Tuesday May 21, 2013
Daraya Residents Respond to 'Astonishing' Fisk ReportSalem-News.com
Fisk's huge insinuation – that the Free Syria Army was behind the one of the worst atrocities of the Syrian uprising – was inevitably going to outrage the opposition.
(LONDON Independent) - The Independent’s Robert Fisk raised eyebrows, as he rather often does, with a report yesterday from Syria’s Daraya, site of a “massacre” of over 300 civilians last week, in which he enticingly alleged that local residents “told a story different from the version that has been repeated around the world.” The crucial part was the following:
“Another man said that, although he had not seen the dead in the graveyard, he believed that most were related to the government army and included several off-duty conscripts. One of the dead was a postman – they included him because he was a government worker," the man said. If these stories are true, then the armed men […] were armed insurgents rather than Syrian troops.”
This huge insinuation – that the Free Syria Army was behind the one of the worst atrocities of the Syrian uprising – was inevitably going to outrage the opposition, and sure enough the Daraya Local Coordination Committee has now issued a formal response to Fisk. Their strongest point is that the residents in question were aware that Fisk was embedded with regime forces, and were thus hardly in any position to speak freely. “Anyone with the slightest knowledge of the Syrian regime would know the degree of intimidation this would incur in the hearts and minds of witnesses. The army does not need to spoon-feed the statements to the witnesses as fear is more than enough to make them repeat the narrative propagated by the government about armed militias and radical Islamists.” They also dispute the accuracy of certain other details in his story.
Read their statement in full and judge for yourselves.
I’d like to add that I’m not a member of that rather vulturine circle of journalists who reflexively scoff at every sentence Fisk utters, like a Democrat live-tweeting a GOP convention. On Syria specifically, with Western journalists being exclusively embedded with rebel forces, it’s valuable to have an independent observer on the other side.
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