Desperate Situation in Syria Reports of People Eating Cats and Dogs

Desperate Situation in Syria Reports of People Eating Cats & Dogs | Intelligence Bulletin

Information Date: October 15, 2013

Event Date: Ongoing

Information Item: The siege forces Syrians in Damascus to eat cats, dogs and donkeys

Information Platform: Varied

Source: Arab news and social media platforms

Source Reliability: Known mostly as reliable

Spring: Islamic Spiritual leaders in Damascus

Spring Reliability: Evaluated as reliable

Information Validity: Unclear

Relevant Information:

Accumulating reports indicate that an ongoing siege imposed by Assad’s military on different parts of Damascus, the capitol of Syria, is creating a severe humanitarian crisis. According to different sources, due to the lack of basic commodities and food, Islamic clergy have issued a religious ordinance (Fatwah in Arabic) permitting the eating of cats, dogs and monkeys. According to one source, such an ordinance was formally issued by an Islamic preacher in a Palestinian mosque located in Al-Yarmuk, a Palestinian refugee camp located in Damascus.

In this video, published on the 14th of October, a group of Islamic clergy addresses the world calling it to interfere and stop the humanitarian crisis. The speaker on the video also says: “Haven’t you heard of the permission given to people in the mosques to eat cats, dogs and other animals killed in the war? Are you waiting until people will eat the dead?”

The Assessment:

Reports regarding the humanitarian crisis on the outskirts of Damascus are evaluated as accurate. Thus far, no decisive evidence regarding the issuing of an alleged Islamic religious ordinance permitting the eating of animals has been provided. However, given the growing humanitarian crisis it is very possible that such a phenomenon does take place on the ground. A video also published on 0ctober 15th under the name of Al-Yarmuk Domestic Council presents Palestinians from the camp allegedly protesting against the Islamic ordinance allowing the eating of cats and dogs. This video has to be viewed carefully for a couple of reasons: listening to the slogans chanted by the crowd I couldn’t hear an outcry connected to that issue; written slogans carried by some protesters say nothing about that issue; I couldn’t find the video on the Al-Yarmuk Domestic Council Facebook page: and finally, looking at the Facebook page the headline of the page is “Al-Yarmuk – area destroyed, under siege” and most of the comments and information appearing on the page refer to the ongoing attacks of Assad and Hezbollah militants on the camp including aerial raids, rockets and artillery. It is clearly at present a situation of a severe humanitarian crisis in the camp.”

End of Intelligence Bulletin


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Avi Melamed
Avi Melamed
Avi Melamed is an expert on current affairs in the Arab & Muslim World and their impact on Israel & the Middle East. A former Israeli Intelligence Official & Senior Official on Arab Affairs, Fluent in Arabic, English, and Hebrew, he has held high-risk Government, Senior Advisory, Intelligence & Counter-Terrorist intelligence positions in Arab cities & communities - often in very sensitive times - on behalf of Israeli Government agencies. He is the Founder & CEO of Inside the Middle East | Intelligence Perspectives - an apolitical non-partisan curriculum using intelligence methodology to examine the Middle East. As an Author, Educator, Expert, and Strategic Intelligence Analyst, Avi provides Intelligence Analysis, Briefings, and Geopolitical Tours to diplomats, Israeli and foreign policymakers, global media outlets, and a wide variety of international businesses, organizations, and private clients on a range of Israel and Middle East Affairs.

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