Tag Archives: Damascus

#Syria: Targeting Fetuses

As US slams Assad’s forces attack on humanitarian aid, thus leaving children in malnutrition, UK report claims snipers in Syria involved in death game targeting pregnant women, unborn fetuses in return for cigarettes


A car bomb explosion on Saturday ushered 16 Syrian soldiers into the ranks of the more than 120,000 killed in civil war between embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad and rebels.


With the end of the conflict nowhere in sight, a British report points to new levels of depravity as part of the battles tearing Syria apart – bored snipers have begun taking practice shots at pregnant women, specifically aiming for their unborn fetuses.



The testimony of a British doctor who spoke with ITV claims that snipers have been engaging in a “death game” in which they target specific body parts of innocent civilians as target practice.


Death games: Fetus shot in head in utero


The doctor, David Nott, said that he began noticing the phenomenon after identifying certain trends in the victims he was treating: “One day we’d have pregnant women being brought in with gunshot wounds to the uterus. Not just one or two, but seven or eight, which meant to me they (the snipers) must be targeting pregnant women.


“And the following day, we would get people coming in with chest wounds to the right side of the chest. The next day it would be the left side and no other injuries. Then it would be groin… so it seemed to me that there was a death game going on with the snipers,” Dr. Nott said.


Nott is convinced the snipers are playing with their victims, specifically with the attempt of wounding them:


“Most of the victims are woman and children. I’ve seen very few fighters since I’ve been here. There are gunshot wounds to the groin, chest and abdomen but very few wounds to the head, so it means sometimes the snipers are out there to wound and hurt people rather than to kill them outright.”


According to the Daily Mail, as part of the sniper games, snipers receive a cigarette for every such hit.


“It’s pitiful because we receive cases of pregnant ladies who are shot in the uterus and removing dead babies from the uterus is a very unpleasant experience,” Nott told ITV.


Children dying

Meanwhile, in a strongly-worded statement, US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki condemned the regime’s continued siege of Ghouta and other Damascus suburbs, such as Mouadimiya, citing attacks on humanitarian aid convoys.


There were now “unprecedented reports of children dying of malnutrition-related causes in areas that are only a few miles from Bashar Assad’s palace in Damascus,” Psaki said.


She added that the “people of Mouadimiya have been without basic necessities for nearly a year, and the regime’s deliberate prevention of the delivery of lifesaving humanitarian supplies to thousands of civilians is unconscionable.”


“We call on the Syrian regime to immediately approve relief convoys into these areas,” the spokesperson said.


Psaki also warned the Assad regime against using limited evacuations of some civilians as “an excuse to attack those residents who remain behind. Those who are responsible for atrocities in the Damascus suburbs and across Syria must be identified and held accountable,” she said.


Saturday, at least 16 soldiers were killed in a car bomb attack and fighting that followed between Syrian government forces and Islamist rebels near, a monitoring group said.


The bombing, carried out by a suicide bomber from the al-Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra Front, triggered heavy fighting at a key checkpoint between the rebel-held town of Mleha and Jaramana, a pro-regime area populated by Christians and Muslim Druze, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.


AFP contributed to this report



#Syria: Fatwa allows starving people to eat cats and dogs


Syrian clerics in southern Damascus issued a religious ruling (fatwa)  that allows starving people to eat cats and dogs, according to a report by Al-Arabiya on Monday. The clerics issued the fatwa in an appeal for humanitarian aid.

“How does the world sleep with full stomachs while there are hungry people, and not far from the main city [Damascus],” said a leading imam originally broadcasted by the Southern Damascus Media Office.

The Imam went on to say that while Muslims were busy on the pilgrimage (hajj) to Mecca, “there are people who died from hunger.”

“Haven’t you heard the fatwas that have filled our streets and mosques by permitting people to eat cats, dogs and other animals that have already been killed by the bomb attacks?” he said according to the report.

He added, “Are you waiting for us to eat the flesh of our martyrs and our dead after fearing our lives?”

A fatwa permitting the eating of cats, dogs, and donkeys was also issued by an imam in the Palestinian Yarmouk refugee camp in southern Damascus, which has been under siege, according to a report in the London-based daily Asharq Al-Awsat on Sunday.

The camp and several other areas in Damascus have been under siege for more than three months and the Syrian regime has cut off the city and prevented the entry of any food.

Last year a similar fatwa was issued in the Syrian city of Homs allowing the eating of cats, dogs, and donkeys.

Non-Chemical Warfare Violence Continues in Syria


Over the past past 2 1/2 years, the widespread use of conventional, non-chemical weapons by both Syrian government forces and rebel groups has resulted in the loss of more than 100,000 lives. While the U.S., Russia, and Syria work out a possible timetable to remove chemical weapons from Syria’s arsenal, little progress is being made to halt the warfare that has become the violent daily existence for so many. The following images of the ongoing civil war are from just the past few weeks. [41 photos]

Use j/k keys or ←/→ to navigate  Choose: 1024px 1280px

A member of the ‘Ansar Dimachk’ Brigade, part of the Asood Allah Brigade which operates under the Free Syrian Army, uses an iPad during preparations to fire a homemade mortar at one of the battlefronts in Joubar, a suburb of Damascus, Syria, on September 15, 2013. (Reuters/Mohamed Abdullah)

An archway on a road leading to Syria’s ancient Christian town of Maalula, as fighting continues between government forces and rebel fighters, on September 18, 2013. The town lies around 55 kilometers (34 miles) north-east of Damascus and is strategically important for the rebels, who are trying to tighten their grip on the capital. (Anwar Amro/AFP/Getty Images) #

Smoke rises as a result of shelling from forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, according to activists, in Ariha countryside, on September 7, 2013. Ariha, which was previously controlled by the Free Syrian Army, is witnessing ongoing clashes after it was wrested control by forces loyal to Assad due to its importance as part of a supply route from the coastal area of Latakia to Aleppo, activists said. (Reuters/Houssam Abo Dabak) #

A Syrian soldier is captured by Free Syrian Army fighters during what the FSA say is an offensive against forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad, in Qobtan village in Aleppo, on August 22, 2013. (Reuters/Saad AboBrahim) #

A Free Syrian Army fighter takes up a shooting position in Ogiwl, Aleppo, on September 8, 2013. (Reuters/Hamid Khatib) #

This citizen journalism image provided by The Syrian Revolution against Bashar Assad which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows a Syrian military tank on fire during clashes with Free Syrian army fighters in Joubar, a suburb of Damascus, on September 18, 2013. (AP Photo/The Syrian Revolution Against Bashar Assad) #

A fire truck left amid heavily damaged buildings in the Syrian town of Deir Ezzor, on September 10, 2013. (Ahmad Aboud/AFP/Getty Images) #

An image grab taken from a video shows an opposition fighter firing a rocket propelled grenade (RPG) on August 26, 2013 during clashes with regime forces over the strategic area of Khanasser, situated on the only road linking Aleppo to central Syria. Rebels had in recent days captured several villages in Aleppo province, much of which is already in the hands of anti-regime fighters, before taking Khanasser, situated on the highway to Hama in central Syria, thus cutting the army’s only supply route to the northern province. (Salah Al-Ashkar/AFP/Getty Images) #

A tank is reflected in the sunglasses of a rebel fighter during a ceremony to mark an agreement to unite the of forces Liwaa al-Tawid and Liwad al- Fatah brigades on September 13, 2013 at a former military academy north of Aleppo. (JM Lopez/AFP/Getty Images) #

A rebel fighter and a child cross a damaged bridge in Syria’s eastern town of Deir Ezzor, on September 2, 2013. (Abo Shuja/AFP/Getty Images) #

Issa, 10 years old, carries a mortar shell in a weapons factory of the Free Syrian Army in Aleppo, on September 7, 2013. Issa works with his father in the factory for ten hours every day except on Fridays. (Reuters/Hamid Khatib) #

A Kurdish Free Syrian Army fighter holds out a doll while his fellow fighter takes position in Ashrafieh, Aleppo, on September 18, 2013. (Reuters/Muzaffar Salman) #

In this September 11, 2013 photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, a journalist records a Syrian government solider as he aims his weapon, during clashes with Free Syrian Army fighters in Maaloula village, northeast of the capital Damascus. Heavy fighting between Syrian government troops and rebels flared again in the ancient, predominantly Christian village of Maaloula. Troops are trying to flush out rebel units, including two that are linked to al-Qaida, from the hilltop enclave which they broke into last week. (AP Photo/SANA) #

Syrian soldiers flashes the V-sign for victory as he poses in a Russian-made Syrian army armored personnel carrier stationed along a street leading into Maalula, Syria, scene of fighting between pro-government troops and rebel forces on September 18, 2013. The town lies around 55 kilometers (34 miles) from Damascus and is strategically important for rebels, who are trying to tighten their grip on Damascus. Maalula is one of the most renowned Christians towns in Syria, where many of its inhabitants speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus. (Anwar Amro/AFP/Getty Images) #

Heavily damaged buildings in the Salah al-Din area of Aleppo, on September 8, 2013. The sheets and bus provide limited cover from sniper fire for those wishing to cross the street. (Abo Mhio/AFP/Getty Images) #

A Syrian opposition fighter smokes a cigarette as he sits at the top of a mountain in the vicinity of a rebel camp in Idlib province on September 18, 2013. (AP Photo) #

A Syrian military solider fires a heavy machine gun during clashes with rebels in Maaloula village, northeast of Damascus, on September 7, 2013. (AP Photo/SANA) #

Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters carry weapons as they take up positions during an offensive against forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo’s town of Khanasir, on August 26, 2013. The smoke is pouring out of the cultural center of the town after the Free Syrian Army set it on fire. (Reuters/Ammar Abdullah) #

FSA fighters drag a body, which according to the FSA, was one of soldiers loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, during an offensive to seize Khanasir, on August 26, 2013. Rebel forces took control of the strategic town in northern Syria, that sits on the government supply route connecting the northern province to the central city of Hama, killing more than 50 pro-government fighters and cutting off government forces’ only supply route out of the city of Aleppo, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. (Reuters/Ammar Abdullah) #

Free Syrian Army fighters sit atop a tank captured from forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad, cheering after seizing Aleppo’s town of Khanasir, on August 26, 2013. (Reuters/Ammar Abdullah) #

A girl helps her brother make his way through the rubble of a damaged house in the eastern Hama countryside, on September 13, 2013. (Reuters/Molhem Barakat) #

A dead body lies on the ground, covered with a blanket, after what activists said was shelling by forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad in the al-Myassar neighborhood of Aleppo, on September 18, 2013. (Reuters/Hamid Khatib) #

Teenage FSA fighters take positions in a house in Salah al-Din neighbourhood in central Aleppo, August 22, 2013. (Reuters/Muzaffar Salman) #

The war-damaged neighborhood of Al-Zibdeh, viewed through a broken window in Aleppo, on September 18, 2013. (Reuters/Aref Hretani) #

A member of the Liwaa Ahrar Suriya brigade, operating under the Free Syrian Army, takes up position in a public park that separates them from forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad in the Sakhour area of Aleppo, on August 24, 2013. (Reuters/Muzaffar Salman) #

FSA fighters launch a rocket from a basketball court, towards Syrian government forces in Deir al-Zor, on August 29, 2013. (Reuters/Khalil Ashawi) #

A photo taken on September 2, 2013 reportedly shows the bodies of rebel fighters lying on the ground following an army ambush in Adra, 36 kilometers northeast of Damascus. “At least 20 rebels, including non-Syrians, were killed in an army ambush” The Syrian Observatory for Human rights said, which relies on a network of activists, doctors and lawyers on the ground. (Sam Skaine/AFP/Getty Images) #

An FSA fighter fires his weapon in the Suleiman Al-Halabi neighborhood of Aleppo, on September 14, 2013. (Reuters/Hamid Khatib) #

A Syrian girl walks on the roof of a house, as opposition fighters prepare themselves for combat in the village of Kafr Nabuda, Idlib province, on September 19, 2013. (AP Photo) #

A handout image released by the Syrian opposition’s Shaam News Network on September 19, 2013 shows Syrian rebels mourning fallen comrades in the central Syrian province of Hama. (Abdullah Al-Hamoui/AFP/Getty Images) #

The bodies of two soldiers loyal to President Bashar Assad, displayed on a back of a truck after they were removed from the battlefield, in the village of Kafr Nabuda, Idlib province, on September 19, 2013. (AP Photo) #

An FSA fighter watches surveillance camera footage inside a house near the Grand Umayyad mosque in Aleppo, on September 3, 2013. (Reuters/Molhem Barakat) #

A Syrian opposition fighter rests in a rebel camp in the Idlib Province countryside, on September 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Narciso Contreras) #

Young Syrian-Kurdish women take part in a training session organized by the Kurdish Women’s Defense Units (YPJ) on August 28, 2013, in the northern Syrian border village of al Qamishli, to prepare them to defend their villages if they come under attack. (Benjamin Hiller/AFP/Getty Images) #

A resident digs tunnels and caves to be used as bomb shelters in Deir al-Zor, on September 14, 2013. (Reuters/Mohamad Alderi) #

A fighter of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Command (PFLP-GC) aims his rifle as he squats on the windowsill of a destroyed building in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, on September 12, 2013, following fighting against rebel forces who control 75 percent of the camp. The PFLP-GC has been allied to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government whose troops have been fighting rebel forces for the past two years. (Anwar Amro/AFP/Getty Images) #

Mustafa Abu Bekir, 23, an FSA fighter who said he lost his legs during a bombing by the Syrian Air Force, is welcomed by a relative as he is carried by a family member just after they entered Turkey from the Turkish Cilvegozu border gate, located opposite the Syrian commercial crossing point of Bab al-Hawa, in Hatay province, on September 9, 2013. (Reuters/Umit Bektas) #

A boy dives into a crater filled with water in Deir al-Zor, on September 4, 2013. The crater was caused by what activists said was shelling by forces loyal to the Syrian government. (Reuters/Khalil Ashawi) #

An FSA fighter fires a weapon as he takes a defensive position in Deir al-Zor, on September 5, 2013. (Reuters/Khalil Ashawi) #

Rebel fighters inspect a stairwell during fighting against Syrian government forces, on September 19, 2013 in the Saif al-Dawla district of Aleppo. (JM Lopez/AFP/Getty Images) #

A Free Syrian Army fighter, reflected in a mirror, points his weapon through a hole, inside an abandoned house in the old city of Aleppo, on September 4, 2013. (Reuters/Muzaffar Salman) #