Special Reports  ::   The Weekly Report - A follow up of the chemical massacre in Gouta, Wednesday's Massacre

- The Weekly Report on Dignity Revolution's Martyrs -

-8-2013 23 / -8-2013 17

A follow up of the chemical massacre in Gouta, Wednesday's Massacre.

Media and medical cadres are the sacrifice for truth and humanitarian

V iolation Documentation Centre in Syria


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(Incident of the Week)

VDC in Syria issued, immediately after the massacre, a report in which it attempted to shed light on the details and the major incidents of the massacre. However, the horribleness and the massiveness of the massacre prompted us to follow up the happenings of the massacre through another field visit to Zamalka city on 25-8-2013 to meet some of media and medical staffs there to know the ins and outs that have not been discussed before.

*A picture of a mass grave in Zamalka showing a young man digging his martyred brother's grave, from Goush Family, on 25-8-2013

Medical Staffs Martyrdom in Zamalka:

Emergency and medical staffs did not remain apart from the massacre that took place recently in Eastern Gouta, where a large number of its people were killed and wounded either with chemical bombardment or with rocket, mortar and MIG shelling, which lasted for several hours after the chemical massacre.

VDC team met the activist Murad Abu Bilal, Information Officer in Zamalka's Coordination, who was one of the few survivors of the media team during the massacre. He told us the following:

"Here - pointing at a semi- destroyed building - was the medical point of Zamalka. on Wednesday 08.21.2013, at quarter to two in the morning, we were helping people here; about 600 people had been moved to this medical point during the first half hour after the bombing, then another missile fell on the same building where the " medical point" was, which led to the death of many patients and the whole medical staff. The place here is called Zamalka Al Balad - Al Mazra'a. There were hundreds of victims; from this exact building we took out 400 martyrs, while the injured were about 12000, that is the whole population of the city. Among the martyrs, there had been 750 unidentified one.

Some paramedics were killed although they had put the masks, because the masks were overfilled with chemical and toxic gases, which led to their immediate death. The main reason for their death was the lack of their pre-knowledge on the use of masks.

Murad Abu Bilal adds: the top of the: "medical point " building was bombed heavily with chemical weapons, and it is this building that we were assisting the infected people to climb to the top of to inhale some fresh air, however, the second rocket that fell on the mentioned building claimed dozens of lives as well. There were more than 60 people on the top of that building, in addition to dozens of people who were standing on the stairs, and others were waiting in front of the medical point downstairs. At this medical point only, the number of martyrs who were taken out was 400. As for the area near Al Tawfeeq Mosque, we could not help people there because we were not able to reach them.

Another member of the medical staffs, who was at Zamalka during the strike, and who preferred to stay anonymous, says:

There had been four active medical points in Zamalka, however, due to the chemical shelling, three of them were shut except for the point at the front. Currently, most of the medical staffs are recovering, others had been martyred and only a few remained .

* To watch the interview, please visit the following link:


Names of some of the medical staff members in" Teir" medical point who were martyred in Zamalka while they were performing their duty helping the injured after the massacre

1 -The paramedic martyr: Samer Saleh Naseef "Sroor", known as Abu Majed.


2 - The paramedic martyr: Ghassan Naseef.


3 - The paramedic martyr: Sa'ed Dandash, died with his wife.


To watch the full interview, please visit the following link:


Media Staffs Martyrdom in Zamalka:

Murad Abu Bilal continues:

The chemical attacks, on the first day of the massacre, claimed the lives of many media activists in Zamalka Coordination because they inhaled the chemical toxic gases. The day following the massacre, on 22-8-2013, the fighter jets, by two air raids, shelled the Coordination office itself. The office has also been shelled by "FozdiKa" that left it heavily damaged. As for the media staff in Zamalka Coordination, they have all been martyred except for me as they went out to shoot and collect information about the chemical attack, but none of them came back. One of them is the martyr Khaled Naddaf, who was killed while he was reporting the massacre.

To watch the full interview, please visit the following link:



*A picture of the media activist Khaled Nasouh Naddaf, a member of the Information Office in Zamalka Coordination.

*A picture taken on 21-8-2013 in "TB Hospital" in Kafarbatna to which hundreds of injured and dozens of martyrs were taken.

Missing people: another tragedy following the massacre

The medical points and media centers continue to receive those who are still looking for their family members, whom were lost during the massacre.

Dr.Majed Abu Ali, 38 years old, a member of the United Medical Office in Eastern Gouta says:fice in Eastern Gouta says;ld, a member of the united medic:

When we were treating the patients at the medical point in Douma, a five-member family got there; the father, the mother, the daughter and the two sons, as confirmed by paramedics, but later we could only find the girl and one of the boys, while the father, the mother and the other son were completely lost, and we could know nothing about them. That was due to the great chaos that accompanied the early hours of bringing the injured from Zamalka and Ein Tarma.

While treating, children were given the priority. Upon the arrival of the injured, we evacuated the ICU except from three extremely serious cases. There have been only 26 beds, while the number of injured hospitalized to the point was 36, that is 10 extra patients who had to sleep on the floor in the intensive care room. Treatment were done according to the seriousness of the case which made many parents lose their children, for it was not possible to distinguish the infected but by the seriousness of the case. We have - just in Douma medical point- received 425 cases, 65 patients of whom have died.

*A picture of an unidentified child martyr, given the number (14), in the medical point in Irbeen, Eastern Gouta, Damascus Suburbs, on 21-8-2013.

Muhammad Abdullah , the media activist in Sakba city says:

Due to the great number of casualties, we had to bury the martyrs collectively in mass graves, while retaining images of the victims, and videos of those whom we could film. 60% of the martyrs could not be identified, while the others have been identified by names. several hours after the bombing, when I went to " Al Ihsan Hospital" in Hamorieh city, I saw 142 bodies, most of which were children rather than women and men, and there were more than 300 injured in one story of the hospital, the bodies of 142 were in the " place of martyrs", a large warehouse belonging to the hospital in which the bodies were put.

While the paramedics at the medical points were helping the injured and the wounded, the regime was bombarding Zamalka , Ein Tarma and Jobar heavily, continuously and brutally. Moreover, 7 martyrs fell in Irbeen city as result of bombardment by the regime forces. Presently, in the Coordination, every day we deal with 20 cases of citizens who have lost their parents, relatives or children, have lost the place to their burial or even lost contact with them completely.

In the same context, Yousef Shams, an injured who helped giving other injured first aid treatments says:

After I was hospitalized to the medical point I started to recover several hours later, then I began searching for my family and relatives in the hospitals and the medical points. Some people have died with their whole families, others we looked for in vain. Till now, we cannot find many of our relatives; we also do not know whether they are still alive or not. When asking those in charge of the burial, some people get to know their relatives through the images, others cannot find any of them, and they do not even distinguish where those relatives have been buried…….

They shared the air, the death…….and the graves

One of the citizens at the mass grave in Zamalka says:

The rapidly increasing number of death cases, and the hundreds of martyrs left the citizens no choice but to dig mass graves, due to the little space and the little number of graves to accommodate all the martyrs. Consequently, they shared graves after they had shared the chemicals. One of those mass graves is Zamalka cemetery in which the locals have dug a wide area and buried several martyrs, among of which were entire families. VDC field monitoring team in Eastern Gouta has interviewed some of the witnesses in this cemetery who talked painfully about entire families, with whom they lived and hoped for freedom. One eyewitness says:

Rashad Shams with his wife and five children

Sheikh Nabeeh Saboun with his wife and children

A martyr of Zughaib Family, 21

A martyr of Naddaf Family, 27

Abu Sa'ed Ma'o with his wife and children

Abu Wa'el Ghazal

My uncle Nabeel with his six children

A martyr of Lahham Family

Several martyrs of Zebak Family

The paramedic Abu Ja'far

And other thousands who are still missing and whose families know nothing about them. I was the mayor of the neighborhood and I used to distribute bread to the locals for I knew them all. And now none of them is still here, and under this dirt, there are many bodies of women and children. I'm willing to dig up these graves one by one……I am responsible about my words…. many of them were women, because all the children and women were asleep, and all who are in this cemetery, the hundreds of them, were documented by names.

To watch the full interview, please visit the following link:


In the same context, the activist Yousef Shams, a FSA member adds:

We have not stopped searching yet, as we can still find bodies of civilians inside houses, as well as many people who are still in their beds unable to move or walk.

To watch the full interview, please visit the following link:


A picture of the mass grave in Zamalka dug to accommodate the bodies of hundreds of martyrs on 25-8-2013

High death toll due to the lack of medications and equipment

The lack of beds was the cause of the death of 22 people at one time

Yousef Shams says describing the first moments following the bombardment:

At two o'clock in the morning, news spread about the fall of another rocket on Zamalka and that-as it's been said- the rocket was loaded with chemicals. Accordingly, we rushed to help the injured there, who were in huge numbers. We did not know what happened exactly, but while we were walking we felt a shortness of breath. Most of the injured were children and women. A whole family consisting of the grandparents, the son and his wife and the grandchildren were found in the bathroom of one of the houses after they had sprayed themselves with water…. maybe they thought it would be a way of survival. We put them in cars to take them to the nearest medical point. We also had to transfer the injured and martyrs in the same cars to take care of them as soon as possible. We gave everybody the same medical treatment as the number of casualties was increasing.

I saw a child on one building's stairs, and inside one of the houses, a mother was holding her baby in front of a fan, they had both lost consciousness. They had all put bottles of vinegar and some onions in front of them as they thought that using them might help them survive…...

*The lack of medical equipment, the unprepared medical points and the not-well-trained medical staffs were major reasons of the death of so many people, otherwise, a lot could have been saved.

Dr.Majed says:

"22 martyrs were killed at once, whose lives could have been saved had there been enough beds and medical equipment at the medical point they were in. The number of those who were in need of intensive care is 98 injured, yet only 36 injured could be in, and when we had finished we discovered that 22 people who had died, could have been rescued.

The medical equipment was available, as we had ordered it from a donor on 06/22/2013, yet, it arrived at ten o'clock in the evening, the day of the massacre; that is after the death of hundreds of the injured.

Dr.Majed Abu Ali adds:

The acute shortage of medical equipment, and the lack of specialized medical staff, in addition to the extreme siege that had been imposed for several months then, were the direct causes of dozens of deaths on that day; especially that the ferocity of the attack was surprising and exceeded all expectations. In the hours following the bombardment, we could witness the influx of thousands of cases, especially from the towns of Zamalka and Ein Tarma to the medical points in Eastern Gouta., one of the activists told me that at one medical point, and due to the lack of medical staff, several cases of patients had been counted with the martyrs, then a few hours later they noticed that a body moved and thus the martyr went back to life.

A field tour in Zamalka: it turned into a ghost city after the massacre

On 25-8-2013


A picture of a child martyr on the first day of the massacre on 21-8-2013

Field Monitoring Team in Eastern Gouta:

General Coordinator: Lawyer. Razan Zaitouna

Majd Al Deek

Tha'er Hijazi

Front Page Picture is taken by the Activist Muhammad Abdullah

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