Sunday 23 July 2017

Robert Fisk: Shadow of Syrian conflict stretching into Lebanon

Every night, Syrian state television is a horror show. Naked corpses with multiple bullet wounds, backs of heads sliced off. All Syrian soldiers, it insists, murdered by "the treacherous armed criminal gangs" near Deraa.

One of the bodies -- of a young officer in his twenties -- has had his eyes gouged out. Knives appear to have been used on the soldiers, the commentary tells us. There seems no doubt that the bodies are real and little doubt that they are indeed members of the Syrian security" forces -- nor that the weeping, distraught parents in the background are indeed their Syrian families.

Pictures show the bodies, washed for burial, taken from the military hospital in Damascus. Their names are known. Mohamed Ali, Ibrahim Hoss, Ahmed Abdullah, Nida al-Hoshi, Basil Ali, Hazem Mohamed Ali, Mohamed Alla are all carried in flag-draped coffins. They are from Tartous, Banias, Aleppo, Damascus. When al-Hoshi's funeral cortege was passing up the Mediterranean coast road to the north, they were ambushed by "an armed gang".

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