UN observers today entered the village of Mazraat al-Qubeir to verify reports of mass killings in the village. After hours of coordination with local authorities and communities in the area, the observers were able to access the village at 3:30 local time. Mazraat al-Qubier was empty of its own residents and thus the observers were not able to talk to anyone who witnessed Wednesday's horrific tragedy. Upon the arrival of UN observers villagers from a neighbouring town came and spoke of what they heard and the relatives they lost.
Bmp tracks were visible in the vicinity. Some homes were damaged by rockets from bmps, grenades and a range of caliber weapons. Inside some of the houses, the walls and floors were splatted with blood. Fire was still burning outside houses and there was a strong stench of burnt flesh in the air.
The circumstances surrounding this crime are still unclear. The number and names of those killed are still not confirmed. The observers are still working to ascertain the facts.
The observers were not able to enter Mazraat al-Qubeir yesterday despite multiple attempts throughout the whole day. Their mission was obstructed by three factors: • They are being stopped at Syrian Army checkpoints and in some cases turned back. • Some of our patrols are being stopped by civilians in the area. • We are receiving information from residents of the area that the safety of our observers is at risk if we enter village of Mazraat al-Qubeir.
SHOTLIST: 1. Various shots, UNSMIS military observers approaching Syria Al-Kubeir village 2. Close up of UNISMIS observer driving next to a shelled house 3. Close up walls of shelled house with holes and bullets marks 4. Wide, burning smoke outside house 5. Wide, wide hole from shelled house with UNSMIS military observers on the background 6. Wide , various UNSMIS military observers walking inside Al-Kubeir village 7. Med, Inside house , unidentified men showing mattress spattered with blood and bullet holes next on the walls 8. Close up of blood stained mattress 9. Med, Unidentified man holding sheet with some human flesh remains 10. Med, Blood stained floor 11. Close up pool of blood 13. Med, Unidentified man pointing at picture frame of man inside house , then breaks down crying. 14. Wide, shelled house 15. Med, UNSMIS civilian staff going through rubble 16. (Soundbite )(Arabic) Man: "Young children, infants, my brother,his wife and seven children, the eldest only in 6th grade all dead. I will show you the blood. They burnt his house." 17. Wide, of shelled village 18. Med, close up UN personnel gathering evidence on the ground