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The Troubling Story Behind one of those Dead Syrian Child Videos

“Even If He Was Alive, They Would Have Killed Him.”

Note: The following is based on research first assembled at the research wiki A Closer Look on Syria, with citations there.



A Golden Gift for Ghalioun
To an almost total extent, the Western world’s news about Syria’s war is written by one set of participants, with the corporate media constantly citing difficult-to-verify reports from “activists” aligned with the opposition Syrian National Congress (SNC). The case of little Sari Saoud is no exception He was just another of many, many victims of the Syrian conflict. In particular, he’s one of the many snuffed out with inhuman tactics in the ongoing propaganda war to secure a Western “humanitarian” crusade against Damascus.
The story as presented is golden – the snipers shot 9-year-old Sari inside Homs, the rebel city, so it can be presumed he was rebel kid. Further, he was a Christian, or at least his mother is, judging by the crucifix necklace the dazzled activist cameraman couldn’t zoom out from. The first news coverage was swift; Al Jazeera showed call-phone video of the dead boy, naked, embraced by his mother on the floor of a somewhat clinical-looking room. As shown just then on activist Internet sites, the announcer described “a mother crying over her son” who “was killed by gunfire from Syrian security forces early today.”

Al Jazeera reportedly also specified he was “a Christian child” killed by Syria “to incite hatred in [the] Syrian conflict.” This is all to be expected, of course, in the activist mind and the activist-informed mind. An insane dictator can kill Sunni Muslims and Christians alike, with hatred and revenge always serving his main desire to crush all good people and serve Satan.
Besides the famous video cited above, two others at least were made of the boy’s corpse before his mother arrived at the clinical place. As usual, these emphasized the young age of the victim, zooming in on the gore, and demanding intervention. By his gloved hands, the video host seems to be a rebel doctor; he holds up Sari’s left arm so we can see the gaping exit wound in his left armpit.

A contact who can understand spoken Arabic tells me the doctor describes the fatal injury – a shot clear through the chest – and says “look at this boy. It’s a gift from Bashar Al Assad to Burhan Ghalioun.” Ghalioun was the chairman of the opposition SNC, being slapped with dead children for his defiance of the regime. But the video host seemed to feel he was also defying common sense, that despite all the slaps, Ghalioum “still doesn’t want a military intervention.”
The video host urged him to change course and openly call for outright foreign belligerence by the mostly-Christian nations of NATO, to stop the killing of little Christian kids like Sari. (Under pressure like this, Ghalioun finally resigned in May 2012, just days before the pivotal Houla massacre).

My contact says the host gives no details on how the activist crowd had come into possession of Sari’s body; to opposition propagandists, the details don’t matter, aside from who was to blame and what needed done. That vagueness works against their credibility here, when the boy’s mother and the activists’ own videos, working together, tell an opposite story with an opposite moral. She says the well-known local terrorists pulled the trigger on her son, and briefly stole his body from her care so they could make those interventionist videos with it. Her wish to stop the killing was to bring the Syrian army back to Homs, because it wasn’t there on November 26 to stop those who killed her son, among so many others.

A Consistent Record
The attack on the opposition story commenced with ferocity just hours after the Al Jazeera report. Sari’s mother, Georgina Mtanious al-Jammal, led the charge, speaking to Syrian television news at the hospital after her son was declared dead. Some family and other supporters appeared with her, offering fiery defiance of the terrorists responsible, their American supporters and financiers, undying support for the Syrian government, and sharp denunciations of Al Jazeera for having Sari’s blood on their hands. The video, with English subtitles, is really worth a watch for anyone who believes the people of Syria tend to oppose Al-Assad. Sari’s aunt says (at 6:09) “I want to say to the Arab League, to the blind: they should come to Dr. Bashar to repair their eyes. We’re Sari in the millions!”

Now, as his mother, Mrs. Mtanious al-Jammal is presumably a good witness for what happened to Sari. She is one of those Assad loyalists, and it can’t be ruled out that she was pressured to say what she’s said, but… well, here’s what she said, primarily in a later TV interview (worth watching after reading the summary here):
Despite the recent violence, it was calm enough the morning of November 26 that Georgina felt they could stroll to the local store. She held Sari’s hand as he paid himself for a pack of biscuits he’d been wanting badly. About five minutes after leaving the shop, as he ate, heavy shooting broke out. She wrapped herself around Sari to protect him, but it was already too late. A reported 20 people were killed in that assault, including Sari. Looking down a moment later, she saw blood everywhere, thinking she was hit. Only slowly did she realize her son was not responsive, just staring at the sky. She pulled up his shirt and found “his heart was in my hand.” (2:06)

She screamed out for help. A group of 10 or 12 “men and youth” with a pickup truck quickly arrived to answer the call. She says “they took Sari. I told them please take me with him,” but they refused. “They took him and ran away.” She struggled behind the truck trying to climb on, but wasn’t fast enough. “I ran and fell for several minutes,” she said, following the trail of blood for a time after losing sight of them.
A young man was presumably dropped off from the truck, and ran back to meet Georgina. She recalls him saying “I will take you to your son” as he took her hand and started marching. “He walked me to different alleys…. I fell several times. He would yank me up roughly.” After a half hour they reached a house he said her son was in. She protested that this was clearly not a hospital, but he insisted there was one inside. Once inside, she shouted for her son until someone brought his naked body into the clinical-looking room and laid it on the floor. The man explained “Sari is not ok. He needs another hospital.” This, she says, is where she fell on him, as captured so touchingly on activist video.

The bereaved mother recalls feeling a strong sense this whole time that Sari might be alive and might be saved. It’s not likely, of course, but she says they cruelly refused her need to try. “Just let me out of here to save him,” she pleaded, but they said the heavy shooting made it unsafe. Someone else protested “I have not shot the video yet,” but at least three videos had been made by then. After the video we have ends with Georgina starting to really scream, she recalls protesting further. Someone finally agreed to have a truck brought, as the subtitles unclearly relate, to “throw her in a certain place to rescue her son.”

The opposition people soon put mother and son in the back of a pick-up truck and “they started driving us to different places while Sari was bleeding.” Eventually they reached “an alley I don’t know” and parked. “Sari and I were alone I saw people shooting video. … Different thoughts have jumped in my head. … he was shot and might be taken from me (again).”

Another video captures this scene consistently. She said he was still bleeding during the slow drive; both armpits are visibly bandaged, with the heavier gauze on the left drenched in still-flowing blood. She feared they wanted to take Sari from her again; one of the activists is seen apparently being rushed by the driver to do something, but he gestures towards Georgina, perhaps the obstacle to that request.
She and the video agree it was just then a Red Cross ambulance was arriving with its comforting sirens. Only once the competent paramedics were taking Sari from the truck did she let some activists help her out as well. She says they were driven “to the national hospital,” were she finally could speak her version.

Other Clues for the Killers
The case outlined is fairly strong, but there are other clues pointing in different directions. The opposition scoured their “archives” for one video rebuttal, posted by Souria2011Archives (account since deleted) on November 30. The truck scene was called on, published for the first time it seems, with the following, clearly inadequate, explanation:

This video puts the lie to this Regime created forced story as you can clearly see the boy dead in the back of the truck before anyone went anywhere and the mother was in the back of the old pickup truck before the official red crescent ambulance showed up.

Further, they say she shouted out a curse at the 0:55 mark in that video: “kiss immak ya bashar,” an unusual slur against the genitalia of Bashar Assad’s mother (“up your mother’s pussy Bashar”). What sounds a bit like that is at 0:49 in other postings of the video, seconds after she’s left the frame. And thus in 9/11 Truther fashion, the “official story” is a sham, however well-illustrated. She was obviously pressured by the evil regime to give these concocted details. We know because of one odd audio clue that, for all we know, is dubbed in by the rebel archivists.

Four days earlier at the hospital Georgina first identified the killer: “it was bullets from inside the neighborhood,” fired by the same “armed men” that had been killing people since the Syrian army pulled out. In reality, it’s impossible to be certain who it was; false-flag operations and deception are real tools in warfare, possibly for both sides. One possibility is that a government loyalist infiltrator within the FSA did it to embarrass them. Either way, it seems almost certain that the shooting came from within the body of opposition activists clustered in that part of Homs that morning,
There’s little way really to know just what location or even direction the fire came from, unless Georgina could accurately recall where they were standing and what way they were facing when the first shot was fired. Sari’s fatal injury would be a track between his sides/armpits, where a bullet entered his right side and exited on the left. (My translator says this video-based analysis matches that of the opposition “doctor” in the videos.)

A bullet traveling clear through Sari’s body suggests it had lost very little momentum, and was presumably fired from nearby. And to be moving all but horizontally through the little guy, armpit to armpit, means a very low-level sniper – kneeling in an alleyway, at a low fist-floor window, a street-level basement window, or perhaps even laying beneath a parked truck. He couldn’t have been far away at all, unless the shooting happened across a big plaza. Kids do love to eat cookies at plazas.
In the end it seems Sari’s mother has the far more credible story, relating actual details that makes sense and fit the video record. The opposition version sounds more like a few things said at different times, each to create the right impression, but not fitting into a logical whole.

Lessons Learned
Whoever actually did it – the activists who were present and organized nearby, an infiltrator among them, or a whole loyalist unit that snuck back in – it was the opposition youths who yanked the body away to make morbid and dishonest videos. This is the disturbing truth we can safely walk away from this with. Mrs. Mtanious al-Jammal had that feeling Sari might be alive, and thus a sneaking suspicion these activists denied him care to make sure he died. “They wanted the news to be like this. Even if he was alive, they would have killed him to prove the story they’ve broadcast.”

There are lessons here for opposition activists in Syria and other would-be humanitarian war zones. Leaving the kid alive to talk was not a problem here. But tactically speaking, they shouldn’t have let his mother live to explain their sick little game. She could have been shot dead as soon as they had her in the safe-house, but it seems these few guys were softer than their ally who pulled the trigger on Sari.
With no known interviews from her after December, it could be someone has corrected this problem in the months since.

This is not the first instance, nor by far the last, of its kind. Time and again in Syria, corpses from a murky atrocity – often of children – wind up in rebel hands to have videos like this made. Similar things have been documented in Libya last year.
This is looking more and more like a shameful tradition among the West’s cherished anti-government activists – a responsibility-to-shock corollary of the responsibility-to-protect doctrine. Those who enshrined that principle at the UN should have been able to predict this phenomenon. The “R2P” (responsibility-to-panic) idea has tied regime-change warfare to activist-molded perceptions of shocking regime crimes. The activists will carry these crimes out themselves if they have to. And they do often have to, to get the huge number they seem to feel they need.

By Adam Larson – July 14, 201 – Syrianews

Reloaded by SyrianFreePress.net Network

at https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2012/07/18/the-troubling-story-behind-one-of-those-dead-syrian-child-videos/