In confessions broadcast by the Syrian TV on Friday, Hilal said he participated in attacking a public transport minibus and shooting all its passengers dead on al-Mashrafeh road and hijacking another minibus in Homs transporting 13 women, three of which were murdered and the rest were raped.
Hilal, born in 1987 in Deir Baalbeh in Homs governorate, said that he was approached by a neighbor named Waseem Hamid Abu el-Rous and suggested forming an armed group and he agreed, saying that they consisted of seven people, two of which were armed with pump-action shotguns and the rest using AK-47 rifles.
He said that they operated with another group of four, and that they would go out at night and attack law enforcement forces checkpoints using hit-and-run tactics.
“Waseem Abu el-Rous called us and told us to meet… we headed to al-Mashrafeh road and stopped near a building where a minibus was due to pass carrying passengers we intended to shoot… we spread around the fields on the sides of the road… when the minibus arrived, we shot the driver dead and the minibus stopped. Then we forced the passengers off the minibus, stole their money, ID cards and cell-phones, then took them among the trees, shot them and escaped.”
He went on to say that later, Waseem called for a meeting again and so they gathered and headed north of Deir Baalbeh to al-Amour neighborhood where they waited in a park until Waseem arrived with one of their members, a man known as Abu Daar, in a minibus containing 13 women, noting that the driver was lying dead inside the minibus.
“We took the minibus and the girls to Abu Daar’s farm… when we were forcing them off the minibus, three girls started defending themselves, so I hit one of them on the head with the butt of the rifle, knocking her out and killing her, while Waseem and Abu Daar shot the other two.”
After placing the three women’s bodies with the driver’s, four of the group’s members disposed of the minibus and the bodies inside it. The rest of the group, including Hilal, stayed at the farm and took turns raping the surviving women.
He also said that members of the group brought him the body of Ihsan Hemsi whom they had tortured and killed, asking Hilal to dispose of the body. He and one of his associates dumped the body in a dumpster near a mosque in their neighborhood.
“Out group got weapons from a man named Jassem Mohammad Zaanoufeh… the funds came from a man called Talal Abu Abdo from Talbiseh,” he concluded.