Friday, August 30, 2013

Images From Syria Chemical Weapons Attacks

One of the key videos that has convinced the U.S. that military action is required, at Foreign Policy, "U.S. Spies, Experts: Chemical Weapons Likely in Syria Attack":

And see this update, "The Witnesses":
The local activists who filmed these videos, then, have accomplished what years of hectoring from the official Syrian opposition have been unable to do -- bring the world to the brink of military intervention against Bashar al-Assad's regime. The conflict's steadily mounting death toll -- now at over 100,000, and climbing rapidly -- failed to spur international action; the images of dead children lined up in neat rows following the attack, however, appeared to have served as a gut punch to the world's conscience. And the sense of outrage may be so great that it will propel the United States into war.

The amateur Syrian videographers' accomplishment, however, came at a high cost.

Activist Razan Zaitouneh, who runs the Violations Documentation Center in Syria, tells FP that her team sped to the Damascus suburb of Zamalka immediately after a chemical weapons attack was reported there on Aug. 21. The media staff of Zamalka's local coordination committee, which is responsible for filming videos in the area and uploading them to the world, also sped to the scene. According to Zaitouneh, all but one of them paid with their lives.

"The chemical attacks, on the first day of the massacre, claimed the lives of many media activists in Zamalka coordination because they inhaled the chemical toxic gases," Murad Abu Bilal, the sole survivor, told Zaitouneh in an interview uploaded to -- what else -- YouTube. "[T]hey went out to shoot and collect information about the chemical attack, but none of them came back."
A high cost indeed.

But continue reading.