Meet Mihral Ucal: Apparent Instigator of Banias Massacre

Report here on Syria Comment.

According to Syria Comment’s Joshua Landis, Mihral Ucal (aka Ali Kyali) is an originally Turkish Alawite who moved to Syria in the early ’80s where he became a prominent figure in Assad circles. For example, he is supposed to have introduced PKK leader Abdallah Ocalan to the Syrian regime, and the Turks are also suspecting him of responsibility for the recent Reyhanli bombing (though perhaps this characterization of Ucal as all-around Turkish boogeyman should give us some pause). At any rate, Ucal is now thought to be a prominent leader of the Alawite Shabiha, and in the above video he can be seen essentially urging the massacre which occurred in the northern coastal town of Banias.

Here’s the chilling transcript Landis gives of the video:

“Banias is the only route for these traitors to the sea,” he says in this video. “Jableh, due to the national forces surrounding it, cannot become a pathway or a coastal headquarters for the enemy. But Banias could, and the whole game in Banias is playing out based on this calculation.”

It is necessary, as soon as possible, to surround Banias, and I mean (someone in audience says “cleanse [tathir] sir”)…surround Banias and start the cleansing….

…The title of the Syrian Resistance is the “cleansing and liberation”, these two. We do not have any political or governing ambitions, as long as the state exists and the governing power exists. We don’t interfere in criminal or civilian matters…..

…The aim of the Syrian Resistance is the liberation of the country (watan) and if we’re needed within this week, we will join the battles in Banias and perform our patriotic duty. Everyone will see how the Syrian Resistance fights.

We fought from Amani, Kassab to Nabii Al Mir…Point 45, Qastal Al Maath, Al Mazraa. Mafraq Al Saraya, Al Mafrqah Al Bassit, Al Arjaa, Al Maydan, Bayt Fares, Al Rawda, Markaz Al Hataab, Borj Al Shaqra, Bayt Hnayn and I was ambushed in Bayt Hnayn along with my comrades and I’m still injured from that ambush. [These villages are situated to the north of Latakia]

Within this line (the cities he just listed), this is the front-line that’s always on fire. The Syrian resistance fought in all these places and collected realistic information from the enemy on the ground. It taught them a lesson. The resistance gave 27 martyrs.

Our plan has always been attack, attack, attack. Those who ask us “OK, so you entered the village, who’s going to hold it”, it doesn’t matter, our job is to cleanse and liberate and its up to the army to hold the ground, when the time comes when the army can’t hold the ground, then it will be a different story, and the Syrian Resistance will have to take additional measures….

You need to pay attention to the story of Banias, the only route from these traitors to the sea. It should be surrounded, liberated and cleansed as soon as possible, and al salam alikum.”


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