Assad soldiers criticise regime for negligence in army 'massacre'

Assad soldiers criticise regime for negligence in army 'massacre'
Video of attack against Assad soldiers prompts online backlash from within ranks of Damascus troops.
2 min read
10 February, 2016
Hundreds of Syrian army soldiers have been killed on the outskirts of al-Ghouta, east of the capital Damascus, The New Arab has learned.

And Assad loyalists have been sternly criticising the regime after a video emerged online, which appears to be filmed by Jaish al-Islam fighters as they mow down as many as 250 soldiers in a prolonged hail of gunfire.

The New Arab has decided not to re-publish the video.

The regime has now come under fire for its alleged negligence towards the soldiers who survivors say were exposed to militant groups in an open battlefield.

The militant group's documented evidence of the attack was met with angry opinions from pro-regime voices

Surviving soldiers who fled the attack spoke of their ordeal on social media platforms where they revealed details of the attack and expressed anger. The soldiers say they supposedly spent "a long period of time in a nearby town waiting for army reinforcements and medical attention", without much success.

The ambush took place when "Assad's militia progressed towards points controlled by Mujahideen [fighters] in the Eastern Ghouta province of Damascus," according to Jaish al-Islam.

The militant group's documented evidence of the attack was met with angry opinions from pro-regime voices who watched as dozens of Assad's forces were left exposed and caught in heavy gunfire.

Initial report: Jaish al-Islam 'kills dozens of regime fighters'

An Arabic Facebook group dedicated to fallen Syrian soldiers, al-Mafqudeen, published a subsequent video depicting the injured soldiers being treated for wounds in the nearby town.

The page is run by supporters of the regime who allegedly lost relatives in the battle of al-Tabqa air base in August 2014.

Page administrators justified the publication of the video, stating the "details of the massacre are the right of our brothers and sisters in Tal al-Sawan".

The soldiers were allegedly "ordered to proceed 1-2km towards the gunmen by Major General Ali Abbas" but argued a place of such danger should be preceded by artillery.

"But the Major threatened to take the soldiers to Military court and reminded them they are the fifth column and that his request was an official order," wrote the page admin.

The Facebookers went on to disclose information suggesting Major Ali Abbas confirmed the buildings in the area were "friendly" - despite, it turned out, being full of Jaish al-Islam fighters.

It continues to say a group of soldiers followed the orders and proceeded towards the buildings.

"Two were martyred and 17 were injured. They warned him against continuing the operation but he declined and demanded they proceed."

The page called for those responsible to be held accountable for the "poor management and negligence shown".