UK Journalist Visits Syria, Local Doc Tells Him Douma Victims Suffered From Oxygen Starvation, Not 'Chem Attack'Chris Menahan
Apr. 17, 2018
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Veteran journalist Robert Fisk went to Syria to investigate the alleged "chemical attack" in Douma and found a local doctor telling him the people seen struggling to breathe were suffering not because of a "chemical attack," but because of oxygen starvation as a result of a dust storm blowing dust into the underground "rubbish-filled tunnels and basements in which they lived."
From The Independent:
This is the story of a town called Douma, a ravaged, stinking place of smashed apartment blocks – and of an underground clinic whose images of suffering allowed three of the Western world’s most powerful nations to bomb Syria last week. There’s even a friendly doctor in a green coat who, when I track him down in the very same clinic, cheerfully tells me that the “gas” videotape which horrified the world – despite all the doubters – is perfectly genuine.
Fisk cautioned readers that "this isn't the only story in Douma," but added:
There are the many people I talked to amid the ruins of the town who said they had “never believed in” gas stories – which were usually put about, they claimed, by the armed Islamist groups. These particular jihadis survived under a blizzard of shellfire by living in other’s people’s homes and in vast, wide tunnels with underground roads carved through the living rock by prisoners with pick-axes on three levels beneath the town. I walked through three of them yesterday, vast corridors of living rock which still contained Russian – yes, Russian – rockets and burned-out cars.More details on the dust storm:
It was a short walk to Dr Rahaibani. From the door of his subterranean clinic – “Point 200”, it is called, in the weird geology of this partly-underground city – is a corridor leading downhill where he showed me his lowly hospital and the few beds where a small girl was crying as nurses treated a cut above her eye.
Fisk found the "White Helmets," who advocated for Western intervention, have reportedly all up and left the area:
The White Helmets – the medical first responders already legendary in the West but with some interesting corners to their own story – played a familiar role during the battles. They are partly funded by the Foreign Office and most of the local offices were staffed by Douma men. I found their wrecked offices not far from Dr Rahaibani’s clinic. A gas mask had been left outside a food container with one eye-piece pierced and a pile of dirty military camouflage uniforms lay inside one room. Planted, I asked myself? I doubt it. The place was heaped with capsules, broken medical equipment and files, bedding and mattresses.Read the full details of Fisk's bombshell report in The Independent.
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