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We remember the Victims of the Houla Massacre

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Statement on the Ninth Anniversary of the Syrian Regime’s Attack on Civilians in Houla

WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 25th marks the ninth anniversary of the Syrian regime attack in the town of Houla in Syria. On May 25th, 2012 at 1 p.m. the Syrian regime and allied forces attacked peaceful protesters in Harmoush Square utilizing tanks, heavy artillery, and live fire. That evening from 6 to 7 p.m., the Assad regime brought large military divisions alongside shabihah (regime paramilitary militias). They arrived and besieged the neighborhood of Alsad, and proceeded to enter house by house executing entire families. They systematically murdered the children, women and men, in that order, utilizing knives, machetes and axes to slaughter the families. The Assad forces intentionally left one survivor per family with the aim of instilling terror amongst Syrian civilians.

Six hours after the massacre, multiple cars of shabihah and security forces arrived at another neighborhood in Houla, and murdered the entire el-Sayed family. The only survivor, 11-year old Ali el-Sayed, described the events to Al Jazeera:

My mother yelled at them: Why are you taking them? My brother and my uncles. Then the military went in and my mother was afraid because they were pointing their guns at her. They shot five bullets at her, then they shot my brother – one in here [points to the head] and one in the back. Then I was covering myself, he came and took the cover off me and then he shot at me.

El-Sayed survived by pretending to be dead, but he said he clearly remembered the attackers and knew they were military after he saw them come out of a tank parked outside. He remembered eleven security forces went into his house, some of them wearing army uniforms.

The Houla massacre left 113 civilians dead – including 56 children and 30 women as well as 300 injured. Nine years after this terrible massacre, we remember the names of the innocent children, men and women who were mercilessly slaughtered by the Assad Regime. SETF continues to stand with the innocent civilians that have been killed and continue to be targeted everyday in Syria.

Press Contact:
Celeste Brevard
Director of Communications Syrian Emergency Task Force
[email protected]