This is one of those rare times when I see a piece on Syria that I think so important that I reprint it here at Linux Beach. Please visit the original location here to view the videos.
Who needs to read this?
1.) All those who think Bashar al-Assad should play any role in any future Syrian government.
2.) All who are trying to stop Syrians from immigrating away from this murderous government that the world has let run amok.
A note on defector testimony: I know there are those who will say, bah, "What fool will believe a defector after Iraq?" But personally, I believe Edward Snowden. They will say "But he's a Whistleblower." That is most certainly true, but in as much as he is sitting in Moscow, it fair to call him a defector too. In anycase, some of the most revealing information can sometimes only come from those that flushed themselves out of the bowels of the corruption. Certainly, defector statements have to be scrutinized carefully but these are all backed by documentation, videos, and multiple layers of testimony.
Sadly, this is what is really going on in Syria under Assad's rule.
Republished from Bild.de
Regime defectors reveal
“They raped children right before their parent's eyes”
A BILD-am-SONNTAG-Report by Katharina Windmaißer and Yasser al-Haji (text), Christian Spreitz (foto), Katrin Cremer and Philipp Blencke (layout and digital concept)
|Dictator Bashar al-Assad (49)|
Little Hadi died in a chemical-attack in Khan
al-Assal. On his forehead the pathologist
stuck a Post-it with the number 2160
|Dr. Abed Tawab Shahrour (50) used to be the chief|
pathologist at the University Hospital of Aleppo, he
autopsyed more than 3,000 war victims
Credit: Christian Spreitz / Bild am Sonntag
We meet Dr. Shahrour in Turkey, to where he fled. The doctor tells us about 19th March two years ago, the day when Hadi ceased to be a cheerful schoolboy and became just another number in Assad’s death registers. In Khan al-Assal, a small suburb of Aleppo, a poison gas attack at seven o’ clock in the morning killed at least 13 people in addition to Hadi and injured approximately 120 others. On that spring day, seven months had passed since Barack Obama’s famous “red line” speech. In it, the US president warned of military intervention if Assad continued to use poison gas against his own people.
|On the secret police report you can still see the marks left|
by the cold sweat of Dr. Shahrour, after he has smuggled
the document under his shirt out of Syria
Credit: Yasser al-Haji
|The pathologist Dr. Shahrour has taken pictures of the victims with his cell phone. He risked his live in order to show the world what has happened to his people
★ ★ ★
|Pathologist Dr. Mohamad F. (44) was tortured for more than|
six month in the "Palestine Branch", one of the regimes’
notorious torture prisons. His crime: he wanted to escape
the brutalties that he had to witness every day. This is the
document that confirms his release
|The doctors’ body is covered with burns. The torturers |
stubbed out innumerable cigarettes on his skin
★ ★ ★
|Hussein al Hassan (46) used to be a judge in Haritan near |
Aleppo. He received an order to send even children to
Credit: Christian Spreitz / Bild am Sonntag
★ ★ ★
|General Zaher al-Saket (52) got three orders for chemical |
attacks in person, since his escape, he documents other
attacks with the help of co-workers in Syria
Credit: Martin Lorenz
[Note from Clay: I remember this attack, Because it wasn't lethal, I thought Assad was toying with Obama by making fake CW attacks - now the truth is known.]
But I have still good contacts in Syria. Until a year ago I had an informant in the secret service, but suddenly he stopped answering. I hope they let him live. He also confirmed to me the repeated use of sarin by the regime.
The command to use nerve gas can only be given by the head of the army, and that’s Assad. How can it be, then, that he denies ever having used chemical weapons? I know how much material we had at the beginning of the revolution. In Syria there were at least 45 chemical weapons research centres, while the government initially indicated to the OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) that there were 23. No-one saw the most important fact, which was that these were not research centres, but production centres for weapons intended for military use. For example, there is one in the region around Mountain Atta, in Adra and Tadmor. Assad hides chemical weapons in heavily fortified military installations in the mountains. When Assad agreed to the 2013 U.N. resolution requiring him to destroy his chemical weapons, 1,300 tonnes were destroyed, but I know that we had at least 3000 tonnes, some of which had already been installed in warheads. Assad continues to have mustard gas and VX gas. Before the visit by U.N. inspectors, many other chemicals which can be used to fabricate chemical weapons were moved to areas controlled by the regime, for example the province of Tartus, the 45 Brigade Rais al-Shaara, the Al Shabiba school in Masyaf, Humaymin Airport in Jableh and the Jabburin region west of Homs. Together with doctors and on-site helpers, I still document any poison gas attacks on FSA areas. I often travel to Syria myself to visit the locations where attacks have taken place, to gather soil samples, photograph the dead and injured and, where possible, the missiles used to launch the chemicals. I send my results to the OPCW.
|The ruins of the Taleb family’s house. On March 16, 2015 the whole family died, as a missile with chlorine hit their kitchen Credit: Private|
★ ★ ★
During our research, three family members of our colleague died: Rashid (23), Abdullah (18) and Allah (17)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
The Independent also interviewed the defectors:
Syrian defectors reveal horrors of life under Bashar al-Assad's regime in reminder for West to 'not just focus on fighting Isis'
17 August 2015
Experts have warned that the Isis militant group cannot be beaten without regime change in Syria, after a group of defectors revealed the horrors they had witnessed at the hands of Bashar al-Assad’s government.
Speaking to Germany’s Bild am Sonntag, a doctor, a pathologist, a judge and a chemical weapons official from within the Syrian regime spoke about the atrocities they saw committed – and their frustration at the lack of attention from the international community.
One defector, identified as 44-year-old Dr Mohamad F., was a coroner at the University Hospital in Aleppo until he tried to flee and was arrested on charges of being “a terrorist threat”.
“I have suffered, but it’s nothing compared to the pain other prisoners have gone through. I have seen policemen rape women and children in front of other detainees,” he said.
Dr Abed Tawab Shahrour, 50, then the university’s chief pathologist, told Bild he had witnessed and documented repeated evidence of the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime. He said he had testified for an hour to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, and was amazed nothing was being done to intervene.
Bild also spoke to a judge who was ordered to send demonstrators – including children – to jail, and that “the accusation should always be ‘terrorism’”.
And Brigadier General Zaher al-Saket, the former head of the Chemical Weapons Research Centre of the 5th Division of the Syrian military, told the newspaper only Assad had the authority to approve chemical attacks – and that he still has half his nerve gas stockpile.
“To my knowledge, the regime continues to use chlorine gas and chloroacetophenone,” he said. “Bashar doesn’t even have to sign off on it anymore.”
Speaking to The Independent, Dr Andreas Krieg from King’s College’s Department of Defence Studies said the defectors’ testimony was a stark reminder of the need for the West to “not just focus on fighting isis”.
“Five years of apathy have created the situation we find ourselves in at the moment,” he said. More...