Systematic Policy of the Syrian Government (Yalda Town Massacre in Rif Dimashq)
Documentation and statement of condemnation of Yalda town massacre in Rif Dimashq that mounts to a crime against humanity:
Yalda town is located in Rif Dimashq in Ghouta, south of the town is the town of Hajeira and east of it Babeila, north of it Al Zahera as for the west it’s Al Yarouk Camp, with a population of over 150,000.
On Sunday August 5, 2012, great numbers of government forces (army, security forces, local and foreign Shiites militias) surrounded the town of Yalda with tanks and armed vehicle, and started random shelling on the town for seven days straight, in which many were wounded as also many others were killed in addition to the destruction of many residential buildings, the next step was the raid over the town backed by T82 tanks from 3 ways on Sunday August 12, 2012 the raid continued for two days Sunday and Monday August 13, 2012.
The raids and execution operations comes through as a systematic policy of the Syrian government and regime to spread terror and fear in a certain town so they won’t protest anymore, and then move to another town and commit the same crimes against humanity.
One of the residents informed us that on Tuesday four young men who escaped from town tried to get back to recover the bodies of the victims specifically in front of Imam Al Shafei’e Mosque but they found a government forces vehicle that opened fire on them killing one of them as they escaped with a driver who was later killed after government forces pursuit of him and capturing him.
The massacre victims were 67 civilians from the town and some of the Free Syrian Army soldiers we couldn’t document due to the difficulty of identifying them.
SNHR managed to document 44 names through communicating with their families, relatives, and friends, and some activists, there was 23 body that we were unable to document and we have videos of their bodies and none of whom we contacted through the last few weeks managed to identify them as the bodies were completely burned and some of the bodies turned to pieces some of them were Palestinians from Al Masri family that live in Yalda.