Al-Qubeir massacre

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Al-Qubeir massacre
Part of the Syrian civil war
Location Al-Qubeir, Hama, Syria
Coordinates 35°10′37″N 36°30′54″E / 35.17694°N 36.51500°E / 35.17694; 36.51500Coordinates: 35°10′37″N 36°30′54″E / 35.17694°N 36.51500°E / 35.17694; 36.51500
Date 6 June 2012 (2012-06-06)
Attack type
Deaths 55–78
Perpetrators Shabiha (rebel claim)
Syrian opposition (government claim)

Sieges and crackdowns:

Armed clashes:

Cease fire and resumed fighting:

Rebel and Army offensives:

International incidents:

The Al-Qubeir massacre (Arabic: مجزرة القبير‎), also known as the Hama massacre, occurred in the small village of Al-Qubeir near Hama, Syria, on 6 June 2012 during the country's ongoing civil conflict. Al-Qubeir is described as a Sunni farming settlement surrounded by Alawite villages in the central province of Hama. According to preliminary evidence, troops had surrounded the village which was followed by pro-government Shabiha militia entering the village and killing civilians with "barbarity," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the UN Security Council.

Activists, and witnesses, stated that scores of civilians, including children, had been killed by Shabiha militia and security forces, while the Syrian government said that nine people had been killed by "terrorists". It was further claimed by the Syrian National Council that 35 of the people killed were from the same Al Yatim family and more than half of them women and children.


Activists reported that the village was initially shelled by the security forces, before the Shabiha moved in to kill by shooting at close range and by stabbing. A government statement, reported by Syrian state TV, denied responsibility: "What a few media have reported on what happened in Al-Qubeir, in the Hama region, is completely false." State TV had previously stated that the security forces were engaged in an assault on an "armed terrorist stronghold" in the village.

At the time that the reports were issued, the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations were unable to verify the reports – monitors stated they would be heading to the area to investigate "as soon as dawn breaks". Later, the head of the UN observer mission said that Syrian government soldiers prevented the observers from entering the village. Ban Ki Moon told the UN General Assembly that observers attempting to reach the site of the massacre were shot at with light arms.

The UN monitors eventually reached the village on 8 June 2012. A BBC journalist, Paul Danahar, travelling with the UN spoke of the stench of burnt flesh and blood splattered buildings. The UN observers did not find bodies. Local people told them that after Alawite militia had carried out the massacre others had arrived and taken the bodies away.

The Syrian Government appointed its own commission to investigate, but the commission head, Talal Houshan, defected, accusing the government and Shabiha of killing women and children in a video posted on YouTube.