Saturday, October 01, 2016

The farce which is called the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: the source of much of Western reporting on Syria

To my mind, the Syrian Observatory has been discredited from early on, not only due to its Qatari regime (and other) funding, but due to its comical reporting on Syrian casualties and developments. I remember in one case, they changed the estimate of the population of a town three times in a few days.  But yesterday, the Observatory, as it is called, released its estimate of Syrian casualties of Russian bombing of Syria after one year.  Now, I am fiercely opposed to Russian and US bombing of Syria and believe that Russian and US bombs kill innocent people--and unlike Syrian "revolutionaries" I believe that what is needed is less and less US bombing, and not more and more of it), but this struck me.  The Observatory claimed that Russian bombing in one year killed 9364 people, including 3804 civilians--906 of them were children.   Now how on earth can the Observatory (based in London with "correspondents on the ground" we are constantly reassured in Western media) reach this specificity in estimate of casualties? What is the methodology, especially given the multiparty interventions in Syria? How can the Observatory know for sure whether the person was killed by Russian bomb, or Syrian regime bomb, or US bomb, or French bomb, or Danish bomb? Curiously, the Observatory also claims that Russia killed some 2746 fighters of ISIS.  Does that not make Russia the single most effective killer of ISIS then, according to the numbers of Syrian Observatory?  Someone helps me please.

PS I would not be surprised if the Syrian Observatory releases its estimate of tables and chairs damaged by Russian bombs.