Monday, April 14, 2014

On gas weapons and the reporting of Anne Barnard and Ben Hubbard

From Ali, the Angry Arab's correspondent in Turkey:  "I have just read your post about Anne Barnard and Ben Hubbard's propaganda festival. And just want to add some more points.

The vital point of the alleged gas attack in Kfar Zeitna is the “chlorine”... Both “rebels” and Syrian government insist on this agent. Why is it so important?

Because the biggest and only chlorine factory in Syria was captured by Al Nusra Front in 2012. The factory is located in eastern Aleppo and Syrian government warned UN after the incident, that militants were able to produce chemical weapon.

Unfortunately, as usual UN ignored this warning and after a few months, Khan al-Assal town in western Aleppo was attacked with this agent. At that time the town was in the hands of Syrian government and alleged attack killed 30 people including 16 Syrian army soldiers. But as usual it was reported as “rebels and Syrian regime exchange allegations” by western media except Alex Thomson from Channel 4 News. Here his satisfactory report:
You may guess that he was blamed with being pro-Assad after this report...
After a couple of days, this time Aryn Baker from Time magazine conducted interview with the owner of the factory, living in Beirut as well as head of Aleppo Chamber Industry. Both of them were confirming Al Nusra Front captured the factory. “Why else would they capture a factory in the middle of nowhere? For the sniper positions?” he (Head of Aleppo Chamber Industury) asks sarcastically while meeting TIME in Beirut, where he is traveling for business. “We warned back then that chemical components were in the hands of terrorists, but no one listened.”

After Khan al-Assal poisonous gas attack, Syrian government called UN many times to send a team to investigate what happened in the town. Britain and France hampered the investigation But at least Syrian government achieved a diplomatic victory and UN sent an investigation team. Just a day after UN decision militants -how surprisingly- from Al Nusra Front attacked and captured the town. Syrian government claimed militants killed 123 people including civilians. (It was even confirmed by opposition sources since Al Nusra militants uploaded a video showing their slaughters )

Syrian government claimed that “the main goal of this carnage which was commited by Jabhat al-Nusra and Ansar al-Khalifa brigade is killing all witnesses on the use of chemical weapons use by the armed terrorist groups”. Russian statement had the same claim.

At least UN team arrived in Damascus on the day of East Ghouta attack and militants in Aleppo declared that “UN team won't allowed in Khan al-Assal, if they don't investigate what has happened in East Ghouta”. But they didn't let them to investigate after the UN investigation in East Ghouta. Syrian government called UN many times to investigate Khan al-Assal in August but these calls were ignored like their warnings about militants were capable of using chlorine as chemical weapon.
Plus, It is also significant to remind Al-Qaeda cells in Iraq used crude chlorine bombs in 2007.

Now think about if the only chlorine factory in Syria was under government control, if chlorine was used in an attack against rebel held town before, if Syrian government attacked the town before the investigation and killed all witnesses, if they prevented UN investigation, I wonder how many times Anner Bernard and Ben Hubbard would have mentioned these evidences in their reporting? "