Activists in Dara’a province on Friday said that human remains were found buried under a house in the town of Qarafa. They said that they believe the remains are of detainees who were summarily executed by regime forces back in 2014.
According to the activists, the house belongs to Hussein al-Saleh and was one of three houses which were used as prisons by militants operating under the command of late security chief Rustum Ghazala. It is believed that regime forces blew up the houses while the detainees were inside.
Smart news network quoted local sources as saying that militants of former Head of the Political Security Directorate Rustum Ghazala buried the victims in a mass grave they dug under the house. The sources added that up to 25 bodies of detainees from Qarfa, including women, were buried in the mass grave.
The sources noted that the owner discovered the remains while he was removing the rubble of his bombed house. Once the news of the discovery spread in the town, regime forces sealed off the place and prevented the owner of the house from carrying on with the removal of the rubble.
Despite the so-called settlement agreement which was forced on the people of Dara’a in July 2018, very few people returned to their homes in the town of Qarafa for fear of reprisals by the Assad regime.
Qarfa is the birthplace of Rustum Ghazala who formed paramilitary groups of militants loyal to the regime. These groups, which were later dubbed Rustum’s Shabeeha, were involved in summary executions, arrests, explosions and demolitions of houses of dissidents, their families and relatives. The first summary execution by Rustum’s Shabeeha was carried out against members of the Khatib family in June 2013 and claimed the lives of three men and a girl who were executed inside their house in Qarfa. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)