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?