Materials of our own independent investigation
Marat Musin, ANNA-NEWS
Syria, Houla, Taldao.
Q: What happened on May the 25th and the 26th in your village of Taldao? What did you see?
A: I’m a citizen from Taldao, right now I live in Taldao, on the first day of the events, on Friday, the bandits mortared army checkpoint, the army returned fire an injured many of the bandits that attacked the army. The other armed men moved the injured and the man who fired the mortar to the field hospital and he’s now alive and well and his name is Said Fayez Talha Al-Aksh, his family lives in Taldao. Two days earlier the terrorists’ assistants told us that the Zero Hour is coming soon. We heard this with local terrorists, always talking about how they should create a fuss. I didn’t expect it would be this way. Until this event, they (armed terrorists) used to attack army checkpoints every Friday after the prayers (Friday prayers). They attack for several hours then things go back to normal. Some armed men carried cameras and taped everything, others carried radio telephone (walkie talkie) and we heard their conversations from inside our houses. On Friday, May the 25th, at 2 pm right after Friday prayers, an army checkpoint and the army repelled this attack. The armed group was led by Nidal Bakkour. Shortly after that, another armed group attacked another checkpoint. This second group is from a family called Al-Hallak, also locally called Al-Hassan. They attacked the checkpoint located at the mountain. The plan was that they take over the checkpoint at the mountain and the other one located at the village because they wanted to position themselves at an elevated place that allows them to easily control the checkpoint located at the village. Somebody called Nidal Bakkour and asked him to send an armed group of strangers; he called him right when the attack started. When the armed men attacked the checkpoint, 25 of them were killed.
Q: how could you know the number of dead armed men?
A: When the UN Observers came, the armed men gathered the bodies in front of the observers and claimed that they’re civilians killed by the Syrian Arab Army, I heard that personally from them when they said it to the observers and they claimed that they found the bodies inside the houses.
At around 3:30 pm they secured the elevated checkpoint. They cut off the throat of one soldier and threw him from the 3rd floor. Before he died, he told them that he’s from Kafar Batna, Reef Dimashq and that he’s a Sunni like them, they told him: “now you remember you’re a Sunni?”. Then they kidnapped two soldiers one is called Abdullah he’s a Bedouin (here exact word is Shawy) from Deir Azzour and burned him alive. I didn’t see them burn him but I heard them howling that they burned a soldier, that was around 6:00 pm. As for the other soldier, I have no idea what happened to him but I heard one armed man called Akram Al-Saleh saying we won’t kill him and we will show how he joined us, i.e. defected. Shortly afterwards, they secured the army checkpoint and the police station in the city. Just against this police stations are the families’ houses. The residential buildings against this police stations are the where all those children and families that were killed. They killed all the children of Al-Sayed family, they were 3 families and 20 children. They also killed people from Abdulrazak family, 10 persons, they killed them because they support the authorities. Of Al-Sayed family they killed the family of the brother of Abdullah Al-Mashlab, the 3rd person in the Syrian parliament. He was elected on May 24th, the next day they killed his wife and 3 kids and his brother and his family as well.
At 7:00 pm, Al-Farouq brigade, led by Abdulrazak Tlass, of the so-called “Free Syrian Army” arrived. He had more than 250 armed men with him from the city of Rastan, he also had 2 other groups with him one from Al-Qabo village, led by Yehya Al-Yusef, and another from Falla village.
At the time of the attack, the leaders always instructed the armed men to intensify the fire during their calls to Al-Jazeera. At night, the shooting stopped.
On the second day we heard them talking to each other on walkie talkies that some of the armed men should wear the Syrian Arabi Army’s uniform before the observers arrive so that they claim they’ve defected from the army and joined the armed men, and the others should dress like civilians and come to with us to the mosque, where the bodies and the observers are.
They burned some farms and houses to accuse the army of shelling the area in front of the observers. I only saw the observers from far, they were surrounded by armed men who put on the Syrian Arab Army’s uniforms. A lot of people were there and saw all of that, they were of chosen families and they were calling “we want to bring the regime down” and everybody knows they’re the armed men’s relatives. The armed men got into the houses and told the people that they must leave because this is a military zone now. I didn’t go anywhere, but a lot fled the after that.
When the observers arrived the armed men had occupied the empty houses and the armed men who accompanied the observers started showing the observers into the houses as if the owners were inside and they provided testimonies.
Q: how does your family look at this?
A: my father is dead, but my mother and siblings, we all have the same view of these events.
Q: do many people in your village share the same view?
A: the majority of people do share the same view, but they’re scared to death. Earlier, many of them used to participate in pro-regime rallies and they used to write slogans against Daraa, the FSA and the Armed men. However, the armed men took revenge against all those who wrote by killing them.
Q: how are your relations with the nearby villages and why were these villages attacked by the armed men?
A: Our relations were very good; they never harmed us or started any tension with us. However, the FSA attacked them because they belonged to other sects. One of the terrorists called Haytham Hallak kidnapped several persons from a nearby village and asked for a ransom, millions of Syrian Leras, to set the free. Another armed man called Abu Yaseer, kidnapped workers from the General Power Company because they were from a specific sect.
As for the terrorist Haytham Hallak, he killed one of the kidnapped people and injected fuel in the other’s blood and you can find him at a hospital in the city of Homs.
Before the events started, those armed men used to be smugglers. There are fuel pipes near our village, they put taps at those pipes and powerful pumpers, these are facts known to all the residents of the village. These armed men are originally, thieves, only a few of them have studied till the eighth grade. They kidnapped people of other sects. There was a Lebanese woman in the village who lived with her 3 kids and used to work as a janitor at the police station. The armed men kidnapped, raped, and hanged her. Then they threw her body in the fields, and dogs snapped at her body. It was a horrible and painful sight, she was completely naked. Such people can’t be called Arabs or Muslims, they’re monsters.
Also when they occupied the government buildings in the village; the school, the hospital, the health center and the municipality, they burned them all and prevented the kids from studying. There were four of Al-Abbar family and one of Al-Yosef family who was an AIDS patient and is now dead, they raped a woman from Al-Nayel family and infected her with AIDS. She has a 3 months old baby, after she was raped she nursed him, and he was infected and later died because of that. At the beginning of the crisis, they attacked the hospital and stole blood bags and used them at the demonstrations, they poured blood on the demonstrators to show that they were dead or injured when fabricating videos for Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya.
We are peaceful people all we want is that safety is back at the village and the country. We don’t want foreign intervention, we want peace and security.