Thank you all

A year ago today, at the peak of the Syrian governments ferocious bombardment of Baba Amr, we lost two brave and committed journalists, Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik, both murdered by the Syrian regime along with thousands of innocent civilians.


Marie, an old friend and colleague who I met in Syria ten years ago while attempting to enter Iraq illegally, had, for over a quarter of a century, given a voice to the innocent victims of war. I was privileged enough to work with her through the Libyan and Syrian campaigns spending two months in Misrata during the height of the siege there. Together we shared the heartache, humour and tragedy of frontline reporting. Marie’s ethos – to bear witness – was an inspiration to all who knew her and to those who read her passionate reports from the frontlines of some of the worlds most troubled spots.


Marie will be in my heart for as long as I walk this troubled earth. To all her friends, family and admirers of her work, I’m so sorry I never brought her home to you.


Remi was a fellow photographer and in Libya we dodged and ducked through  major battles. He was a rising star whose light was snuffed out many years too soon. His passion and desire to capture the brutality of war cost him his life bringing heartache and pain to his family and friends. Remi we will never forget you. 


Alongside Edith Bouvier, I was injured in the attack that took our friends, and together with William Daniels and Javier Espinosa, we sat for five days in Baba Amr, unsure of our fate eventually escaping with the help of local activists and FSA rebels.


It would be foolhardy to try and attempt to thank everyone individually who has helped me over the last year and to miss a single name would be mortifying. I will just say a simple thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who carried me, treated me and showed the beautiful face of human compassion when I needed it most.


Thank you all.  


With everlasting gratitude,

Paul Conroy


Massacre about to occur in Jobar. Don’t say we had no warning

Just received this from a personal and trusted source

Personal note: This is a similar attack to what took place last year on besieged Baba Amr where Marie and Remi were also killed. During that time, March and April 2012, our village Jobar was stormed on land and people executed. Today, the same scenario of Baba Amr is repeated on Jobar that is held by the Free Syrian Army. So far confirmed personally, my fathers cousin Sa’da Al-Akraa and her disabled daughter Rajaa’ Al-Akraa have been executed. Sa’das elderly husband Abu Abdulhameed Al-Akraa and a couple of other men and women have been abducted, likely to be used as human shields to enter on land. We have lost touch with all family relations inside the village of Jobar, which lies right next to Baba Amr. Kafr Aya is an area housing thousands of displaced civilians from Baba Amr and Jobar and now has been shelled with a new massacre taking place. This is an urgent call for help, but little is expected to be done to save the remaining people besieged now.


Syrian Revolution General Commission report:

Full-scale attack against Jobar, Sultaneyyeh, and Kufrayah village [southern part of Homs] – 20/1/2013
At least 17 martyred up until now – tens wounded by the continuous savage bombardment

The regime’s forces extensively bombarded the districts of Jobar, Sultaneyyeh, and Kufrayah village using MEG23s, rocket launchers, artillery, and mortars. The northern part of Homs is being subjected to the heaviest attacks yet, and these aforementioned 3 areas are the ones being mainly targeted as the regime’s forces attempt to invade the area, noting that Kufrayah and Jobar districts are packed with refugees and civilians. A massacre was committed in these few morning hours as 8 martyrs fell up until now and more than 80 civilians wounded, amongst them 30 in very critical conditions [most of them children and women]. The regime’s forces have also killed a woman named Sa’deh Al Akraa and her retarded daughter Raja’a on the outskirts of Jobar district; her husband, Abu Abdul Hameed Al Akraa, an elderly man, got kidnapped by the regime’s forces along with other men and was taken to an unknown location to the nearby orchards.

A plane similar to a civilian warplane flew on a very low altitude, noting that it has 4 engines and leaves no traces of smoke behind it.

Concerning the situation on ground, the regime’s forces are spread on Al Tahweeleh road in every 4 meters and they set up barriers, attempting to completely suffocate and surround the area in order to invade it. 3 tanks were stationed in front of the barrier near a school there, reinforced by a bus loaded with Shabiha (thugs) and an armoured Shilka (anti-aircraft vehicle). The regime’s forces have also spread in nearby Tal Al Shour area and snipers stationed themselves on the rooftops of high buildings, try to keep an eye on the soldiers on ground in order to protect them from any attack and observe the ground from above. 16 buses fully-loaded with shabiha (thugs) and regime’s forces parked on the junction of Al Nuqairah all the way to Baher Al Nujoom area. 2 pick-up cars carrying rocket launchers and 4 armoured vehicles loaded with arms and Shabiha (thugs) headed to Bab Amr district on Al Jeser road. 3 rocket launchers were also spotted near the water reservoir in Al Hadeedeh village, extensively bombarding the districts of Jobar and Al Sultaneyyeh and the village of Kufrayah.

The medical cadre, headed by Doctor Muhammad Al Muhammad, and the media office in the area, sent urgent SOS calls to the Arab and international community and to all human rights organizations to immediately condemn these attacks being waged by the regime and to pressure it to halt this savagery against innocent civilians. Do note that this attack is a repetition of a similar attack carried out against Bab Amr district in February last year; thus, there are true fears that the regime’s forces will renew these massacres by slaughtering civilians, noting that the area is packed with displaced civilians. The makeshift hospital’s ability to deal with all those severely wounded civilians is nearly impossible since it is small, does not bear with the severity of the injuries due to the lack of needed medical aid/equipment, and do not bear with the huge number of the casualties being rushed in.

SOS call sent by Dr. Muhammad Al Muhammad from the makeshift hospital inside Al Sultaneyyeh district:

“In the name of God we begin,
Tens of rocket and shells currently are hammering the districts of Jobar and Sultaneyyeh as a massive military campaign has been plotted by the regime’s forces, who have been planning for this since weeks whilst the eastern and western worlds and many of our own people have let us down. We are warning the world that massive massacres shall be committed against us in Jobar, Sultaneyyeh, and Kufrayah as there are up to 35,000 civilians and displaced civilians inside.
-Dr Muhammad Al Muhammad.

–Kufrayah village: massacre:

–Jobar: SOS calls from makeshift hospital: (Dr Muhammad sending SOS calls) (Dr Muhammad sending SOS calls)

–Jobar: bombardment: (MEG bombardment)

–Kufrayah: bombardment:

Rose Alhomsi
Independent Syrian activist. Also working with:
The Syrian Revolution General Commission:
Homs Free Congregation – Homs news:
Hand in Hand for Syria – Charity:
Syrian Martyrs Stories:
Skype: rose.freedom.2011