TIM MARSHALL AT QUBAIR
This latest report from Marshall tries its hardest to portray a massacre, and in some ways succeeds. For a brief moment I began questioning my own judgement. But there are some points that need addressing about this latest report from Marshall.
1. the report begins with Marshall being driven in a vehicle, stating that the UN were blocked from entering Qubair. However, Marshall does not give a reason. Was this because the UN themselves were not given a reason? NO! The UN and the reporters who tried to get into Qubair were told it was for their own safety. So why did Marshall leave this out? Or did he include it, but the editor (from MI6?) left it out?
2. Marshall's vehicle was guided into Qubair by "activists", which indicates that the opposition wanted to guide Marshall around the village. This is crucial.
3. Marshall is then shown following a man wearing a blue T-shirt and a red and white scarf. Is this the activist on the back of the bike that guided them into the village (see 1 minute into report)? This man shows Marshall around a house that has obviously been burned. But, crucially, the man does not claim to have lived there or be a resident of the village, but does say that many burned bodies were found there. How does he know? This man says the village was shelled by the Syrian military then the Shabiha entered the village and went from house to house slaughtering. HOW DOES THIS MAN KNOW? WHO IS HE? WHY IS HE WEARING A SCARF HIDING HIS FACE? IF HE LIVED IN THE VILLAGE DID HE SHOW MARSHALL HIS HOUSE? IF HE DOES NOT LIVE IN THE VILLAGE THEN IS HE JUST PARROTING THE FSA LINE THAT" ASSAD DID IT"?
4. There is then a scene of a burned house, Marshall mentions body parts, shows what could be a freshly dug grave (but only big enough for about 5 I would say), and then quotes "locals" who say the army made them remove all the bodies from the houses. However, Marshall does not mention exactly how many bodies were removed. Was it 5? 10? If it was a big number, such 100 as some allege were killed, then surely they would have told Marshall that and Marshall would have repeated that number. So was the number removed small but Marshall used the open-ended "all" knowing that there have been allegations of possibly 100 dead? The Syrian government says 9 died, plus however many terrorists were killed. Were the freshly dug graves for the dead terrorists?
5. Everyone who speaks to Marshall on film is male (except for the woman from the UN), young and covers their face. Why? If this was your village, your houses, where your families and loved ones had just been slaughtered, wouldn't you be shouting, cursing, demading revenge, not caring who heard or saw you? The guys (did Marshall speak to any women from the village?) also seem relatively relaxed.
6. Marshall then shows what he says are casings from bullets for what he says is a BKN machine gun. I cannot find such a weapon. But there is a PKM machine gun, Soviet made, but there is a version that was made to use standard NATO ammo.
7. Marshall then enters a room with blood splattered against the wall where he says he was told children had been shot. Who told him that?
8. But where were the people who filmed the alleged dead children? Wouldn't they want to be hanging around the village eager to speak to the Western press?
But Marshall does not address the fundamental question; WHY?
Why the hell would the Syrian military and Shabiha shell a tiny village for hours, then enter the village to slaughter men, women and children, just in time for the aftermath to be seen by those present at a UN GA meeting and a UN SC meeting at which Kofi Annan would speak about his
As Alex Thomson has now found out; NEVER TRUST THE SYRIAN OPPOSITION!
Marshall's report can be seen at http://news.sky.com/home/world-news/article/16243842