Baniyas is the largest district of Tartous Governorate in Syrian cost with an area of 720 km2 , and almost a population of 177.000 , distribute to 105,000 Alawite , 45000 Sunni and 20.000 Christian .
Baniyas is a junction point between the cities of Syrian cost by international highway between Lattakia and Tartous and relates other internal governorates by Al- Qadmus – Misiaf high way ( which are Alawite villages )
We relies in this report on testimonies of few survivors and cite witnesses in addition to several phone calls and tells of more than 7 activities on the ground , but to this moment we couldn’t visit the scene but we’ve asked for and got large number of recordings , photos and videos of survivors’ testimonies and then compared with videos and photos we got via our official email ( you can find attached to our report )
Banyias massacre continued over 3 days started in Thursday 2/5/2013 until 4/5/2013 , each day has its own horrible events
Ethnic cleansing occurred in tow Sunni Districts :
1- Al-Bayda village : in 2/5/2013 a massacre took place in Bayda , SNHR could document by name and photo 263 civilian victims , including 43 children , 28 ladies , all of them from Bayda
2- Ras Alnabaa village : in 4/5/2013 a massacre took place in Ras Alnabaa . SNHR documented 196 civilian victims including 63 children and 43 ladies have been killed by shelling followed by killings and ethnic cleansing
Thus death toll of the ethnic cleansing massacre in Baniyas is 458 civilian citizens ; including 93 children and 71 women
Details about the first massacre : Al-bayda village
It is Systematic that Syrian Government’s Armed Forces punish civilians from any area they clashes with their troops ,
dozens of threats to civilians through loudspeakers in all Syrian territories if shot one bullet against them from any area , then they will exterminate the whole area and as doing that they just want pretext to explode
This acts violate Customary IHRL , the applicable law in armed conflicts:
Rule 1. The parties to the conflict must at all times distinguish between civilians and combatants. Attacks may only be directed against combatants. Attacks must not be directed against civilians.
Rule 2. Acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited.
Rule 6. Civilians are protected against attack, unless and for such time as they take a direct part in hostilities.
Rule 7. The parties to the conflict must at all times distinguish between civilian objects and military objectives. Attacks may only be directed against military objectives. Attacks must not be directed against civilian objects.
Rule 10. Civilian objects are protected against attack, unless and for such time as they are military objectives.
In the early morning on Thursday 02/05/2013 , a small clash occurred on a military checkpoint near Al-Baiyda between few Armed rebel’s fighters and Syrian Government’s Armed Forces
( Noting that Baniyas is one of the most peaceful areas in Syria , cause it is Multi-denominational there is no armed opposition there )
After one or two hours Syrian Government’s Armed Forces surrounded Al-Baiyda town and started the usual three phases before every massacre:
1- Siege , shelling , cut off electricity and communications
3- Extrajudicial killings , slaughter , looting and arrest
According to survived family who fled from death in the massacre , some of them now in Turkey , they said : amid total cut off electricity and communications ; Syrian Government’s Armed Forces shelled the town for several hours , then they started stormed the town accompanied with security forces , Shabiha from the neighboring Alawite villages and members of Lebanese Hezbollah (were recognizable cause of their Lebanese accent ) and begun terribly slaughtering , killing and executing people, using knives , cleavers , edged weapons and even smashing head to death with stones and then they burned many of the corpses .
( noting that inhabitants of AL-Baiyda is almost 6000 people)
A massacre is considered the worst and horrible massacre in the Syrian Revolution History ,they slaughtered , distorted , cut the organs of children and women then burned and then dumped the corpses on top of each other in streets
In the next day : Friday 3/5/2013 , almost at 10.00 am ,again random shilling and missiles on the town , and dozens of people tried to flee across the orchards .
And again stormed the village from Ajamah mountain’s axis , and Marah village’s axis (Christian majority) which didn’t participant in the massacre or didn’t get killed cause a clear orders to kill only Sunni people, then slaughtered citizens with knives , cleavers and field executions lasted to nearly 2 pm , of course prevent Friday prayers ritual.
Large number didn’t immediately get killed, but they were arrested and took to Alzoba Alawite village , where we got news that they have been killed there
The corpses remain on the streets and in houses and have been rotting there
Many houses and cars have been burned
After that another Syrian Government’s Armed Forces chased the families who fled from Al- Baiyda to orchards and neighboring towns , launched raids , prosecutions and arrests in tow areas : Agricultural Wata Albaida area and Sahm Albahr area , we got news about executions there , but we couldn’t get eye witnesses or survivor to confirm
Syrian Government’s Armed Forces imposed suffocating siege on Markeb and Basatin villages , they arrest dozens of citizens especially in the upper neighborhood of the village , where they took a large number of families ( men , women , children ) to Alkaokab village , while they were beating, assaulting and abusing them ., them they allowed children and women to return to their villages on foot . one of the parents told us that the reason for setting free children and women is to keep them as a hostage when they need .
Looting and arresting continued for two days ( Friday and Saturday ) , families saw trucks loaded with furniture conveyed to Alawite towns.
Details about the Second massacre : Ras Alnabaa village
Ras Alnabaa : poor neighborhood , almost 400 m2 linked with the of Baniyas in two ways : 1- bridge known as Ras Alnabaa bridge , 2- and high way
In Thursday 2/5/2013, when the residents in Ras Alnabaa heard frequent news about the shelling and killing in Al- Baiyda , most of them carry their belongings and flee from the neighborhood to escape from death
When the residents tried to escape through the bridge , Syrian Government’s Armed Forces at the bridge barrier prevented them to pass , and arrest all of them , they separated women , children and elders , and order them to back to the neighborhood , tortured and humiliated men , and ordered them to back to the neighborhood .
They tried to flee once few day ago before the massacre , but they have been prevented .
SNHR relies in this report on testimonies of few survivors , the most important is Abo Mohammad’s testimony ( he is still alive and u can contact with him ) :
Friday down 3/5/2013 , After Syrian Government’s Armed Forces prevented dozens of families to flee across the bridge on Ras Alnabaa – many of them used highway to flee .
At Friday noon approximate 2: 30 , Syrian Government’s Armed Troops started the usual phases before every massacre Siege , shelling , cut off electricity and communications, Stormed , killings , slaughter , looting , arrest and burn .
Heavy artillery has been erected at the bottom of Ras Alnabaa bridge and another artillery at AlQoz bridge with few tanks , suddenly without any alarm stated heavy and deliberately shelling towards the local residents’ houses , cause no one else there , heavy gunfire continued for about one hour .
After shelling , they started the next phase , where almost 1000 fighter perform house to house raid , they started executions , killing , slaughtering against families , entire families were annihilated .
Abo Mohamad Told us :
(( storming strted 2:30 pm , Intruders were wearing black T-shirts and camouflage trousers , I saw them with my own eyes , I know some of them and I know their families , as Zahraa , Marouf , Shamali , Haidar families and others , they entered on regiments : 200 , then 150 ,then 200 ,they stormed the town with trucks , they gathered in Al-Qusor Alawite neighborhood , they started to expels families of their houses , and executed them directly , it took five minutes to execute each family.
There were a child , they split his from his head to the middle of the back
I watched a young man , they threw him on the ground and then they swooped on him to stamp him with knifes
I watched a woman , I know her family , she is well known in the neighborhood , they took off her clothes and raped her , I saw that in my eyes , then they cut her hand , then they half slaughtered her .
They burned on of the shop , they threw four children after cutting them , they also threw girl child into these fire while she was alive .
I am trying to summons up my strength and memory ,,,,,, there were a whole family , they ordered them to turn their faces to the walls , when they were loading their Russian weapons , a lady fall on the ground and survived form death , she is still alive .
I estimated the number of the killed and slaughtered people whom I saw with my eyes from neighbors and relatives about 250 victims , there are many areas in the neighborhood that I couldn’t see .
Killing and slaughtering continued until 1 am , after midnight , after that in a while I escaped with my family through mountain , I knew then later that they allowed some of the survived residents to flee across the Corniche street .
How we were live with them , joke and laugh , eat and drink , are they human being like us!!?? )) Abo Mohamad added finally
The villages from which buses of Shabiha came out , and participate in the massacre :
Kaabiat Farish – Dier Albashl – Alanaza – Tairo – Almowred – Alasiba – Alzoba – Alquz in Baniyas – Aldalia – Taanita – Hraison – Kawkab Aala Albasatine – Sarbione – Alkaloaa – Barmaia – Bloza – in addition to many other villages that we couldn’t recognized .
The residents also recognized some families of those villages that their sons participated in the massacre :
Ahmad family – Mashraqi family – Aateki family – Ali family – Atek family – Jadid family – Shamali family – Hasan family – Saaod family – Zahraa family – Al Daiob family
They killed all the members of Rajab family , father , mother even children , in horrible ways : slaughtering , explosion heads , a girl called Iman from Rajab family stayed alive for a while , then she died affected her horrific wounds
Yasin family , Taha family, Suliman family, Husain family, Zarzour family, and many other families disappeared off the face of the earth
They raid the well known media activist’s house Ms. Baian Jaloul , who had a prominent role in transferring the ongoing news and images , they took revenge and killed her in a very horrific way , they rip her face with knifes , cut her nose , stamped her in her hands and foot , and half slaughtered her to leave dying in pain . she was transferring and publishing the news of what’s happening of kill and death to the last moments