The first massacre in Maan
The scene wasn’t strange for Firas, he’s seen worse. His memory goes back to the day his mother and sisters were slaughtered a year ago. “We got used to our blood being spilled by the infidels after the shouts of ‘Allah Akbar’. What happened recently is the second attack, drowned by the silence of those who act as the protectors of justice and human rights.”
He sighs and continues, “The first time the Takfiris attacked was on 24/12/2012. There was a wedding and they took the chance to enter some vacant homes. They attacked three days later killing tens of civilians amid media silence.”
Firas had lost his mother, four of his siblings and his cousin. They were slaughtered. He couldn’t receive the bodies for burial until a week later, by then the bodies were starting to decompose.
Firas describes the first massacre in anger, as if it happened right in front of him. “My mother and sisters had hidden in the basement of our home, the terrorists entered. They cut the hands of my cousin and slaughtered my sisters and mother.”
Firas’ anger turns to sadness, and he bows his head trying to hide his tears trying to regain his composure. “A week later we received the bodies, and we buried them in the town of Salhab. My mother was a simple old woman, her deepest joy was to bake for the whole village at dawn.”
Firas, a man who didn’t reach thirty was injured in the second massacre, the one that took place on 9/2/2014 now he’s in a wheelchair.
The second massacre
Maan is surrounded by several towns with a big number of rebels, mostly extremists. Maan has only one road to connect it to the outer world. Tens lost their lives on this road, either by bombings or by snipers, mostly they were women leaving to shop for their families. Residents of the eastern neighborhood finally volunteered to shop for the others in the town. As the eastern area was populated by Sunnis, not as much targeted as the others.
Mohamad tells us of the second massacre as he finishes serving tea, being a good host he wouldn’t neglect such costumes even at a time like this.
First we heard ‘Allah Akbar’, they kept shouting it for an hour while we held hunting rifles, others held military ones. We took refuge in our homes. The shouting was accompanied with shelling. Our home was opposite to the eastern area, so we were hit with mortar shells, parts of the house collapsed and rubble came flying towards us.
Mohamad describes the attack and the following massacre.
Some of the attackers wore a costume similar to the Afghanis’, their dialect was not similar to the local one. They entered the house of my uncle, he was 80 years old, they climbed to the roof and used it to launch shells on the town.
My cousin hid his children & climbed the roof with a rifle, they killed him with his wife. They slaughtered them in front of their two children who later faced the same fate.
Mohamad denies the participation of the village residents in battles with the Syrian Arab Army. “We always secured our village” he says “I’ll return to my village, I may reconcile & forgive for my country… But by God I’ll buy a grenade.” he finishes.
The Syrian authorities had recorded 42 victims, most of them old, but the missings list extends to 80 civilian.