Friday, February 28, 2014

Liz Sly has a world exclusive: but if only it was true

While the international media (and even the Syrian Observatory) have reported about the ambush by Syrian regime forces of Syrian rebel forces, Ms. Liz Sly has an exclusive: she claims based on skype that the victims (who in fact were shown on Al-Manar TV) were civilians in their majority:  "About 100 civilians and 75 fighters had set out shortly after midnight, only to run into a wall of fire along one section of their route, said Hadi al-Munajeed, who spoke on the condition that his exact location not be revealed."  This raises questions: 1) If those were mostly civilians, does that mean that the fighters were trying to sneak in using civilians as human shields, which Syrian rebels have done before? 2) why no one except Ms. Sly reported on the presence of civilians among the fighters?  3) Has there ever been a time when her contacts among the Syrian rebels admitted that they lost fighters? Don't they always tell her that the victims were civilians, even if they were brandishing missiles and rifles?  4) Has Ms. Sly ever considered writing for the publications of the Syrian rebels to attain more freedom of reporting?  This is how the Los Angeles Time reported the same story:  "More than 150 Syrian rebel fighters were killed Wednesday in an ambush by pro-government forces outside Damascus, according to official and opposition accounts."  So while the Los Angels Times (and other media) confirmed that this was an ambush of fighters, Ms. Sly was able to find one person to tell her that those were mostly civilians attacking a position inside Syria.