Hmoud al-Hamid al-Ali al-Taha, a shepherd from al-Bouhamad village in the eastern suburbs of Raqqa, was shot dead on March 3, 2023, by gunmen; while his killers’ identity has not yet been confirmed, we believe they are affiliated with pro-regime Iranian militias. Hmoud was shot while he was herding sheep in the Beer Sahl area in the badiya (desert area) around Raqqa, with his killers also abducting his fellow shepherd, Shwakh al-Ali al-Taha, who they took to an undisclosed location, and stealing the 500 sheep the two men had been tending.
The area where the killing took place is under the control of Syrian regime forces. The Syrian Network for Human Rights is still trying to locate eyewitnesses to obtain more information about the incident. We condemn all killings targeting civilians, and call on the controlling parties to uphold their responsibilities for protecting civilians living in areas under their control, and to launch an investigation into this crime and make its details known to the public. Syria will never have true stability without a true political transition process to implement democracy under a fixed timetable.