JUNE 2, 2012 – THIS JUST IN: DIRECT CALL FROM SYRIAN ARMY CAPTAIN EXPLAINS EVENTS ON THE GROUND IN AL-HOULEH. YOU DON’T GET THIS NEWS FROM CNN, AL-JAZEERA, THE BBC OR A OUIJA BOARD. THIS IS FOR REAL.
Last night, I finally received a telephone call from Captain Adib Rifqa of the Syrian Army’s Second Army Group, 6th Mechanized/ Armored Division, 42nd Regiment in Homs. Captain Rifqa is married to my wife’s niece who lives in Tartous. He has accompanied several U.N. observers who are part of General Robert Mood’s task force. The first thing he told me was that the observers are “exactly that”, he continued: “they are not investigators or trained for such things”. He also explained that the observers were not very knowledgeable about Syrian society or history, with one exception. He said that a Jordanian retired military officer was impressed by something several eyewitnesses told him, namely, that many of the killers wore long beards and had “shaved heads”. The Jordanian officer noted that and very quickly concluded that “the Alawis he had met did not sport beards and certainly did not shave their heads”. This was a hallmark of Al-Qaeda or “salafists/takfiris”.
The late sociopath, Abu Mus’ab Al-Zarqawi, is typical of takfiri killers and was despised for his very poor judgment in video-taping his “beheadings” as though it was some act of honor. May he burn in Hell.
I asked him about the number killed and he confirmed about “105”. Many of the victims were executed with bullets to the head. However, in contradiction to early U.N. reports from the scene, he says that about “ten men showed signs of torture typical of previous cases near Der’ah where torture was used by terrorists who infiltrated from Jordan”. Torture included slicing off body parts and burning with cigarettes. He admitted that the scene was “Murawwi’“, i.e. “ghastly”.
Captain Rifqa went on to detail the fact that most farmers in the Al-Houleh area were on excellent terms with people from the Wadi Al-Ghab. No incidents of violence were noted in this area. But, it appears that the salafist murderers selected it in the mistaken belief that the Sunnis here would “be very welcoming”. They were not!, and many called the Ministry of the Interior “hotline” to ask for help. When help did arrive, the salafists opened fire on a troop carrier killing about 16 soldiers. The weapon used was an RPG of a type the Syrian army identified as being from Libya. When I asked him how he knew it was from Libya, he responded that the trigger mechanism on this RPG was of the type delivered to the Libyan army in the 1990’s and this was confirmed by “the Russians”. He said that the serial numbers also were from Russian shipments from that era.
When I asked him about shelling of the towns in the Al-Houleh area he confirmed some tank fire and a few “field artillery pieces” being used. However, he cautioned that the number of actual cannons was “small”. Artillery was necessary in order to keep the terrorists awake through the night.
He had no knowledge of the purported events in the East of the country where about 11 bodies were found tied and executed.
When I asked him how he felt about international condemnation, he laughed and attributed it all to the United States. He rightfully remarked that everywhere else in the world, no one seemed to care. “How is it only NATO countries are barking. I don’t see the Chinese doing that.” So true.
The U.S. is now trumpeting some satellite photos it predictably says proves the existence of mass graves in the Al-Houleh area. This is such blatant propaganda. I mean, you have real people on the ground who are capable of confirming this without the usual hysterical diatribes. I will be studying the photos and will communicate my impressions.
Captain Rifqa was returning to his family in Tartous for a few days. He promised to say hello to everyone in Latakia for us and invited me to come to Syria soon. I promised I’d be there shortly.