interested in identifying the bodies through clothing or personal identity, and these humanitarian cases that catch my eye with this massacre that when I was starting to strip the bodies I was looking for someone who had some paper money and hid them, for example, under the armpit, as well as personal identity the elderly on the run are thinking to take light-loaded thing that can help them. I’ve seen more human cases than the injuries I’ve seen, God bless them all, but the horror they’ve experienced before such cases of violence on the dead and torture affects me a lot, affects any forensic doctor and affects any human being.

What was the psychological state of the child who was tortured before death, I am examining a dead body but I always put myself (in that place): during the period of torture the child went through, was death a mercy for him?

Q: Was the forensic medicine with its equipment and medical staff prepared to deal with such cases? In the end there are scientific things and there are things that need possibilities, we are today when you talk about such a volume of work in a country that has lived in peace for so long, how did the medical staff cope?

Answer: In all honesty, forensics was not ready for such a war and such consequences, and there is a very important problem that most of the forensic facilities were destroyed, for example in Aleppo there was a very large and civilized building that was occupied and destroyed by the militants in a barbaric manner, the forensics was initially not ready but adapted quickly and was able to readjust with the conditions of war. There are some scientific things for example we were sending them to Damascus, we took samples and sent them to Damascus, we have nothing to analyze with, for example, we were doing the autopsy, I sometimes dissected bodies with a scalpel, there was no other option, the headquarters was destroyed and we have to continue working, we need to extract the gunshot and prove many facts, so in Aleppo I sometimes carried out the autopsy with a scalpel, the second weapon is the camera that we needed to document the cases, the things that needed sophisticated equipment we sent it to Damascus, such as with chemicals and other wise.

Q: Did scientific knowledge exist?

A: Scientific knowledge was there and excellent.

Question: The subject of wars is a different subject, at least from our follow-up, even if it is simple, that there are some countries that have suffered from wars and had a great need for forensic medicine to identify the bodies and even to identify the causes of murder, which entered the field of international courts and war crimes, this subject needs committees, doctors and studies (specialized), how did this specialized knowledge of this type of circumstance work?

A: Hopefully the war will be over, as possible this year or next year at the latest, and thank God things are almost settled, but there are repercussions and consequences of war that are the huge number of missing and disappeared. A qualitative and generous legislative decree was issued in 2014 to establish the General Authority for Forensic Medicine, and real life began in the centres that function as a body and entity in 2017 when forensic doctors were attached to the authority. We had developed a plan as a general forensic body to keep up with the war and to precede it. We sent doctors to Somalia, Pakistan and Cyprus, these countries have experienced wars and we have shared experiences with them, the method of detecting mass graves trained by our doctors, we have trained our doctors tremendously. Currently as a forensic medicine we are adding anthropology, and this is very great science, we know that the subject of DNA is a costly subject and takes time with the presence of this massive number of victims so we are developing sciences and knowledge that we can keep up with the war and precede it, as I told you, including anthropology and forensic dentistry which through it we can discover the identity of the victim through its teeth and through the study of bones, we can take almost complete information about the victim, before we reach the DNA stage, if we have to do a DNA test for sure the state is bound and committed to do so, but this is the last option because it is expensive and takes time.

Q: It also needs the cooperation of the relatives?

A: Of course, because we are taking a sample from the victim and a sample for comparison (from relatives), I will not say that we will do our best, we have gone beyond this, but we will certainly do more than our best.

Moderate Armed Oppositionist: A gift to all the martyrs of the Ahrar al-Sham Brigades in Idlib countryside, In the name of God, Most Merciful and Most Gracious; a number of Grad rockets are fired at the city of Slanfah by the Ansar al-Sham Brigades in conjunction with the (Ottoman Sultan) Murad I and Murad IV Brigades.

I met with a delegation from Human Rights, and the result of the report was a documentation of the massacres of the villages of Slanfah completely and at the beginning, and even I had spontaneously at the level of data, we were at the beginning of our work counting the numbers, all of which presented and the title of the report was (massacres of Slanfah – their blood is still here). I think this is the only organization that has visited for the massacres of Slanfah.

Q: The Human Rights Watch report chose this title?

A: It has been translated into more than one language such as English and French and the report has been circulated. I don’t have a copy of it now, but the report was very clear and there was an acknowledgement massacres committed.

In every forensic medical center we have documentation of all the deaths, natural and abnormal, whether caused by explosions or murders, all documented by date and all documented in pictures, with abnormal deaths we always accompany the CID and we do the photography and have numbers and names, there are investigation records to detect it is reliable. When I move to the crime scene, I am not alone, I move with a judicial disclosure panel composed of a judge, a forensic pathologist and a forensic clerk, and there are all lecturers in the bench, we have nothing undocumented.

Forensic medicine depends mainly on the human staff and the material possibilities, such as any branch of medicine, the material possibilities include various equipment and different devices. At the beginning of the war the situation was acceptable to good, when the war began the material and human personnel capabilities were drained, I told you that we were at the beginning of the war about 150 forensic doctors and now we are only 56 doctors, the facilities are mostly destroyed, there are doctors who emigrated and others killed and others kidnapped, yet the 56 doctors examined all these cases thoroughly and there was not a single case that came to us without examination and had an exact forensic medical report was written.

At first the forensic doctors suffered because there were many qualitative cases that we have not seen like it before, types of weapons we do not know what they are, at first, and then the forensic doctors practice and have sufficient experience and knowledge of how to deal with all cases, for example as one person I examined 13,800 bodies, examined more than 60,000 or 70,000 injury, and the colleagues certainly did the same. I told you the work of the coroner generally exposes him to health, psychological and physical problems and added to them security problems in the war. and added to them security problems in the war. The coroner always suffers but is always required to continue working, I say that 56 forensic doctors are very few but we have done our duty and always try to take a step forward, and we have been fully equipped for when Idlib and Raqqa are liberated to deal with the remains that exist. We have prepared the necessary teams and equipment.

The whole of Syria is suffering from the sanctions on (lab) material, imagine there are sanctions on importing DNA lab testing kits, what humanity is the West is preaching? These DNA testing kits are only used to identify corpses, what does it have to do with politics?

They’re imposing on a blockade on us even in this matter.

Q: If this report is presented anywhere in the world medically and scientifically, for example, the method of examination, the method of documentation and scientific explanation, does the report meet the standards wherever it is presented in the world will it be recognized?

A: Of course, anything documented in detail such as injury, photographs, dates and identity of the person meets international standards.

Q: Was forensics able during these years because it was not prepared at the beginning of the war for so much work that it faced, the number of victims or the types of the killing, did it have enough experience today? Was there a follow-up such as training abroad or conferences to keep up with or benefit from the experiences of countries that unfortunately had wars?

A: We have periodic courses, more than one course a year in cooperation with the International Red Cross under the supervision of the General Authority for Forensic Medicine, and we have the problem that the number of forensic doctors in Syria is very small not exceeding 55 doctors, in all of Latakia province we have 5 doctors, 3 of them in Latakia area and 2 in Jableh, we cover the areas of Qardaha and Haffeh, the number is very little.

My ambition is to make a file for all the missing under the supervision of the General Authority for Forensic Medicine, to have data on nation level, not only to depend on cross-examining data, it’s a costly project, it will take time but let’s start it.

Q: In mass graves, what prevents the gunmen from burying soldiers with civilians, how will they be separated here?

A: What is preventing them from burying their dead with our martyrs? Don’t make a difference with them. We’re very suffering from these things. Also, there are people who think that DNA is a magical solution, once you examine the DNA the name appears, no, the subject is too meticulous. I have examined many mass graves, the bodies and the remains piled up on top of each other, when they kill them, they stack them on top of each other, and the remains are mixed.

We’re strengthening Anthropology and we take a step forward so that we can distinguish and sort out the remains of each victim from the other. This topic is very important, thorny and sensitive.

Q: And this is also about the method of exhuming?

A: Of course, if the exhumation is not proper, we will never reach results.

I feel that there are many files in Syria the time has come to talk about so that we can reconcile with ourselves and to know that we were victims of manipulation by others, including files such as Hamza al-Khatib file, you know, you know, or Zainab al-Husni or the file of the electrician in the area of al-Hirak, there are files that played a fundamental and sensitive role in which positions have been built on them, now the truth about them came to light.

I believe that forensics can be a witness and reader of the past through its experience, because I am not a political analyst, as I told you, but I am a reader of what has occured, so when I study the body and examine it I can analyze what happened at the moments of death.

Q: Does this affect our present and our future?

A: Exactly.

If the focus since the beginning of the war was on forensic medicine, its explanation of the facts, its detailing of what is happening and its refutation of tendentious narratives, could have solved many things, and many martyrs and many victims we did not need to examine.

We would have been able to lessen a large number of victims and martyrs only if we had been listened to, if there were at that time those who would listen. Unfortunately, I repeat, at the beginning of the war, there was a group that refused to listen, which did not want to be convinced. I will tell you a story when we were in Aleppo I had a colleague, a doctor who emigrated later, I was explaining to him that there are bodies of dead strangers, including Arabs and foreigners, and he told me that this thing is impossible, after a while and we were together I got a call about a body of a dead Turk at the police headquarters, a lawyer who was defending al-Qaeda and was famous, killed, and I was asked to examine him and take DNA samples, so I asked this doctor to accompany me so that I could prove to him accurately and everything will be in front of him, he told me that even if I saw, I would not believe it. At that time there were people who refused to believe.

End of the English translation transcript.

Education sector in Syria withstood the foreign-backed terrorist war and now confronting coronavirus

ST

Thursday, 02 April 2020 15:49 

After nine years of fighting against takfiri terrorism and western sanctions that affected all walks of life in Syria, the Syrians are now facing yet a different kind of war. It is the battle against coronavirus, the ambiguous pandemic threatening the entire world.

The Syrian government has taken precautionary measures including the closure of schools, colleges and all public facilities, to prevent coronavirus, which is also known as covid 19, from spreading in the country. Later measures included closing all markets, stopping public transportation, keeping work at the minimum level at institutions and imposing partial curfew to avoid crowds and limit contacts among individuals. Wide-scale sterilization campaigns have also been launched everywhere to combat the virus.

Like other state’s sectors, education has its share of these precautionary measures. In one of the schools in al-Tadamun neighborhood in Damascus, a voluntary cleanup and sterilization campaign was launched by the school’s staff including the principal and the teachers to disinfect all parts of the school in preparation for the safe return of the students after the threat of the killer disease is completely eliminated.

“Before the government’s closure decision, we used to explain to the students, through the health and psychological educators at the school, the nature of this virus, how it spreads and what they must do to avoid infection,” Mrs. Rawda al-Shini, the principal of Martyr “Hayel Abdalla” school for basic education in Damascus told Syriatimes e-newspaper.

 The school is affiliated to the Education Directorate of Quneitra province.

 The Syrians should cooperate to defeat coronavirus as they defeated terrorism

“Some members of the school’s teaching and administrative staff and I took the initiative and started cleaning and sterilizing the school with the support of the Quneitra Education Directorate which provided us with necessary detergents, sterilizers and masks,” she added.

“The students are like our children and it is our responsibility and duty to protect them against illnesses or any kind of danger,” said the principal, an energetic Syrian woman with a high sense of responsibility and patriotism, calling on the Syrians to keep steadfast and to cooperate in order to defeat coronavirus as they defeated terrorism.

The Syrians believe in knowledge and education as a weapon against ignorance 

Talking about the foreign-backed takfiri terrorist war on Syria and how the education sector managed to withstand the difficult circumstances and continued the education process, Mrs. Rawda said “the Syrians are vivid people who believe in knowledge and education as a weapon against ignorance  and who don’t surrender to despair. Education was a major target of terrorism in Syria. Many schools were destroyed or damaged because of terrorism, keeping tens of thousands of children out of school which was actually a real challenge that faced the education sector in our country. However, the successive victories that have been achieved by the Syrian Arab army in the fight against terrorism in different part of the country plus the government’s continuous support and urgent solutions have helped the education process continue”.

“Among other challenges that faced the education process was the terrorists’ random mortar attacks and sniper fire on residential neighborhoods, yet these attacks couldn’t stop the education process or prevent the teachers and students from coming to school to provide education to as many students as possible without discrimination,” Mrs. Rawda added, pointing out that the psychological support for both teachers and students was very necessary in that stage to overcome obstacles and achieve the noble message of teaching.

Overcrowded classrooms

“Many families, who were displaced from their areas because of terrorism, resided in al-Tadamun neighborhood and some of them enrolled their children in our school causing overcrowding  in the classrooms- nearly 60 students in each- but we had to respond positively to this issue in order to compensate those children for the lessons they missed,” Mrs. Rawda went on to say, pointing out that “some of the students we accepted in the school were children of gunmen, whose wives fled the areas held by those gunmen to government-controlled areas.

Students’ psychological condition

 On the psychological condition of students during events, she said “every child has had a sad story to tell during the war. Some children saw their fathers being killed by terrorists. Some others were displaced or they lost their fathers or mothers in the war and some others have their parents kidnapped or missing, not to mention the divorce cases that have been very harmful to the psychological condition of children. Our duty in the school has been to work as a family to provide tenderness and psychological support for the students in order to make them feel safe and loved,” she said, hailing the key role played by the school’s psychological educator in this regard.

“We were keen on promoting amity, solidarity and cooperation among the students regardless of their being children of martyrs, of displaced families or of gunmen. We were also keen to enhance the children’s love to their homeland and army through explaining to them what was happening in their beloved Syria and highlighting the sacrifices offered by the Syrian Arab army to protect the homeland and citizens and to restore security and normal life countrywide,” the principal made it clear. She pointed out that special focus was put on explaining the reality of Islam as a religion of peace amity and tolerance, not the a religion of killing and radical thinking like that of Daesh and Moslem Brotherhood terrorist organizations.

On the situation of martyrs’ children at the school, Mrs. Rawda said “we have some 40 students who are children of martyrs from the Syrian army, backup forces and civilian families. The school has held several activities to honor those children so that they feel proud of their fathers and know the value of martyrdom in defense of the homeland.”

Interviewed by: Hamda Mustafa

More Articles…

A few recent political developments which should not go unnoticed

THE SAKER • MARCH 25, 2020


Russian Army Trucks in Italy

The COVID19/SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is, by any measure, an immense planetary crisis which will probably change the world we live in forever. Still, there are other issues which are maybe not quite as dramatic and important, but which deserve not to be forgotten. Here are some of those

The grand betrayal of Tulsi Gabbard

It was pretty clear to most observers that Tulsi Gabbard, being the only real “peace candidate” would never be allowed to get the nomination, nevermind make it into the White House. It was also clear that Tulsi, for all her very real qualities, simply did not have what it takes to take on “The Swamp”. Still, in spite of this all, her candidacy and campaign were like a huge pitcher of cool water in the middle of an immense and dry desert. Her uniqueness amongst all the candidate is what make her betrayal even more painful for those who respected or even supported her. Once it became clear that she would never get the nomination, not only did she not run as an independent (something which Hillary seems to fear a lot), she endorsed Uncle Joe, the clearly senile, totally corrupt and generally repugnant frontman for the Clinton gang. This endorsement of Biden is something which she did not have to do, but she did it.

When the DNC stole the nomination from Sanders, he did not lead a protest or run as an independent, he endorsed Hillary. I always considered him a fraud for this (and many other) reasons. Now Tulsi Gabbard is doing the same thing, which probably is a good indicator that the Democratic Party is evil and corrupt to the core, which is hardly big news, but which is dramatically confirmed by Gabbard’s profoundly immoral decision. Why do I say that? Because Biden is the ultimate “anti-Gabbard”, she should have endorsed either Bernie, or even Trump, but instead she endorsed a morally corrupt warmonger, a total pawn for the MIC.

At the end of the day, she mostly betrayed herself, and that is the saddest aspect of this debacle.

The AngloZionist Empire – as clueless as ever

I have forced myself to listen to the daily COVID19 briefings from the White House and I have to say that Trump’s constant flag-waving and self-worshiping is almost physically painful to watch. The worst parts of these briefings are when Trump, or Pompeo, speak about the US “leadership” as if the entire planet was desperately expecting the US to help. It does not. In fact, most of the planet is disgusted by US action, be it the denial of vitally needed meds to countries like Iran or Venezuela, to the attempts are buying off German vaccines, to the mantric repetition about how great the US private sector is and how Amazon and Walmart will help us weather this crisis.

The truth is that this worldwide pandemic will allow us all to compare how different political systems, countries and cultures have reacted to the threat. In a year or so, we shall all know how free-market capitalism and libertarianism compared with social-democracies, socialist and even communist countries when their population needed protection and assistance.

True, other countries have responded with truly amazing incompetence (including several EU countries), so the inability to protect its citizens is not a purely US problem, it really affects all the countries currently subjugated by the Empire.

Finally, it appears that the China-bashing strategic PSYOP has largely failed. Most fake-news about China was quickly and rapidly debunked, and even the legacy corporate ziomedia could not completely obfuscate the fact that China is, so far, the only country on our planet which defeated COVID19.

Will there be an “ideological lessons learned” once the crisis subsides? I sure hope so!

For the time being, the Empire does what it always does, it plans to deny even more civil rights to its own people which has true patriots like Ron Paul extremely worried. What else is new?

Capitalism with a human face?

Nope, that sure ain’t gonna happen this time around.

Serbia betrayed by Europe (again!) while Russia provides vital aid to Serbia and Italy

Serbia has been betrayed by the Europeans, again. This time around, the Europeans did not bomb Serbian civilians, they simply refused to sell the meds needed to respond to the crisis. President Aleksandar Vucic has now officially declared that the EU solidarity “exists only on paper“. He then openly appealed for China to help, and help China did – the Chinese sent aircraft filled with much needed medical equipment and doctors. Then Russia followed suit and sent 10 heavy transporters filled with gear and specialists.

Even more amazing (and appalling) is the fact that the Empire does not even help its own subjects – in Italy, it was Russia again which organized a major air bridge (over 15 heavy transporters!) and now we see Russian Army units deployed in northern Italy to help the struggling Italians. Check out these short videos reports by the Russian military. You don’t need to understand Russian to see the size of the air-bridge the Russian Aerospace Forces have established or to how grateful the Italian officials are!

I have to say that the Serbs have been fantastically naive to trust the very same people who bombed them, in total illegality, for 78 days, murdering scores of innocent civilians (including those murdered in the TV stantion). For example, the Serbs could have considered how the EU has been lying to Turkey, for decades. But no, the Serbian elites now seem to think that they will be able to fill their pockets with lucrative contracts with the EU.

Hopefully, what these events have demonstrated shall not be forgotten when the next elections take place in Serbia.

That also goes for Italy.

And, finally,

The situation in northern Syria and Iraq

The situation in northern Syria and Iraq has developed pretty much as expected. So far, the Turks have been unable to re-take full control of the M4 highway. As a result of that failure, the joint Russian-Turkish patrols have not been able to move along the full length of the highway as spelled out in the agreement between Russia and Turkey. Clearly, Turkey lacks either the will, or the capability, or both, to remove the Takfiri forces from the M4 highway. So far, the Russians and Syrians have very kindly agreed to wait a little longer, but the recent visit of Russian Defense Minister Shoigu to Damascus clearly shows that big decisions are being worked on:

As for Iraq, the various Shia militias are doing exactly what everybody had predicted, they are executing limited but very disruptive strikes against US forces in Iraq. Here is a good infographic by the Institute for the Study of War which sums it up very nicely:

What we have hear is a small trickle of attacks which do not yield any major victory to the Iraqi forces, but which over time will tremendously demoralize US forces. Finally, such “death by a thousand cuts” strategy also will severely limit the operational capabilities of the US forces in Iraq: when you are mostly busy protecting yourself, you have less time to murder locals.

Still, sooner or later the Shias will have to step up their attacks because forcing the occupation forces to hunker down and actually kicking them out of your country are two very different propositions. These small strikes are very useful, not only because they demoralize the enemy, but because by forcing him to stay inside fortified “secure” areas only makes them better targets for a bigger missile strike.

This is a very sound strategy against which the US forces have no good option, other than throwing in the towel and leaving, which they will have to do anyway (except that they call it “declare victory and leave”, but its the exact same thing).

The War of Terror on Syria Through Forensic Medicine – GRAPHIC

March 23, 2020 Arabi Souri

The War of Terror on Syria through Forensic Medicine

This is Part 1 of a documentary series by investigative reporter Ugarit Dandash, the documentary is part of Ms. Dandash’s From the Ground documentary series where she reports from Syria the horrors the Syrian people lived inflicted on them by the USA and all its cronies, lackeys, and stooges combined efforts over the past 9 years.

From the Ground – The Syrian War through the Eyes of Forensic Medicine was made exclusively for the Lebanese Al Mayadeen news station in Arabic. It was aired on Thursday night 19 March 2020.

All countries which supported the ‘freedom fighters’, ‘armed opposition’, ‘moderate rebels’, call them whatever Orwellian name that suits you, are an accomplice in each crime committed against the Syrian people, needless to say, that each taxpayer and each citizen of those countries has much blood on their hands especially those who keep quiet hiding behind the ‘democracy elections’ delusion while their governments kill in their names, murder using their money, destroy families and hide behind the ‘democracy’ slogan, and not being held by those citizens for the crimes they committed all over the world. If you didn’t know for over 9 years what your government did in Syria, this will leave you with no excuse.

The video file size is beyond the capacity of our site, our YouTube channel was long deleted by YouTube, so we had to split it into two parts embedded below, followed by the transcript in English of the full video for history. Please excuse any typos, it was definitely unintentional.

Part 1 of 2, Episode 1:

Part 2 of 2, Episode 1:

The full video is also available on BitChute.

English translation transcript:

The War in the Eyes of Forensic Medicine – 1

Report by Ugarit Dandash

During the years of the war in Syria, forensics carried out its traditional role which people know and carried out an unconventional role handling the war-related cases which the forensic medicine dealt with during the wartime.

The forensic medicine has presented much, within a short period of time, we inspected 230407 cases of martyrs and injured, despite the low number of forensic doctors in the Syrian Arab Republic.

Forensic Medicine, like all other sectors, suffered bleeding, we had martyrs among the doctors and forensic employees, in addition to the immigration of a number of the forensic doctors, and despite that the forensic medicine carried out its role completely, work more like a miracle and this is what the viewers will notice when they watch this episode.

It managed to reveal the facts, reveal the right and justice, there’s a misconception among some who are uninformed that the forensic doctor only inspects the body and writes the report then their role ends, no, there are rights, legal, humanitarian, and moral consequences based on the report of the forensic doctor. The matter is of high sensitivity and importance. There are many news flashes that appear on the screen but many people do not read what’s beyond it and do not read its hidden nature, they do not know that forensic medicine was the main source of information for this news. Forensic Medicine managed to reveal the truth and push away the exiting ambiguity, this forensic medicine carried out a great role during the wartime.

Like all people on the streets we used to receive the echo of the events that there were protesters and they were shot at by the authorities, the army men were shooting them, or they were shot from a close distance, but as professionals dealing with bodies, the body was giving us indications of what was actually going on.

We were not in the picture of the events we were always coming after, at the beginning of the crisis when bodies were reaching us in 2011 we noticed that the gunshots were coming from long distances and from high directions, meaning that there was a sniper in a building somewhere about 50 or 60 meters away and on the 4th or 5th floor of a building, as in one of the bodies, it was definitely not shot from a close distance.

In the second stage when there were strict orders for riot policemen not to carry their weapons, I remember that in one Friday I wrote 125 reports for members of the riot policemen beaten with sticks and stones, and after a while we started getting law enforcement members shot in addition to some civilians, we were saying if those law enforcement members were doing the shooting then who shot them? They started telling that their colleagues were shooting them because they refused to shoot!

In the next stage we started noting the use of Pump-Action shotguns, it’s a type of hunting rifles. I believe there is no regular army that carries this type of rifle. Some might ask why Pump-Action rifles? This rifle doesn’t need a professional to use it, once fired from the shot comes out with a conical diameter and hits a number of people, we also noticed several bodies with gunshot marks from the hunting rifles and also we noticed it was struck by torturing tools like large stones, knives, or machetes. We were seeing gunshot marks on the body and next to it marks indicating the use of sharp tools.

There are always vital signs accompanying the wound that occurs only when the person is alive, When a person is injured while they are alive, the wound bleeds, clotting factors act, and reactions occur in the body, such as a crunch and inflammation, while we don’t see all these symptoms when the deceased person is injured, the knife stab is like a stab in a doll, or a stab in a sponge. the vital signs of relapse do not appear, and the blood is a fluid that does not coagulate; for us, these things are simple and we can tell that these wounds were inflicted on the person after death, because we started seeing the abuse and mutilation of corpses.

Each stage lasted about two weeks, then after a month and a half between the end of April and the beginning of May 2011 kidnapping and torture stage started. A body would arrive at the morgue, it would be handcuffed or blindfolded, and there would be other marks of a gunshot or slaughter or killing or mutilation.

After about 1.5 months or two months the kidnapping, torture and killing stage started. Even the kidnapping was gradual, at first the victim would be covered with his own cloth and strangled with what he was wearing, then we started seeing bodies tied up by iron skewers then by plastic handcuffs, you’d notice that there’s more planning and more organizing in this thing.

Forensic medicine was able to block all the doors in their faces in many of the situations.

Question: There was always doubting in any reports and whatever the Syrian state was declaring, and the forensic medicine is a state institute, was there confidence in the forensic medicine among international organizations like when dealing with the fact-finding missions (which came to Syria), was there any challenge in the forensics reports or the scientific indications were sufficient to silence any challenge?

Answer: I attended international committees, let’s take the chemical subject for instance, they were asking me questions like when did you go from Al-Razi Hospital to the University Hospital? How long did the trip take when there was traffic jam and when there was no traffic jam? The details were to this extent in this matter. Despite that, and because we were confident in our information and in our science, thanks to God, and because we were not distorting the truth, we were able to convince them with the existing facts. Thanks to God we are very precise, and I was surprised when they would ask me questions like how long it takes between Al Razi Hospital and the University Hospital when there was traffic and when there wasn’t…

Question: Are we talking now about the use of chemical weapons in Khan Al Asal in 2013?

Answer: No, we are talking about the attacks that followed. They were asking questions like: why did you inspect all the injured? Why did you inspect the soldier victims? What do they have to do with this? We told them that at first we inspect all cases and then we segregate them, but at first all cases have to be inspected, they were focusing on such type of questions, like what did you smell when you arrive at the scene? Of course, they had their own specialist technicians, but thankfully, they were never able to (question our reports). Also, in Jisr Shoghour, for instance, they had a large number of forensic doctors and forensic technicians who tried to refute the official narrative which was the truthful narrative, like: the focus was on the time of death because there was a difference in that between two groups of martyrs, we managed to prove to them by scientific evidence that the case was not…

Question: Let’s stop at Jisr Shoghour, from the beginning, so we can remind of what happened. We are talking about two incidences in Jisr Shoghour, the famous incident and there was a previous one you talked about, let’s start from the one that happened first, how long was it before the massacre and what happened in Jisr Shoghour, especially that all talks that time that protests were peaceful?

Answer: The magnitude of what happened in Jisr Shoghour, its ugliness, makes people forget what happened before it. On 5 June 2011, a security force along with riot police went to support the besieged soldiers in the Jisr Shoghour main post. The group was 105 servicemen in total, all of them martyred. Let me stop here at an area called Urum al-Joz, this has to be highlighted. On 5 June 2011, the crisis was in its early days and as they were claiming it was ‘peaceful’, at that time I was heading the forensic medicine office in Idlib province. The forensic medicine examined and found qualitative injuries, severe ones, professional in sniping, of course, none of the martyrs didn’t get to their weapons, ever, they were killed while on the buses. At the time one of the judges asked me, he was martyred afterward by Nusra Front, he asked me, what is the need for autopsy in such a situation? We have dozens of martyrs in the lands we are examining, so I answer that autopsy for the sake of history.

I’m not a politician but a science man and I read the circumstances, the crisis didn’t come suddenly and enter Syria, there were shockwaves all over the Arab world, we were watching and seeing, and we were seeing unrelated things, in addition that one of the main tasks of forensics is to document because the forensic medicine aims for rights to be restored and justice to prevail, we have to document in order for every person to get their rights, but when documenting we were discovering how much we were under an untruthful media narrative, and I’m trying to be as much as unbiased with my words here, but there was media disinformation.

As per my segregation of the cases which I consider was in the fifth stage, as in the forth stage there were gunshots among the civilian victims but there were also gunshots among the armed men and there were also gunshots among the army soldiers because clashes happened and we couldn’t know what was going on, but the following stage which was the fifth and was around July (2011), it was the stage of explosions, the massacres stage started, we would receive a case of a bus would that was coming from a village and the bus was blown up, they were entering a house of a family and then kill and liquidate all its members, this was the most dangerous stage because it caused a state of panic, there were displacing operations for entire families from certain areas and an attempt to create small cantons so they can control it, this stage was in July 2011.

He asked me: What do you mean by autopsy for history? I told him you’ll know what I mean by autopsy for history when I finish the examination. With the autopsy of the bodies of 3 martyrs, we demonstrated that the gunshot used is advanced gunfire using a modern sniper, all the martyrs were sniped from long distances, which means, the situation is very serious, there are sophisticated quality weapons and there are trained snipers, this is not amateurs using guns for the first time, here comes the role of forensics.

Question: Let’s talk about the incident that you told me about, which is the martyred soldier…

Answer: O One of the martyrs I examined his body, I was surprised that the gunshot was from a distance of hundreds of meters. could be 200 or 300 meters or more, we could not determine its extent, but it is very far, you find that the gunshot penetrated the helmet that was worn by the martyr, then went through the frontal bone, then the brain material, then the temporal bone, and you know what the temporal bone means, then the occipital bone and then the helmet. It was a strange thing, I was surprised at that time as forensic medicine that there was a weapon of this quality, the subject was very dangerous, a bullet-like this is very sophisticated, and a qualitative weapon like this is used by a very professional sniper.

Question: In this case, there was no forensic role that could at least warn or influence subsequent events?

Answer: We warned at the time, and I warned in a number of meetings, I was in Idlib, then in Aleppo, then the Director-General of Forensic Medicine in the Syrian Arab Republic, I always seek what is called preventive forensic medicine, which we warn of about aspects that pose a threat to society and the security of society, how about this topic, it poses a danger to the whole society, we warned in a number of meetings that there are advanced qualitative weapons that are used in Syria, when you talk about June 5, 2011, at the beginning of the events, they had more advanced weapons than the army, unfortunately, this is the fact, we, as forensics, always seek to show the community that there are dangerous matters that must be taken care of, as we give this information we give it to beware, because there must be cautious and we know how to deal with what is coming, what is coming I told them will be very dangerous, and events have proven this.

Question: This thing happened before the famous Jisr Al-Shughour massacre?

Answer: We went to Jisr Al-Shughour, and of course there was a huge media hype. The opposition and the Western media, even including the Western ambassadors present, there was still official dealings with the government, and there were Arab, foreign and Gulf (GCC) media, many Gulf media, and the Gulf ambassadors at that time, they tried in any way and means to refute and challenge the true official narration, we as forensic medicine went (there), I was with them, we found 90 bodies and remained a number of bodies are missing, we examined them and stopped at a number of points, first, the abuse that occurred after death and the torture that occurred during life was something very strange in the Syrian society that foretells a disaster. One of the martyrs I examined was longitudinally divided into two halves, one of the martyrs was buried alive, we proved as forensic medicine that he was buried while he was alive, then the Western media and ambassadors came to find any loophole they believed to exist in the forensic reports or the official version.

Question: Like what?

Answer: There were two groups of martyrs, a group of martyrs was present in the main building, which is the security detachment, and a group of martyrs was in the post office. After those who were in the post office were killed, their bodies were thrown in the Orontes River, the second group of martyrs, knowing that field executions took place within a short period, within an hour or two, they tried to say that this group was killed at a different period from the group of the main detachment, we did a scientific analysis for them and explained to them the subject of decay, when (the body) inside the water how (decay) slows down due to lack of oxygen and the presence of moisture and when we get the body out of the water how the decaying accelerates tremendously and the phenomenon of the so-called black head appears, where the head of the body appears blackened, that is why we call this phenomenon in forensics is called the Black Head, I explained this to them carefully, I told them that if the body is not examined immediately after being extracted from the water it gives an enormous septic appearance, if the forensics doctor is not very accurate it is impossible to distinguish the time of sepsis. We explained it to them fully.

Question: Was this explanation given directly to…?

Answer: Directly to the media and the ambassadors present. Even a reporter for a station transmits my explanation of the topic and says that, according to what this doctor says, the official version seems authentic, so the media station changes the reporter.

Question: Was it a Gulf (GCC) station?

Answer: It was a Gulf station. Imagine, after I confronted them with science, thank God, they could not provide any response, the narrative became true because we speak science and we have no relationship with politics.

Question: The international committees that came specifically for the Jisr al-Shughur incident, did it interfere, or tried to know anything at that point?

Answer: This issue was the largest massacre that took place in the history of modern Syria, a huge number of martyrs, a way of killing gruesome, abuse of corpses, and the topic that deserved to be highlighted. When forensic medicine explained and clarified the matter, they did not follow up on this issue, why? Because they knew that the topic condemned the other team. Had the forensics failed at that time, they would have formed 100 committees, but when forensic medicine could explain exactly how the issue happened, they had no choice but to turn the page, they had no choice.

After the break:

I asked the executive authorities to provide us with a vegetable cooling truck. They sent me a 16-meter vegetable cooling truck to preserve the bodies in, we were running the truck on diesel because there was no electricity.

Manifestations that appear on a corpse after decaying may confuse by a non-forensic specialist, particularly with the subject of bruising.

Part Two:

When the Hamzah al-Khatib incident occurred, the forensic doctor explained, but there was no echo of what he said, they spoke of bruises while it was decaying.

The story of Hamza Al-Khatib is impressive: he read decaying but said it was bruises. The testes are swollen due to decaying, and the penis was no longer visible, so they said that the penis was cut.

Forensic medicine and you will see the photos soon, showing that the cause of death is a gunshot, the entry nozzles are clear and the exit nozzles are clear.

Indeed, he was shot because they were defending the housing compound of the (officers). The photos show you three gunshot entries and the penis is intact, nothing wrong with it.

We read the situation from the corpses that come to us.

The future of our lives from corpses?

Exactly, when you see at the beginning of events this is kind of torture on the corpses, you see the killing methods that were used, you realize that what’s coming is very dangerous.

– Start with ‘in the name of God’..

– Terrorist activist: In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Another martyr of freedom from the city of Giza in the governorate of Daraa, whose name is Hamza Ali Al-Khatib, age 13. He went out on the Friday of Anger to lift the siege on the people of Daraa. He was arrested at Sidon Housings (compound) and tortured in the most heinous way, looking at the traces of torture.

When the incident of Hamzah Al-Khatib happened, people were refusing to listen, unfortunately, I say that with the utmost frankness. People were refusing to listen to any science or whatever. The people were mobilized (by media), forensic medicine at the time spoke, but there was no echo of what it said, there was doubting the narration presented by forensic medicine which is the true narrative, the people now must listen and must know. They said about the presence of bruises while they were manifestations of sepsis, if time permits, we will display the pictures and explain a scientific explanation on this topic.

Terrorist Activist: This is a bullet in the right arm, which penetrated his arm from this side and exited from here and entered his chest, a shot in his abdomen, and another shot on the left side symmetrically with the right side exited from the outside side and entered from the inner side to his chest again.

Dr. Bassam Al-Muhammad, Head of the Forensic Medicine Center in Homs: The story of Hamza Al-Khatib is impressive: he read decaying but said it was bruises. The testes are swollen due to decaying, and the penis shrank and was no longer visible, so they said that the penis was cut, because there are pre-existing mentalities and their doctor did not have good prospects. You also remember the story of The Hirak, but the doctor there was a professional, in the story of The Hirak was electrocuted and he altered it.

Fortunately, we have the pictures from the start in the story of Hamzah Al-Khatib, and everything is clear. His body had nothing, no bruise, no beating, 3 gunshots, no one denied that he was shot because they were defending the housing compound. The photos show 3 gunshots and the penis is intact. It means that the facts were then altered.

Terrorist activist: and a shot at the top in his chest, and look at the bruises in his face with the broken neck, and look at the bruises on his right leg.

At the beginning of the war, people did not want to hear, or a group of people refused to listen at all, did not want to listen to the voice of truth, the voice of justice, wanted to walk behind what you expected or wanted. The western media had a very big role, and the Arab and Gulf media in particular, had a very big role in mobilizing and inciting people.

What did forensics do? initially, it was said that Hamzah Al-Khatib’s body had been mutilated, tortured, even severed its male penis. Forensic medicine, as you will see with pictures a little later it turns out that the cause of death was gunshots, the entry holes are clear and opposite the exit holes. It shows there was no torture on his body, even the subject of the cutting of the penis, people suspected what they thought was bruising on his body, this was decaying. Decaying, the degradation that took place gives a bruising-like appearance and any specialist in the field of forensic medicine and criminal science can distinguish that, the subject isn’t a debate, the case is scientifically clear. As for age, they said gave an age and forensic medicine estimated another age. The role of forensic medicine was very crucial in this case.

Terrorist activist: They did not stop with this amount of torture, but cut off his penis, then shot him, look at him without penis, they cut off his penis. Date May 25, 2011, on Wednesday.

Question: In the matter of determining age in the case of Hamza Al-Khatib, and in general, how is it done?

Answer: There are several criteria that forensic medicine uses through the study of orthopedics, radiographs in particular for the left hand wrist, the examination of teeth, and we have included this topic as a very important study: forensic dentistry. Under 21 years old, I can say that (forensic medicine) gives very credible and reliable results, after the age of 21, the margin of suspicion becomes between 6 months to a year.

Question: It was said that Hamza Al-Khatib was 13 years old?

Answer: Forensics has proved he was three years older than this.

Question: In the case of a corpse, the images that spread about inflation that the corpse is swollen …?

Answer: This is a natural process and natural development of the septic state that occurs. What happened is that after the corpse was kept in Tishreen Military Hospital for a period of about 20 days, it was transferred to the National Daraa Hospital, of course, the cooling was not appropriate, for that decay increased and accelerated.

Manifestations that appear on the body at the time of sepsis may be suspected by a non-specialist, particularly with the subject of bruising. Forensic medicine spoke and explained it fully. You will see the pictures when the body arrived. There was no mutilation or torture of the deceased, exactly. Here, the forensic role was decisive and essential, but as I told you at that time the problem was that people refused to listen, in short.

Dr. Bassam Al-Muhammad, Head of the Forensic Medicine Center in Homs: I do not hide from you that a large number of forensic doctors were threatened, another section sat at home, a number of them were afraid, and a number that stopped appearing on the media, and even I was one of these, this is first, secondly I was one those who spoke on some shows about media misinformation, but we were stifled by the media and no one heard us. It was in vain. We spoke and tried to speak more, but we became in our media outlets talking to each other. We are the people convinced that there is a conspiracy against the country. That is why our role was weak.

Question: From the Arab committees that came, and they came to Homs in particular, did they not meet you? Didn’t try to contact you?

Dr. Bassam Al-Muhammad, Head of the Forensic Medicine Center in Homs: They met us and I think that Al-Dabi, the head of the delegation, gave positive indications because he came to us and we presented him with the facts, and the period during which Al-Dabi visited us was the car bomb that exploded at the Military Medical Services Est. on the street of Al-Jajah Restaurant and Khaled Bin Al-Waleed School and we see the files, there was a car that exploded, they brought us the car to the Forensic Medicine, and it is well documented, they brought the car thinking it was for a suicide bomber, but when we discovered the corpse at the morgue we discovered that there were circular bruises on the hand that was found and on the feet, and we saw the electronic board in his viscera, and there were forceps placed on the penis for torture by blocking urine to produce psychological pressure, this is known as a method of torture that is cut urine by attaching the urethra or placing forceps.

We found that this person previously had a previous traffic accident and as a result of the fixative device placed in the vertebrae and his story, we were able to identify that this person was kidnapped 3 days ago and he is a known person. This person was kidnapped and after a while he was put in the car. The car was booby-trapped and directed towards the headquarters of the Military and Police Medical Services in that area. It seems that when this person came out knowing that he was booby-trapped, thought about where to go and decided to go to the security forces, he will not go to his family to save him, they were meanwhile planning to detonate the car remotely, and during that time the existing witness also spoke and then we analyzed what happened: When the car arrived at the military service building, the guard came to see the car because nobody was going in that street, at the moment the soldier came to him, the person returned the car to the back and after he returned about 20 meters, the car exploded, they felt that he was retreating and this person knew that he will be detonated and he didn’t want to harm the soldier so he drove backward, the material damage was little, he was the only person killed.

At that time we wanted to explain openly to the media what happened, and then it was decided after the recording of the episode that we might teach people this way so we do not want it to be repeated that a person is kidnapped and booby-trapped and tied to the car and sent. So that it does not get repeated after the episode was recorded the decision was made not to be shown to the media and I showed it to al-Dabbi in those days, he asked me for documents, I told him that I need official permission to give it to you…

Question: Dabbi’s report was unexpectedly positive…

Dr. Bassam Al-Muhammad, head of the Forensic Medicine Center in Homs: His report was positive because I took him down to the forensic morgue and showed him the bodies during that period, and I have the pictures, how a person was killed and only the meat was removed from his face and the top of his chest with the knife after death. We showed him pictures that I tell you about how he was tied, how he was covering his eyes, how he was slaughtered. Then they used to master slaughtering, we used to see slaughtering from the front, and then we see slaughtering taking place from the back…

Question: What is the difference?

Answer: The difference between them is that those who are slaughtered from the front die quickly, while those who are slaughtered from the back remain half an hour until they die because they are bleeding slowly … We started thinking why? We got the idea because some people have a habit that they want the blood of the carcass to be kept inside. Some people slaughter the carcass, the sheep or the like, they slaughter them from the back and in this way the bleeding is slow and the blood remains inside the carcass – the animal, and this is used as a method of cheating sometimes to increase the weight. The aim was torture. We used to see the victims slaughtered and then we saw that the hair of his forehead was shaved or his eyebrows had been shaved, why? Because the person who slaughters him tortures him, shaves his hair and shaves his eyebrows, and then he slays him. All these aspects, including beheadings…

Question: In what way are heads cut with a sword or slaughtered?

Answer: No, with the knife, it is clear that it was with the knife and not with the sword, technically you need a very professional person to be able to cut off the head with one stroke, but when using the knife he needs to insert it between the vertebrae.

The method of slaughtering was with knives, not with a single stroke. We know this from the multiple wound lines on the neck.

Dr. Zahir Hajo, Director of the General Authority of Forensic Medicine in Syria: The era that spanned from March 2011 until March 2012 when the army entered Idlib, one of the most dangerous episodes that passed in the history of Idlib as a province and a city. There was a lot of kidnapping after the Jisr al-Shughur for all the civilians who were supporting the state. Every day we found the body of a person who had been field-executed after being tortured.

I remember from the unique cases that I saw a civilian accused of supporting the state, all the traces of torture studied in the forensic books that forensics faces and which we study in books and those that do not exist in the books are present on it exist, huge barbaric torture, I am surprised by his story, which can explain to you what this country went through, his wife to ensure that they will execute him, “guarantee that they will execute him” she paid a million Lira and sold everything she owned so they will stop torturing him. He suggested to his wife that they would release him when the ransom was paid, he agreed with them where he asked them, in order to get rid of torture, that they should execute him, kill him, they said that they would not execute him for free, until his wife paid the money they executed him and rid him of torture.

We used to examine all of these things as forensic medicine.

Question: His wife paid money to kill him to rid him of torture?

Answer: It could have been expected that they would release him, knowing that he agreed with him that he would die and end. This period was one of the most dangerous periods in Idlib’s history, and there was a tremendous presence of gunmen in the outskirts carrying out kidnappings and assassinations, at which time the Attorney General in Idlib was assassinated, Mr. Nidal Ghazal Allah, have mercy on him.

Terrorist Activists: These are the Shabbiha forces coming to Jisr al-Shughour from Idlib, June 5, 2011. Shabiha coming from Idlib. focus…

Dr. Bassam Al-Muhammad: Of course, it reached its peak in the tenth month of 2011. I think we have reached a high point in the matter of kidnapping and killing in this way.

Question: What was the effect of that if we wanted to talk about people, for example, when they inspect the bodies and you wanted to hand them over to their families?

Dr. Bassam Al-Muhammad: I understood your question. The problem reflected on us as a forensic medicine when the relatives come to collect the bodies, whether armed or martyrs, as a result of these kidnappings, the person who had lost a family member could not reach the National Hospital to identify the body and take it, and thus we faced accumulation of corpses, and we have other problems. People did not receive the bodies, so I asked to make cold rooms and then the cold rooms were not enough, then we asked to bring vegetable transport vehicles, and here a rumor emerged that we are collecting the bodies, that the state is collecting the bodies to take them from a place For the last, it wasn’t, we didn’t have electricity at the National Hospital, so I asked the executive authorities that I needed a vegetables cold truck so they sent me a 16-meter-long vegetable refrigerator to put the bodies in. We run it on diesel because there is no electricity so that the bodies do not rot and people come to identify them, after a while we found that one refrigerator is not enough, the rumor emerged here that we are collecting the bodies and transporting them from one place to another, but the truth is as I told you.

Question: Did you encounter problems with the parents with their different passions who could have heard stories and could even have for them even the subject of the autopsy have many social and religious caveats sometimes, did you face this type of problem whether related to the cause of death and how to explain it to the family or about the autopsy?

Answer: We did not resort to autopsy much because the apparent disclosure was sufficient and we were not looking for a known criminal and it was clear that it was a murder, we were very sympathetic for the relatives that we developed the procedures at the Forensic Medicine, it wasn’t logical to let the relatives go in to see all the bodies to identify theirs, so we photographed the bodies and displayed on the computer. When he identifies his body, we bring it up to see it in real and recognizes it formally, because the number of bodies could have shocked the people, so we automated the process in order to deliver the bodies.

Unfortunately, the large numbers of dead bodies remained unknown because people were unable to reach us, and the areas were separated from each other in Homs. We tried, in some ways, to send CDs to identify the missing, within our capabilities. However, there remained unknown bodies that we, unfortunately, cannot identify.

Question: Was it buried later?

Answer: All the bodies in Homs were buried in a systematic way, according to an initiative that we, the forensic medicine, in cooperation with the Burial Office, the Religious Endowments Ministry, the security authorities, the governorate, and the civil defense. Everything was documented, we took pictures of the bodies, and the unknown bodies which weren’t recognizable from the pictures we took DNA samples from it, code was placed on the body and there was a unified code from the beginning of the crisis to the end of it. You know that we, as a health care sector, do not care about shrouds, nylon, and the like, they brought us the coffin, we wrapped the body, Civil Defense transports it, prayers were held for it under the supervision of Endowments and buried in cemeteries, 6 graveyards were approved in Homs because the numbers were large, bodies were buried orderly, each in a grave alone, and for this moment when someone reviews us to identify a dead body, we can take them to the grave of the body.

We made sure that there were no mass graves, even when Homs was liberated, we entered the old Homs district and searched the graveyards, whether the graves were collective, we took samples and were documented and buried in a regular way, and even the irregular graves that were in the gardens of homes, shelters or rooftops were re-dug out and sent to regular graves so that residents can return to live in their homes.

Question: Have you reached a stage, I do not want to call it a disability, but the numbers of dead bodies in it were beyond your capacity or your ability to absorb all this number, not only in terms of location but also the ability to analyze all the data?

Answer: What happened with us and as you know that laws are not established for crises, laws are put in place for a stable social life, the law was that for an (unidentified) body to be buried that it should be kept for a month and we must get the approval of the Public Prosecutor, we continued with this, but the large number of corpses continued to come and approached a thousand corpses with us, here as forensic doctors as a result of our reading of the reality and the summer began, so we submitted a request to the Attorney General l and explained to him the situation that continuing with this process would threaten an environmental disaster, he asked us to act according to the principles that allow the identification of corpses later in order to avoid environmental disasters, we were collecting the bodies, putting them in the (vegetable cold) trucks, but 4 freezers were sufficient for some time, then what?

We must bury them. Before the burial process, we performed photo documentation of all the dead bodies, as I told you, with number codes, wrap them in shrouds them and send them to the graves, because in that period in October we reached a peak in the numbers of unidentified bodies, we absorbed this number by collecting the bodies in refrigerators and vegetable transport vehicles that were used for this purpose, during which time we were told that we were collecting bodies but we were absorbing the shock. After this period, we started the natural process, to preserve the (body’s decency) you need to bury it according to the principles that preserve human dignity and at least preserve the religious duties that a person must perform towards the deceased person, and this thing was done at the governorate level in cooperation with all the competent authorities.

A person must read well in order to see what will happen to him in the future. We read from the corpses that reach us, we read the situation from the corpses that reach us.

Question: The future of our lives are from corpses?

Answer: Exactly, when we see what happened with this body, we simulate what happened with it, we find that the situation is very dangerous. When you see this type of torture on the body at the beginning of events, you see the killing methods that happen, you know the next is very dangerous.

End of the English translation transcript,

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Syria entered the second half of the week with a new spike of tensions in Greater Idlib. This escalation has been widely expected because militant groups are sabotaging key parts of the Russian-Turkish agreement on de-escalation in the area.

Radicals kept their positions along the M4 highway, where a security zone was set to be created, and blocked the planned joint Russian-Turkish patrols there. On March 19, they expanded their strategy with direct actions against Turkish and Russian forces. At least two improvised explosive devices exploded along the route of a Turkish military column near the village of Muhamabal. 2 Turkish soldiers were killed and several others were injured. Opposition sources initially reported that Horas al-Din, one of multiple al-Qaeda-affiliated organizations in Idlib, was behind the attack. Nonetheless, Horas al-Din itself denied responsibility for the incident. There is no surprise that the group indirectly receiving support from Turkey denied such a move. Later, pro-militant media adapted their version of events blaming ISIS cells and even Assad agents. The March 19 developments demonstrated that Ankara does not fully control the terrorist organizations that it is protecting from the Syrian Army in an attempt to solidify its own influence in the region. Therefore, in some conditions, Turkish-backed terrorists become a threat to Turkey and its forces themselves.

The Turkish leadership fully understands that the ceasefire will not survive too long without the neutralization of terrorists. So, the Turkish Army continues its military buildup in the area. Turkish forces set up new positions near Ram Hamadan and al-Jinah. Additionally, three Turkish convoys, consisting of dozens of battle tanks, armored vehicles, rocket launchers and howitzers crossed the Turkish border with the Syrian province of Idlib.

Turkish units also conducted a modest attempt to de-block the M4 highway by removing earthen mounds left by militants. The situation on the frontline is also escalating. Late on March 19, the Syrian Army repelled an attack on its positions near Hizareen. Syrian state media claimed that militants suffered heavy casualties in the clashes. Wa Harid al-Muminin, a coalition of small al-Qaeda-linked groups, claimed responsibility for the attack. It released its own statement saying that 15 “regime troops” had been killed.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Army and the National Defense Forces started reinforcing their positions in southern Idlib and northern Lattakia with fresh troops and military equipment. Pro-government sources claim that Jisr al-Shughur, the town controlled by the Turkistan Islamic Party, will become the target of the army offensive, if the ceasefire collapses.

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LARGE EXPLOSION ROCKS TURKISH-OCCUPIED CITY IN SYRIA’S ALEPPO (VIDEOS)

On March 19, a large explosion rocked the Turkish-occupied city of Azaz in the northern countryside of Syria’s Aleppo. Local sources said an explosive-laden car exploded in the city’s western district, near the local council.

According to the Step News Agency, two people were killed and many others, including children, were injured in the car bomb attack. Several activists released videos showing the aftermath of the explosion.

There was no immediate claim for the attack. However, opposition activists said Kurdish forces, ISIS or even the Syrian intelligence may have been behind it.

Car bomb attacks are nothing new to Turkish-occupied areas in the northern and northeastern parts of Syria. In the last few months, dozens of people, including militants and Turkish soldiers, were killed in such attacks.

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Syrian Women Recount Stories of Their Kidnapping by ISIS Terrorists

ST

Sunday, 15 March 2020 18:13 

“The holy blood of the Syrian Arab Army’s martyrs won’t go in vain. Every drop of my husband’s blood when he was slaughtered savagely by ISIS terrorists in the northern countryside of Lattakia province because he was one of the Syrian  Army personnel is a source of pride, hope, strength and steadfastness,” Mrs. Hasna Issa said in a statement to the Syriatimes e-newspaper on the sidelines of an event held by “Assawari” Civil Society Association in Lattakia province  marking  International Women’s Day ( IWD)  and Mother’s Day.

She underlined  that  the worst and most brutal massacres were carried out by terrorists in the northern countryside of Lattakia.

 “I will not forget that day when I and my three little children witnessed the slaughtering of my husband. When my five-year old son saw his father lying on the ground  covered with his blood, he threw stones at the terrorists, who then tied the child to a tree and started torturing him by burning his body with a hot iron rod,” Mrs. Issa added with her eyes full of tears and sadness.

 She went on to say “My children and I spent four years as hostages of the ISIS terrorists. We witnessed unspeakable violence of physical and mental suffering.”

“During those long days of detention we were close to death every minute as we were  cruelly  tortured  but I felt the prayers of the whole world fortified my inner peace and strength” Mrs. Issa made it clear.

A bright smile lit up her face when she said “I believe that the merciful God always finds a way to help everyone and we were liberated thanks to the hero Syrian Arab Army.”

Mrs. Issa described her imprisonment as an extraordinary experience  that  provided  her with more strength and determination to stay steadfast and overcome all the difficult circumstances like other distinguished Syrian women.

On her part, Mrs. Reema Khalil, and elderly lady in her eighties, told Syriatimes that “when ISIS terrorists stormed our village in the countryside of Lattakia, they destroyed our houses, burnt our lands, kidnapped a lot of families and slaughtered a number of innocent citizens.”

“One of my sons was martyred in Aleppo and the other was martyred by an explosive bomb that targeted his home in the village. His wife and his two children, Haidar and Hala, were kidnapped by the terrorists,” Mrs. Khalil said .

She added that after two years of kidnapping, her grandson Haider was released by the Syrian Arab Army, but no information has surfaced about his kidnapped mother.

The grandma added that her granddaughter Hala was sent by the terrorists to Turkey for organ trafficking, but a faithful Syrian lady managed to bring Hala back to Syria.

“Hala returned to live with me and her brother Haider, but unfortunately  she has got an injury by a gunshot in her lower jaw and now she finds difficulty in talking”, Mrs . Khalil said .

The patient grandma, who is alone looking after Hala and Haider, said the children miss their mother and hope to see her again.

Syrian Women’s unbreakable will

In turn , Head of “ Assawari” Civil Society Association Mrs. Afnan Blal asserted that the Syrian women have sacrificed much during the Syrian crisis as many of them have lost their loved ones including parents, husbands, brothers and children as martyrs because of terrorism, yet the Syrian women never stopped to play their role in defending their homeland and supporting the army in its battle against terrorism.

Mrs. Blal confirmed that the association is a support initiative that seeks alleviating women’s suffering from the crisis and providing assistance to affected women who fled the crimes of terrorist groups in several provinces.

She highlighted the fact that Mrs. Asama Al-Assad, Syria’s First Lady,  is the role model for all Syrian women as she is the symbol of steadfastness, strength, hope and determination.

Interviewed by : Rawaa Ghanam

Photos by :  Rawaa Ghanam

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