Syrian regime forces murder elderly woman in Khan Sheikhoun amid looting spree

Syrian regime forces murder elderly woman in Khan Sheikhoun amid looting spree
Syrian regime forces executed an elderly woman in the recently captured town of Khan Sheikhoun after she refused to leave her house while fighters were engaged in a looting spree.
2 min read
04 September, 2019
Maryam al-Shalat was executed after refusing to leave her home [Twitter]
Syrian regime forces murdered an elderly Syrian woman in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in southern Idlib province on Sunday, according to opposition media.

Syrian activists told website Zaman al-Wasl that Maryam al-Shalat was summarily executed by regime forces after she refused to leave her house in Khan Sheikhoun, which was captured by the Syrian regime on 21 August.

A photograph of Maryam was shared widely on social media by Syrian activists, an elderly woman whose age was not revealed.

Regime forces have engaged in an assault on Idlib province since April, which has killed 1,248 people according to Syrian first responders, and displaced at least 450,000 more.

Videos shared on Twitter from Khan Sheikhoun also showed Syrian regime soldiers boasting about looting the town and gathering stolen items of residents in the main square. Most residents fled the regime advance on the town.

Syrian activists said that Maryam had spent her whole life in Khan Sheikhoun and had refused to leave her house - which she had spent a lifetime building and furnishing - throughout months of intense regime and Russian bombing.

She appears to have resisted the efforts of regime soldiers to loot her house. Looting the homes of civilians after towns are captured is a common practice by regime soldiers.

Khan Sheikhoun was the site of a regime chemical weapons attack in April 2017 which killed more than 80 people. 

Bouthaina Shaaban, a senior adviser to Bashar al-Assad who was previously a cabinet minister, visited the town shortly after it was captured by regime forces.

More than 500,000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict, mostly as a result of regime bombardment of civilian areas.