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Houla massacre: 10 years without justice for the victims

Credit: AFP/Shaam

May 25, 2022 marked the 10th anniversary of the horrifically bloody massacre in the village of Taldou, Syria which came to be known as the Houla Massacre.

In the 14 months since the revolution had begun in Syria, opposition activists in Houla, located in the province of Homs, had developed a routine that they followed every week after Friday prayer.

As the people of Taldou, which lies on the outskirts of Houla, gathered together for prayer and supplication on that particular Friday, the posters they carried in their demonstrations that enunciated their disapproval of the Assad regime’s brutality and corruption had already been created and were ready and waiting to be taken up.

But as fate would have it they never were, and by the end of the day approximately 108 villagers, the majority of them children, had been mercilessly slaughtered by soldiers and pro-Assad shabiha (thugs) militiamen from the ruling minority Alawite sect according to those who survived the bloody assault.

Shelling of the area had begun early in the afternoon and the executioners had moved into Taldou around 6 pm under cover of the persistent rocket fire and heavy tank shelling of the Syrian army.

Eyewitnesses to the massacre said that the executioners had forced their way into homes and rounded up entire families before showering them with bullets. By the time the men left, 49 children had been killed, 32 of them under the age of 10, as well as 34 women. An exact number of victims has never been determined as some were killed in the surrounding fields as they tried to escape the unfolding horror. Among the survivors were many who had been wounded as well.

Although the Assad regime tried to place blame for the massacre on the opposition in the days that followed, eyewitness accounts, independent investigations, and evidence collected in the aftermath of the bloody massacre, proved the regime’s allegations to be false and just another attempt to promote its own propaganda.



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