Sunday, May 28, 2023
20.4 C
Damascus
Sunday, May 28, 2023

Al-Haswiya massacre: Trauma continues to haunt survivors

Although more than ten years have passed since Assad regime forces brutally slaughtered an estimated 13 families in the al-Haswiya area of Homs, the details of the massacre continue to carry a lot of pain for its survivors and the relatives of the victims.

One of the houses burned in al-Haswiya massacre; Credit: Social media

The cold-blooded massacre took place in the farmland of al-Haswiya, a poor district on the edge of Homs near the Military Academy, not far from the al-Qusour neighborhood. At that time, al-Haswiya’s small farming community of 1500 had been growing steadily as they were joined by many residents from the city as Assad’s army targeted their neighborhoods in Homs.

At noon on January 15, 2013, the Assad regime’s military security forces entered the area, which was already surrounded by Assad army military barriers, and arrested a group of men, young and old, including Abdul Hasib Diab, the Imam of al-Haswiya’s al-Tayyar Mosque, who was killed later.

Assad’s executioners entered the gardens of the Ghalloul family and killed all those present, men, women, and children, all of them from the same family

At one o’clock in the afternoon, some of the men were released. At two o’clock, two buses of the type known to the people as being used to transport Shabiha (Assad thugs) entered the area. Four others carrying security personnel and two armored personnel carriers also entered the area and stopped at the al-Boushi Marble Factory.

Military security forces were deployed along the road separating al-Haswiya and its orchards. Some of the Shabiha went to the orchards while the others raided four houses in al-Haswiya. Some young men were executed inside these houses and their bodies collectively burned in the house of Abu Mashhoor Shehab.

Assad’s assassins continued to move in this manner from farm to farm in the adjacent area killing everyone they found, including 17 members of the al-Mahbani family

The human carnage continued as Assad’s executioners entered the gardens of the Ghalloul family and killed all those present, men, women, and children, all of them from the same family, before moving on to the farms of the Diab family whose members were also completely liquidated and their bodies burned. With deliberate malice and merciless brutality, Assad’s assassins continued to move in this manner from farm to farm in the adjacent area killing everyone they found, including 17 members of the al-Mahbani family.

Most of the testimonies of the massacre’s survivors talked about how homes and shops were burned, some women were arrested, and even among those who weren’t, many had their gold jewelry stolen

Some of the young men who managed to escape attempted to hide by climbing into trees in the orchard but Shabiha were able to see them so they took them down, slaughtered them, and hung their heads from the branches of the trees, according to eyewitnesses.

Most of the testimonies of the massacre’s survivors talked about how homes and shops were burned, some women were arrested, and even among those who weren’t, many had their gold jewelry stolen from them but only after they had been thoroughly humiliated by Assad’s mercenaries.

At that time, the village of al-Haswiya consisted of a mixed population of Sunnis and Alawites, most of whom were working in agriculture. Prior to the date of the massacre, several mass killings attributed to Assad forces and their allies had occurred.

The names of more than 100 people were documented as being victims on that day. They all only belong to the Sunni families that were slaughtered by Assad regime forces making it crystal clear that the motives behind the abhorrent massacre were sectarian driven.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest articles