Syria – Conflicting Reports, Dubious Witnesses Challenge Convoy Attack Case

from Moon of Alabama

The Washington Post tries an “explainer” piece to reconstruct the recent attack on an aid convoy in Urum al-Kubra, west of Aleppo. The sources are anonymous U.S. officials and members of the U.S./UK paid agitprop organization “White Helmets”. I am curious about one of those “witnesses”:

That Monday was a warm fall evening. Ammar al-Selmo, a local rescue worker, was making tea in a building across the street. Stepping onto a balcony just after 7 p.m., when it was already past dusk, he said he listened to a helicopter swoop in and drop two barrel bombs on the convoy.

Haven’t we heard that name before? Ammar al-Selmo?

There are planes in the sky now,” Ammar al Selmo, the head of the Civil Defence rescue service in the opposition-held east, told Reuters from Aleppo on Saturday morning.

Another WaPo piece also says that Selmo is not just a local tea drinking rescue worker in Urum al-Kubra:
By nightfall, more than 100 bombs had landed, and more than 80 people were dead, said Ammar al-Selmo, head of the Aleppo branch of the White Helmets civil defense group.
So Anmar al-Selmo is some average local dude in Urum al-Kubra, outside of Aleppo city. He is, at the time, head of al-Qaeda’s propaganda shop within the besieged east-Aleppo. Let me guess: The guy sits somewhere in Turkey and is talking to “reporters” via some untraceable Internet application. They have no idea where he really is, nor any interest to find out.
There are more issues with the “explainer” piece. It says that the convoy was loading in Urum al-Kubra to then go into Aleppo city:

On a clear afternoon last Monday a line of humanitarian aid trucks eased to a stop in front of a cluster of warehouses packed with aid supplies 15 miles outside the Syrian city of Aleppo.
Omar Barakat, director of the local Red Crescent branch, supervised the loading of the 31-vehicle convoy, which was scheduled to drive into the battered city that evening.

But the International Committee of the Red Cross said the opposite:

Around twenty civilians and one SARC staff member were killed, as they were unloading trucks carrying vital humanitarian aid.

Other sources confirm this:

U.N. officials said the U.N. and Red Crescent convoy was delivering assistance for 78,000 people in the town of Uram al-Kubra, west of Aleppo city.

The convoy was unloading goods for Uram al-Kubra say the Red Cross and the UN. But it was loading goods for east-Aleppo says WaPo? Hmm…
Curious is also that the U.S. now claims that both, Russian and Syrian government forces, conducted a strike on the convoy:

Eyewitness accounts, along with social media postings and video, including footage of the wreckage, added to assessments by U.S. defense officials, show that the convoy was obliterated by airstrikes, first by helicopters dropping barrels loaded with explosives and shrapnel — a long-standing tactic of the Syrian government — and then by Russian bombers.

Earlier U.S. Secretary of State Kerry claimed that Syrian government forces were “evidently” responsible for the attack. Later U.S. intelligence claimed “the Russians did it”:

Mr. Kerry initially said Syrian forces were “evidently” responsible for the convoy attack, which killed at least 12 people. The U.S. officials said new intelligence indicates that Russian forces, rather than the Syrians, conducted the strike.

And now it is both? And this conclusion is based on what? “Eyewitness accounts” from one Ammar al-Selmo who sits who-knows-where?
The “explainer piece also says that the Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov demands an investigation of the incident. But it was UN aid chief Stephen O’Brien who first called for an independent investigation:

I call for an immediate, impartial and independent investigation into this deadly incident. The perpetrators should know that they will one day be held accountable for violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.

There is no response yet by the U.S. to this UN demand. Might that be because the U.S. and its media can’t get the facts straight?


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Sep 29, 2016 10:18 AM

The Washington Post is openly, shamelessly a water carrying mouthpiece for the US government’s version of events in Syria, Ukraine, Iraq, etc. There is not even the slightest effort to appear objective, or to follow any minimal standards of factual reporting being done by them. Anybody reading that paper who doesn’t realize this plainly evident fact needs their head examined.

Sep 27, 2016 9:37 PM

Articles of this nature are important, thank you for publishing. It seems all that matters to those manipulating events is mass perception. We are drenched in lies from all sides, so those who attempt objectivity deserve our thanks.

Sep 27, 2016 6:18 PM

Reblogged this on Worldtruth.

Sep 27, 2016 6:16 PM

First, an article in a similar vein (the title explains it all) by Alexander Mercouris on TheDuran:Making up the news: How the Western media misreported the Syrian convoy attack. I’m not familiar with TheDuran but the article is informative and well-written like the ones produced here by b.
Second, the blessing/curse of being ex-military is sounding like a nut to most of you when I bring up these minute details that I think are terribly significant. Given that, take this for what it’s worth:
There are several variations of the Hellfire missile fired from U.S. drones like the Predator. As evidenced by vidoes of Hellfire strikes beginning with the Iraqi war, one very popular flavor seems to be the AGM-114N variant. It contains a pretty energetic PBX-112 explosive charge surrounded by a layer of metal particles. Fine-mesh fluorinated aluminum in case you were curious. Without getting into the physics of it all, I’ll just say that this design came out of research to produce a ‘better’ fuel-air explosive.
The Metal-Augmented Charge (MAC) Hellfire AGM-114N belongs to the thermobaric category of weapons – ones designed to kill/destroy by an extended blast overpressure wave rather than conventional explosive’s overpressure spike. A secondary effect of a MAC/thermobaric weapon’s hotter, longer-duration blast wave is that it’s more likely to set things on fire than a conventional explosive. Not as much as a incendiary-purpose weapon, but more so than conventional explosives.
Isn’t killing people efficiently by more clever designs fascinating? It is to Lockheed-Martin shareholders, but I digress. At any rate, plenty of info out there on the AGM-114N and theromobarics if you’re interested.
Now, the MAC-enhanced blast of the U.S. Hellfire missiles produces an interesting visual effect at night. After the decay of an intensely-bright and well-consolidated blast flash, you can see what look like little sparkles at the edge of the receding explosion. The sparkles are residue of the burnt fluorinated aluminum that undergo a secondary burning, of sorts. It’s very distinctive once you notice it. The Russians have thermobaric bombs as well, but they are of a different design and the blast usually looks different – non-existent sparkles because of a micronized metal powder, or long-duration sparkles on very large charges for whatever reason.
So (sorry, TL:DR already) I notice that many of the MSM-replays of the supposed rebel convoy attack video was edited in a particular way to mask what is plainly (to me) a MAC blast. The BBC reports are a good example. Their version is enlarged, shaky and blurry consistent with the poor head-chopper production standards. But it is an edited version of the much clearer original video. ABC must have produced their report before the censorship memo went out. If you look at only the first second of this ABC video and try to pause it during the blast, you can see a few frames with the visual effect I’m talking about.
So what am I yammering about that has any relevance here? This: If this video was shown to me outside the context of the convoy attack, I would guess it was a Hellfire strike somewhere.Now we hear from Russia that a Predator drone (typically Hellfire-armed) was loitering around the ‘bombed convoy’ area immediately before and after the attack. An attack that produced no crater (typical of the air-blast of a thermobaric Hellfire) and numerous fires (also more likely from a thermobaric Hellfire). Then I see the curiously-edited video on most MSM seemingly intended to obscure the signature blast of a thermobaric Hellfire. [adjusts tin-foil hat] I think you know where I’m going here.
Just to set the stage for the next chapter of lies, CENTCOM or the U.S. DoD will undoubtedly deny that a U.S. drone attacked the convoy (not that any journalist will bother asking). AS we saw in the SAA/Deir EzZor attack though, it’s not necessarily a U.S. aircraft. The U.S. can deny responsibility if needed because 1) any of a number of ‘coalition partners’ have Hellfire-armed Predators violating Syrian airspace every day, and 2) all Predators of coalition partners are not necessarily under the command of their military or the CJTF-OIR coalition. The CIA, for instance, has plenty of armed drones in the Middle East. Not that these potential loopholes will be needed or used – the U.S. isn’t bashful about flinging outright lies when convenient and difficult to disprove.
This isn’t offered as any kind of proof the U.S. did it – it’s just reasonable speculation. I’m sure our inquisitive and unbiased investigative journalists in the press will get to the bottom of this in no time.
Via: http://www.moonofalabama.org/2016/09/syria-the-aid-convoy-attack-points-to-further-escalation-.html

Sep 27, 2016 3:47 PM

Its a bit early, but I have my nominations for the Oscars, 2017:
Best Actress (in a leading role) – Samantha Power for her role in UN: The Emergency Meeting
Best Actor – Boris Johnson in We Don’t Have a Clue (live on the Andrew Marr show)
Best Actor (in a supporting role) – Mathew Rycroft/ François Delattre in The (staged) Walkout (Joint nomination)
Best Adapted Screenplay – Powers speech on Sunday
Best Documentary Feature – the BBC for Aleppo: Life Under Siege
Best Art Direction – the Aleppo Media Centre for The Boy in the Orange Seat
Best Film Editing – anything by the Aleppo Media Centre/ White Helmets
Best Original Story – anything from the Syrian observatory of human rights

Sep 27, 2016 12:47 PM

This is an interesting piece about Kosovo published in 2008 outlining the use of “hybrid warfare” by NATO back in the 1990s. Weaponisation of refugees, false flags, media connivance, “human rights abuses”, terrorist boots on the ground – it’s all there and all the easier to see in hindsight. http://www.wnd.com/2008/01/45527/
There is also presumably a cell at the Hague reserved for President Assad, where he is destined to suffer a cardiac arrest should the warmongers ever succeed with their plot.

Sep 27, 2016 7:39 AM

I have no idea the real story behind the convoy destruction, I doubt we will ever have a definitive answer. But I do know one thing. That widely pictured lorry was not hit with high explosives, the structure is far too intact. It does appear to have been hit head on by something, but it could not have been more than an RPG at most.
It was the first thing that struck me when I saw the image, no bomb craters, no high explosive damage at all in fact. This does not fit with an hour of bombing from Russian aircraft at all.

Sep 27, 2016 6:36 AM

Thierry Meyssan writes on this issue (link above). Meyssan called 9/11 an inside job immediately after the event. He knows politics and has good sources:
Extract: “… … In order to mask the crimes committed by the Pentagon and the United Kingdom in Deir ez-Zor, the British agency MI6 organised the affair of the «bombing» of a humanitarian convoy.
In reality, this convoy had been searched by the Syrian Arab Army. It did not contain weapons (or no longer contained weapons), and had been authorised to continue across the border after the end of the cease-fire. It had been chartered by the Syrian Red Crescent, a NGO linked to the Damascus government, and was destined for the Syrian populations occupied by the jihadists. Contrary to Western declarations, it was never bombed, as demonstrated by the images broadcast by MI6 under the label of the «White Helmets». There are no bomb craters anywhere, and no structures have been damaged. The convoy was attacked from the ground and burned. Images taken by a Russian Army drone show the presence of jihadists at the moment of the attack, although the area was supposed to be demilitarised. … …”

Sep 27, 2016 6:04 AM

The Iranians and Russians have busted the whole narrative. Takfiri army was and is part and parcel to the whole anglo-american/Pax -Americana/washington consensus nexus of their way and only their way ,starting back in 1979 (Afghanistan) Pure un adulterated extortion of the modern era. It is we the sheeple that keep drinking their KOOL-AID. Wake up sheeple . The Corporate State is alive and well and democracy died with Socrates. Evil Assad. (Syria the most secular and prosperous Arab country in the ME. Qadaffi the evil dictator.( Lybya under Qadaffi best standard of living in Africa) (100 billion dollars worth of gold not accounted for since the Libyan disaster. Russian aggression(The Cia Coup’D’etat in Kiev). Chinese aggression(South China Sea). Iran inches away from having a nuclear bomb( Israel possesses anywhere between 100 to 200 nuclear bombs. North Korea threat to humanity( North Korea has never invaded any country since its conception let alone military adventurism in the ME or Africa or anywhere else in the world.

Sep 27, 2016 4:58 AM

Reblogged this on TheFlippinTruth.

Sep 27, 2016 3:34 AM

“There is no response yet by the U.S. to this UN demand. Might that be because the U.S. and its media can’t get the facts straight?”
Not just the US ..
Bellingcat in the UK posts conclusive photographic proof : “Confirmed : Russian Bomb Remains Recovered from Syrian Red Crescent Aid Convoy Attack”
Col Pat Laing replies with an exercise in simple logic, which I quote here, because its a classic
“He (Bellincat) spends a lot of efforts to establish that the metal piece is the tail piece of a Russian-made OFAB 250-270 Fragmentation High Explosive Bomb. No argument there, I’m sure it is.
1: Said bomb has 92kg of explosive. Which is quite a lot.
2: If said bomb has exploded in this not very large room, all those cardboard boxes would be torn to pieces and burned. To say nothing of a lot more damage to the room itself.
3: Therefore it did not explode in that room.
4: If said bomb was a dud and did not explode, where is the rest of it?
5: Therefore the bomb is not a dud.
6: Therefore the bomb piece was put there to make it look as if the Russians had done it. (And not very competently either: note that it is supposed to have come through the ceiling and neatly placed itself underneath some undamaged cardboard boxes.)
7: If it is necessary to produce a fake picture, then the Russians didn’t do it.
And, as a bonus, by perpetrating this fraud, Bellingcat has also proved that he is a stooge of the war party.”
The original, with Bellingcats pic is at

Sep 27, 2016 5:03 AM
Reply to  DavidKNZ

Did Elliot Higgins spend just as much time trying to find out how much the Qataris paid for that OFAB 250-270 Fragmentation High Explosive Bomb when they bought it and other similar bombs from Ukraine, through a Polish firm, to forward on to the jihadis in Syria?

Sep 27, 2016 7:21 PM
Reply to  Jen

Thanks for the link Jen. It makes for very interesting reading and explains a lot 🙂

Sep 27, 2016 1:41 PM
Reply to  DavidKNZ


Sep 27, 2016 3:31 AM

“Facts straight”? No, it is much more likely that it is because the US knows exactly who did it and is embarrassed to tell the World it was their terrorist friends, all paid for and supported by the US and some of its less than erudite allies!