Town of hama
About what happened in the Syrian city of Hama in 1982, Professor Ignacio Alvarez-Osorio of the Arab and Islamic Studies at the Alicante University of Spain says, “It was a terrible and ruthless murder.”
At that time, fighting was being fought between Syrian government forces and armed rebel groups at that time.
As it is being fought in many parts of the world even today, the civilians suffered a major setback in the fight between the government forces and the rebels.
Speaking of today’s Syria, Hafiz Al-Assad, a special member of the Al-Asad family, is deeply attached to this area. Hafeez’s son Bashar al-Assad is the current President of Syria. After the death of Hafeez in 2000, he took over the throne.
But the world took a long time to know what happened in 1982 in Hama. The killings of 1982 have been more than two decades but still there are discussions about how many people were killed during that period. However, it is agreed that thousands of people were killed.
Alvarez-Osorio says, “According to one estimate, between 10,000 and thirty thousand people would have been killed during that time. But the exact number can not be said clearly even today.”
What happened in 1982?
In 1979, the Islamist faction, the Muslim Brotherhood, supported the revolt against the government’s Ba’ath in many areas of Syria. There were political and religious reasons behind doing so.
Islamic groups believed that religion should be given more importance in politics. In the 1970s, his dominance in many areas of the Middle East increased considerably.
There are databases in the Internet that have pictures of people killed in Hama and their names
Alvarez-Osorio says, “Those people were against the Bath Party, which was secular and had a socialist lean and for this reason there was no place for religion in this party.”
He says, “Most of the Brotherhood was Sunni while Al-Asad was Alavi. Sunni did not consider him a true Muslim.”
Alavi Shiya is associated with Islam, the Twelfare branch (Shia Islam’s largest branch), in which two or more religious beliefs are put together and a new belief is considered. Alavi worship many Gods. The meaning of Twelve is related to observing the words of Twelve i.e. Twelve Imams. These twelve Imams are those leaders or followers, who became the political and religious successors of the Prophet Muhammad.
Islamic rebels started attacks against security forces in Hama. In June 1980, he tried unsuccessfully in the coup against the president.
In response to the racial attacks in Duma, the coalition troops of USA, France and Britain attacked Syria
Middle East Affairs expert Emily Hawthorne at the Stratford Analysis Center in Texas says that after the attack, there was a “deep animosity” between the Muslim Brotherhood and Hafiz Al-Assad.
Security agents and their uncle sent by Hafiz’s brother Rifat al-Assad killed thousands of Islamic prisoners in the Talmudur jail of Palmyra. He did this to avenge the coup attempt.
Rifat Al-Assad was Vice President at that time. For many years, it was believed that al-Assad was responsible for the killing of Hamas in Hamah. Although he has always denied these allegations.
In this picture of 1984, Hafiz Al-Asad with Rifaat al-Assad
What happened in Hama?
The revolt of the Muslim Brotherhood against the Baath party was more favorable in the cities than in the rural areas. Even in Holmes and Hamas, this rebellion spread like a fire.
Emily Hawthorne explains, “As it is today, Sunni Islamic groups were dominated by large areas of Syria, at that time Hama used to be the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood.”
But a group of Muslim Brotherhood named Vengardia Combatant who became separated from him became a powerful force. This also became a headache for the government army.
On February 2, 1982, 6,000 to 12,000 soldiers sent by the government surrounded the city. On the basis of different sources, the number of soldiers is different.
Syrian rebels say Bashar al-Assad and his father Hafiz Al-Assad as their enemies
Alvarez-Osorio explains, “There was no hope of a sudden siege. Many areas were burned down and burned.”
He says, “It seems that the situation is under control but heavy ammunition was used here and air strikes were made and almost the whole city was destroyed by targeting the last hideout of the rebels.”
“Many people were killed here in which the fighters were very few, civilians were more.”
The ending of the Vengardia Combatant’s last destination meant the end of the Islamic revolt against President Hafiz Al-Assad.
Why did not you know about the Hamas killings?
But the world did not know much about this massacre in Hamas.
Emily Hawthorne says, “At that time, Syria was a small country and the international media did not give it much attention and until the bombing ended it became a military area which was completely alienated from the outside world.”
Hothron says, “Although information could not be removed from here, in spite of this, diplomats and Western correspondents in Damascus knew that something was horrible in Hamas.”
“But they did not know what happened.”
Many Muslim citizens of the Muslim Brotherhood and the city leaving Syria reported to the world about the punishment given by the Rifat Al-Sad’s soldiers. But their things were not given much importance.
A few months after the incident, British journalist Robert Fisk and American journalist Thomas L. Friedman visited the area. His stories informed the world about the incident that thousands of people have been killed here.
Friedman and Fisk, who have been awarded the Pulitzer Prize three times, are well known columnists of the New York Times. He wrote that the carriages of the Syrian army went through above the wreckage of the buildings that were bombed so that no buildings were standing there.
He wrote, “It seems as if the whole city has been destroyed by the tornado repeatedly in the same week, but this work was not of nature.”
About one year later, Amnesty International published a report, based on detailed investigations, it was estimated that 10,000 to 25,000 deaths had occurred in Hama.
This incident did not get much international response as the world was different at that time.
There were neither mobile phones nor internet. This was a place where there was no journalist nor any news reached.
Photograph of Hafez al-Assad in a building in Damascus
Hawthorne says that between 2011 and 2012 during the Syrian war, there was such cruelty in Hamas that could not be concealed, thousands of people from all over the world saw it through phone recordings. ”
“Even in 1983, no one took responsibility for the murders, but news related to it came very late.”
Hothron believes that Al-Assad had given orders only for the vandalism that Hamas had done. She says, “She probably wanted to do that.”
“Just as Bashar Al-Assad knows what his army and security agents are doing today, Hafez al-Assad will also know all.”
Hafiz Al-Assad was the Syrian President in the last days of his life, and he never responded in connection with the killings in Hama.