Families herded ‘like sheep’ to die in Houla massacre

Reuters reports: The gunmen arrived shortly before dusk, some in uniform and some in plain clothes, before herding whole families into rooms and killing them in cold blood, according to survivors.

“They entered our homes … men wearing fatigues herding us like sheep in the room and started spraying bullets at us,” said an apparently injured woman in a video released by activists.

“My father died and my brother, my mother’s only son. Seven sisters were killed,” the woman said, lying next to another injured woman and near a baby with a chest wound.

The United Nations says 108 people were killed in the May 25 massacre, nearly half of them children, outraging a world long numbed by 14 months of relentless bloodshed since the start of a popular uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The events are disputed. The West blames Assad’s forces, while Syria accuses its opponents, whom it refers to as Islamist “terrorists”.

But video footage and accounts of activists, survivors, rights groups and United Nations observers in Syria, provide a harrowing narrative of the violence in the Houla region, about 20 km (13 miles) northwest of the city of Homs.

Crucially, the U.N. monitors say the evidence appears to contradict the government’s denial that its forces and allied militia were behind the slayings.

Activists and survivors said soldiers and pro-Assad “shabbiha” militiamen from the president’s minority Alawite sect carried out the onslaught on the Sunni Muslim villagers.

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3 thoughts on “Families herded ‘like sheep’ to die in Houla massacre

  1. dickerson3870

    RE: “Families herded ‘like sheep’ to die in Houla massacre”

    FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH, SEE: The Salvador Option for Syria: US-NATO-Sponsored Death Squads Integrate “Opposition Forces”, by Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 5/28/12

    (excerpts) Modelled on US covert ops in Central America, the Pentagon’s “Salvador Option for Iraq” initiated in 2004 was carried out under the helm of the US Ambassador to Iraq John Negroponte (2004-2005) together with Robert Stephen Ford, who was appointed US Ambassador to Syria in January 2011, less than two months before the beginning of the armed insurgency directed against the government of Bashar Al Assad.
    “The Salvador Option” is a “terrorist model” of mass killings by US sponsored death squads. It was first applied in El Salvador, in the heyday of resistance against the military dictatorship, resulting in an estimated 75,000 deaths.
    The US Ambassador to Syria (appointed in January 2011), Robert Stephen Ford had been part of Negroponte’s team at the US Embassy in Baghdad (2004-2005). In this regard, “The Salvador Option” for Iraq laid the groundwork for the launching of an armed insurgency in Syria in March 2011.
    In relation to recent events, the killing of 108 people including 35 children in the border city of Houla on May 27 was, in all likelihood, committed by US sponsored death squads under the “Salvador Option for Syria”. The deaths of civilians have been casually blamed by the Western media on the Al Assad government and the incident is being used as pretext for a “humanitarian” R2P intervention by NATO. Outright media fabrications, including the manipulation of images by the BBC suggest that the Syrian government was not behind the massacre:
    “As information trickles out of Houla, Syria, near the city of Homs and the Lebanese-Syrian border, it is becoming clear that the Syrian government was not responsible for shelling to deaths some 32 children and their parents, as periodically claimed and denied by Western media and even the UN itself. It appears that instead, it was death squads at close quarters – accused by anti-government “activists” as being “pro-regime thugs” or “militias,” and by the Syrian government as the work of Al Qaeda terrorists linked to foreign meddlers.” (See Tony Cartalucci, “Syrian Government Blamed for Atrocities Committed by US Sponsored Deaths Squads”, Global Research, May 28, 2012) . . .
    . . .The US State Department in collaboration with several US intelligence agencies and the Pentagon is overseeing US support to the Free Syrian Army.
    A Syria policy committee chaired by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton involves the participation of Ambassador Robert Stephen Ford, CIA director David Petraeus, Jeffrey Feltman, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs and Derek Chollet, Principal Deputy Director of Clinton’s Policy Planning Staff at the State Department.
    Under Jeffrey Feltman’s supervision, the actual recruitment of terrorist mercenaries, however, is carried out in Qatar and Saudi Arabia in liaison with senior intelligence officials from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Libya and NATO. The former Saudi ambassador to the US, Prince Bandar, who remains a key member of Saudi intelligence, is said to be working with the Feltman group in Doha.

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=31096

  2. Paul Woodward

    How do we know any of this is true? Because Michel Chossudovsky says it is and he’s a fearless critic of the U.S. government, so it goes without saying that everything he says is the gospel truth. On the other hand, when Reuters or other news agencies interview survivors from the massacre, it goes without saying that everything they say it false — why else would it appear in the mainstream media.

    But putting the sarcasm aside, here’s what I don’t understand: why apply justifiable skepticism to mainstream media reporting and yet have little skepticism about the analyses of those who question such reporting? Shouldn’t a critical lens be focused in all directions? Chossudovsky says Feltman is supervising the recruitment of terrorist mercenaries but says nothing about how he stumbled on this nugget of information.

    Here’s the thing to always remember: the fact that information can be filled with details does not make it factual. But this is the confidence trick that so many conspiracy theorists indulge in — to “reveal” to their readers an abundance of detailed information, evoking the sense that one is being presented with some kind of first hand account — an account whose veracity derives solely from the credibility of the author.

  3. Lysander

    While we do not know for sure what happened in Hula, we **DO** know that NATO wishes to overthrow the Syrian government and replace it with one more compliant with western interests and more accommodating of Israel. To this end, they will demonize the Syrian government (which I grant is far from angelic) and grasp at any event as an excuse for intervention, direct or indirect.

    We also know that the killings in Hula seem reminiscent of the killings in Iraq. Add to that the fact that the Syrian government does not have the slightest interest in creating a high profile event that would lead to calls for intervention.

    We also know that the Syrian rebels have been caught lying repeatedly. And while the government has done plenty of lying, its core premise, that it was facing an armed uprising from the very beginning turned out to be entirely true. The rebel denials turned out to be lies.

    Further, we now know that the most salacious accusations against the former Libyan government turned out to be entirely false. There was no bombing of peaceful protesters. There were no “African” mercenaries. There was no mass rape.

    Given all of that, Chossudovsky’s story is at least as plausible as any Rebel claims that are being paraded as indisputable facts by the western media.

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